Updated February 2021, fixing formatting, the language around “independent,” & added three more insider tips based off of FAQ’s consultants receive from families. Full disclosure, the consultants who provided information advertise on this website..
These are 10 different insider tips to think about and question if you decide to hire any professional regardless of their job title – independent education consultant, interventionist, therapeutic consultant, or clinical professional. Because there are as many different ways to create a contract as there are job titles, this blog provides the questions to ask as you interview professionals who will usher your family through the process of identifying a treatment program or wilderness therapy program and/or case manage the process once the placement has been made.
What is the professional’s philosophy?
How does he/she approach placements, what is the process?
What is their communication style? What should the client’s expectations be during a crisis or during the placement?
Does the professional expect “Family Work” in addition to focusing on the child/teen/young adult’s placement process?
Is the Education Consultant or Interventionist truly independent?
Do they contract with other treatment programs for training?
Do they have other businesses in the treatment field? (i.e. websites where programs are advertisers, put on conferences where treatment programs pay their business to exhibit/attend, or ownership in a treatment program for troubled teens or young adults?)
Is the professional COMPLETELY transparent with you about their connections? (i.e. in their contract, on their website, or on the phone)
How does consultant or interventionist define independent? (i.e. many professionals are flown to conferences or have hotel rooms paid for at a conference, or share the cost when traveling to tour a treatment program or boarding school, or are ALL the costs covered. ere are many different ways that experts run their business, ASK. INQUIRE. ASK clarifying questions.)
How can the professional/expert ensure success?
What are the “outcomes” for success for clients who go through treatment? (To learn more about outcomes-based research, click on the Research filter in the blog)
What is the research for treatment programs?
Is the consultant or interventionist involved in outcomes-based research?
Training & Background
What professional background does the consultant have or any formal training?
Does the professional have a clinical background (licensed or unlicensed)?
Does the professional have vs. ‘school of life’ background vs. a master’s degree in education, special education, or a clinical degree?
What types of training(s) are done yearly?
What associations are they part of; what does the association require of members?
What specific practices does she do to keep up with changes in the field?
Group or Solo Practitioner
What type of support will you need? One is not better than another, it depends on what you need.
Placements made per year
Do you want someone who has a small practice, or is doing crisis placements daily?
Some placement professionals place many families. Consider the decision as you would pick a heart surgeon – a professional consultant has the responsibility of making the actual placement, but also provides a “bedside manner” that is necessary for the fastest healing.
Other consultants have smaller, more intimate practices to focus on their self-limited number of placements.
What are the contractual agreements?
By the time (hourly, monthly, yearly, or other)
What do you want?
What are the stipulations for “emergency” (after-hours) consultation?
Do you assist with financing?
Are there loans? Are there scholarships? How do families pay?
Can the consultant find a program in-network? Why or why not?
Does the consultant work with school systems?
Review the ‘Scholarship filter’ in the blogs for more information.
What do parents do while their child is in treatment?
Do parents have a separate parallel process while their child/young adult is in treatment?
Do consultants/interventionists include parent coaching in your services? (Some consultants have parent coaches as part of their process.)
Do you recommend parent supports?
Do you recommend individual therapists or couples therapists for the parents?
Do you recommend parent coaching?
Do you recommend parent workshops or individual workshops?
What types of Placements or specializations?
Therapeutic Placements / Crisis Placements
College / University
Traditional Day or Boarding Schools
Learning Disabilities Boarding or Local Day Schools
Transgender / LGBTQ+ / Gender Expansive
Young Adult, Teens, or Pre-Teens
Specializations: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Substance Abuse/Recovery, Eating Disorders, Attachment, Learning Disabilities, etc.
Review the filters on the Experts Section of the website to review the experts who list their facts in this directory.
What is the timeline for assessment and recommendation of options?
How quickly can you find us a treatment program or intervention? (ie My child is currently in detox, psych hospital and will discharge within 24- 48 hours.)
My child does not need placement now, but I want to understand what options could look like?
- Do you always meet the child, teen, or young adult? Or do you zoom?
Any consultant or interventionist you hire knows their specialty or their area of focus where they do their best work. If any professional answers, “Yes” and can not back up their process or how that specialty came about in their practice, move on. There is no license for Consulting and Interventionists. There are credentialing standards that are developing and growing.
About the Author
Jenney Wilder M.S.Ed launched All Kinds of Therapy in 2015, as the only independent online directory for the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry. With an impressive case of ADHD and her starter career in the 90’s in Silicon Valley, the dream for creating a website with features like side-by-side comparison and an integrated newsletter was born. Jenney stopped counting treatment centers and all types of schools that she has visited when she hit 500 many years ago. She was the sponsoring author of the only Economic Impact Study of the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry, which revealed the only true financial figures about this industry (in Utah). Jenney has a Masters in Special Education from Bank Street College (NY) and a Bachelors of Arts focused on History from Wheaton College (MA).