The responsibilities of a child psychologist

Written by cassandra scheidies
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The responsibilities of a child psychologist
A child psychologist should help a child function best in everyday life. (Hilary Brodey/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Someone who enjoys working with children and helping them through problems may want to become a child psychologist. A child psychologist can have a range of duties that will help provide the child with the best possible care. Child psychologists may provide a family with the necessary support for restoring the relational unit as a whole.

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Child psychologists receive training to assess children based on behaviour and relationship to families, according to The psychologist should help the family understand why a child acts the way that she does. If the child has a disorder such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the psychologist should diagnose this when assessing the child.

Treatment Methods

Child psychologists should use appropriate treatment methods for the child and the family. Many times play therapy (where a child's play reflects feelings or behaviour through play) will offer an opportunity for the child psychologist to discuss issues that the child has on a regular basis. Through discussion of past trauma and relational issues, the child psychologist should help the child return to productive behaviour in everyday life.


A child psychologist must offer support for the child and the family. Many times, parents will bring their child to the psychologist because of concerns about behaviour or trauma. Insights from a child psychologist should help the family and child function better in daily life, according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics.

Ensure Safety

Top Psychology Colleges states that a child psychologist must always ensure the safety of the child. If the psychologist discovers child abuse or suicidal tendencies, she becomes ethically obligated to report this to Child Protective Services. If the child exhibits immediate danger to himself or others, the psychologist needs to recommend a short stay in a psychiatric hospital until the danger diminishes. If the child displays behaviour that demands medication, the child psychologist should recommend psychiatric services for the child to obtain the necessary psychotropic medication.

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