Pregnancy and Child Psychologists

Most commonly thought to be a time of anticipation and excitement, pregnancy can bring anxiety and concern to some women and their families. Financial crisis, unexpected pregnancy, teen pregnancy and health issues are but a few of the things that can take the joy away from being pregnant. Sometimes women have "pregnancy onset" concerns that give them cause to wonder about their ability to care for their baby properly. All or any of these issues can be enough for a woman to seek professional help.

What Does A Pregnancy Psychologist Do?

A pregnancy psychologist can offer support counseling to help women with concerns over a current pregnancy or one that occurred in the recent past, whether the pregnancy came to term or not. A pregnancy psychologist can provide information about options and services that would be relevant to a woman's concerns as well as offer support and information for her baby after she has given birth. Pregnancy psychologists are trained specifically to provide support counseling using non-directive methods covering antenatal and postnatal issues, information and resources. A pregnancy psychologist is an excellent person to have available in the event of an unexpected outcome to a pregnancy, such as stillbirth, SIDS, miscarriage, and genetic conditions. She can help a woman deal with the myriad feelings she experiences during her pregnancy, the birth or after the baby is born.

Child Psychology

People who choose a child psychologist career enter a complex and fascinating field that involves treating children with a wide variety of issues and disorders. Child psychologists may work within the confines of clinical child psychology where they are counseling children or they may choose to be part of an educational psychology program where they work with kids within the school system. He or she may opt to conduct testing and research in child development. Regardless of the designation, becoming a child psychologist equips a person to work with children who have emotional, mental or behavioral issues.

Functions of a Child Psychologist

A child psychologist is trained to work one-on-one with kids and, if necessary, their families as well. They administer tests and evaluate, assess, and diagnose children's developmental and emotional issues. Child psychologists are called upon in cases where children are taken out of homes or there are serious difficulties within the home environment. They will coordinate care with parents, educators or social workers to ensure the child's safety and progress. The courts often use the services of child psychologists to help children and their families make the necessary changes and transitions from traumatic situations, like divorce. Another legal function of a child psychologist is to work with victims and assess situations of child abuse and crimes committed against children.

When considering a child psychology career, a person may decide to focus his or her energy on research and development, studying and working with information relative to childhood development or childhood learning disabilities. A child psychologist is not a medical doctor and therefore does not prescribe medications for children. They may, however, be involved in helping a child cope with the effects of medication that has been issued by the child's doctor - as in the case of childhood cancers. Children with physical illnesses who have trouble getting along in school as a result of the illness, as is often the case with autoimmune diseases like lupus and fibromyalgia, are usually referred to a child psychologist.

What Does A Child Psychiatrist Do?

Child psychiatry is similar but very different to psychology. A child psychiatrist is also a medical doctor and a large part of the treatment he or she uses involves medications. Psychiatry is the study and treatment of mental disorders, including behavioral, cognitive and perceptual disorders. A child psychiatrist would be involved in treating a child who has obsessive compulsive disorder, or has a chemical imbalance that creates depression or anxiety. Child psychiatry includes clinical investigation of the issues, covers the biological, psychosocial and genetic factors implicated in a childhood disorder then diagnoses the problem, prescribing treatment and providing follow-up.

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