I am trying to choose a psychologist to do a psychoeducational assessment of an 8 year old with no diagnosis but with attention issues.

I have received a dozen or so glowing recommendations from parents and a small number from the child's school, but I do not trust most of them because when I check out the clinicians I find some are not licensed, some are not members of the American Psychological Assn or the state psych association, and others have web pages that feature therapeutic approaches that are panned in published reviews of the literature. Also, some are not on the list of approved vendors of my insurance.

In my search, I will focus on the few remaining names and the names on the approved list of providers.

I would like to get some information from the psychologists to help me choose one. What questions might I reasonably ask a clinician to get relevant information to make a decision? What might I look for? Or how else might I go about choosing such a psychologist?

Addendum: I am looking carefully at what I can find about the clinicians. The dissertation abstract from one is available online. It contains illogical phrases (or simply grammatical errors). Carelessness in preparing a dissertation makes me worry about the level of professionalism of this clinician.

Addendum 2: I have researched the first 30 or Ph.D. psychologists listed in the approved providers booklet (out of a total of about 150). So far 2 seem like they might be appropriate. In addition to the reasons above, I found listings of the specialty areas or interests for some of the clinicians and their interests are not relevant.

It sounds like you already have your own answer.

These points in your question should be your first check:

  • Licenced
  • Members of the American Psychological Association
  • Approved by your insurer
  • Avoid unproven therapeutic treatments

But also look at

  • Reviews and referrals from friends
  • Professionalism in literature
  • Awards

If you then have a small number of possible ones, just go and visit. See which you feel most comfortable with.

  • Yes, I'm making progress. Membership in APA" is unrealistic. Better is membership in some professional organization. More practitioners are members of the state association or some other national association. A leadership role in such an organization is a plus. Also, I have looked at the university from which they graduated and the ranking of its clinical program in national reviews. Also, I am looking at their colleagues. Competent people tend to work with and refer to other competent people. My supposition is that not every licensed psychologist is equally well-trained and skilled. – Zayde in NY Nov 11 at 14:44

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