Reply To: Emotional Outbursts — Help!

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There are a lot of good responses here, so I’m just going to respond to the question of where to go for help.
A psychiatrist is an M.D. and can prescribe medication. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) can usually do this also. P.A.’s (Physician Assistants) can also prescribe. I understand you want to avoid medication, but if you change your mind, many pediatricians do a lot of prescribing of stimulants and/or antidepressants. So prescribing is only done by those with medical training.
A psychologist is trained in research and testing and advanced assessment. A neuropsychologist also tests for neurodevelopmental disorders. They cannot prescribe, although this is a point of controversy because of their lengthy training in the field.
Some psychologists also do therapy. Master’s level therapists are LCSW’s, LMHC’s, and LMFT’s. There are various acronyms in different states, but usually the SW, MHC and MFT are in there somewhere. Most master’s level therapists do primarily therapy and some of them will specialize in children and AD/HD. I am an LMFT, and personally, I specialize in AD/HD with symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, because someone with straight AD/HD and no other issues may do fine with an AD/HD coach who does not have mental health training. I think this type of person is fairly rare, however, because there are so many co-morbid issues with AD/HD and also the disorder can cause a lot of anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. Things like negative self-statements. AD/HD is generally hard on the person’s self-esteem. (I should know, I have ADD myself!)
I recommend going to a site like Psychology Today and looking for someone in your area who specializes in children and AD/HD. School counselors and pediatricians are also a good source of referrals.
Good luck! Nancy