Julie G. Hartman, PhD


Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Lic. # 28202

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When Should a Child be Referred?


Is the child troubled? Or is the child just a normal kid going through the growing pains of childhood? There are some tell-tale signs of a truly troubled child who needs the kind of help that Therapy and/or Parent Consultation can provide.

A child should be referred for individual therapy when you or an important adult (or the child) is wondering (even just a few times) if a child's behavior or mood is 'normal' or a problem. 

Parents, teachers, and other helpers may notice the signs come on suddenly and seem 'out of the blue' or that they persist for some time or may seem to be getting worse.

Parents who take an honest look at their child should trust their instincts; if you think he/she is in trouble, take action now. Contact Dr. Hartman for an informational session to figure this out.


Behavior and mood CHANGES that may require attention (one or more may apply):

  • sleeping alot, difficulty getting up in the morning or falling asleep
  • appetite erratic (eating less or more than usual)
  • sick alot - complaining of tummy aches, headaches, allergies
  • social skiils issues, such as bossiness, shyness, missing other's cues
  • irritable, cranky, cries easily, angers easily
  • negative attitude "I hate school, my teacher hates me"
  • overwhelmed statements, "I am trying, but nothing gets better, it's too hard"
  • isolating statements, "leave me alone, nobody likes me"
  • risky behaviors and/or accident-prone
  • looks hazy, out of it, looks sleepy most of the time
  • fighting alot with parent(s), teacher(s), and/or others
  • doesn't follow your rules, tries to be the boss most of the time
  • worries alot, alot of 'what if' statements
  • struggles with organization, too much clutter/mess
  • cries or protests alot around separations from parent(s)
  • mean to siblings, pets
  • easily frustrated, gives up, asks someone to do it for him/her
  • bored
  • school grades decline
  • teacher complains about child or suggests therapy
  • change in friends, clothing, habits (especially if parent/school isn't fond of them)
  • increased conflict, yelling, 'silent treatment'
  • phobia - earthquakes, fear of death, ghosts
  • OCD - obsesses and/or engages in rituals to manage stress/fear/worry

Situations that may require extra attenion for your child:

  • separation/divorce, custody issues, parent lives out of child's day-to-day house
  • loss of a loved one
  • life transition - new school, new grade in school, new teacher, new sibling, new house
  • hormonal changes - may cause strain on mood/behavior/relationships
  • trauma or abuse
  • natural distaster
  • other crisis