Be an Expert of the Child in Front of You

Published: February 15, 2013

One struggle counselors, parents, teachers and youth workers often face is how to think about and approach children who have a psychiatric diagnosis. Even within the mental health profession there are differences of opinion. Some professionals under medicate and under diagnose, and others do the exact opposite. Regardless of which camp we fall into, we can quickly fall short of knowing and understanding the child in front of us if we allow psychiatric labels to define children and determine their paths. 

In her talk entitled, Psychiatric Disorders in Children, Julie Lowe encourages helpers to be wise and thoughtful.

“Be an expert of the child in front of you. Don’t be an expert on the labels and diagnoses. Don’t be an expert of ADHD, reactive attachment, or bipolar disorder—although I do think you should know about those things. Be committed to being an expert of the person in front of you. You will have a better understanding of how to love, how to speak wisely, and how to offer good counsel and treatment. ” 

Julie Lowe is a licensed professional counselor and has extensive experience working with children and their families. To purchase this talk, visit the CCEF store and download this helpful audio resource from the 2011 Conference.