Paul Foster-Moore: Why are there so few child therapists?

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Published: 02-14-2024 9:08 PM

I truly appreciated Maddie Fabian’s report describing the need to support and enhance child therapy services locally (and nationally) [“Young kids aren’t immune,” Gazette, Feb. 9]. I would like to see a follow up with an exploration of why the services to children are so limited. As a former child therapist now treating adults only, there were potent disincentives to discontinue treating children. First, managed care insurance companies which imposed its cost-cutting reimbursement schedules on therapists in group and individual practice would not reimburse for all the extra case management and collaboration with schools, courts and inter-agency work. It was free labor.

Additionally like all child therapists I ran the distinct risk in this litigious society of being accused of abusing children one-on-one, alone in one’s office. That was frightening. You could not be guaranteed that you were seen to have credibility and integrity. You could be so easily accused of misbehavior during sessions.

Finally what I know now and did not know then is that occupational therapy is so powerful in modulating and integrating sensory overload. So as a play therapist I did not have sufficient skills to be maximally effective. It should be mentioned that Amanda Harrison is the director in Northampton of the Children’s Clinic of the Cutchins Programs for Children where children with trauma histories are treated with skill and compassion.

Paul Foster-Moore, board of directors chairman for Cutchins Programs for Children and Families

Florence

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