Are You Worried About Your Child’s Mental Health Or Development?
- Do you suspect your child may suffer from anxiety or depression?
- Rather than acting carefree, have you noticed that your child worries excessively, seems withdrawn, or avoids situations that cause fear or distress?
- Does your child exhibit behaviors that get them in trouble at school or hold them back from making friends?
As a parent, there is nothing more concerning than when your child is struggling. Whether they seem despondent, anxious, angry, or defiant, you may feel out of your depth trying to figure out how to help them.
Maybe you worry that they’re dealing with a mental health issue that prevents them from thriving. Or, if they’re falling behind in school, perhaps you wonder if they may have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or a learning disability, such as dyslexia or auditory processing disorder.
It May Be Hard For You To Communicate With Your Child
When children are troubled, oftentimes it’s difficult for them to express their thoughts and feelings articulately, making it all the more difficult to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Until you can determine what the problem is and what to do about it, you might feel like you’re failing them.
We understand how challenging being a parent can be when your child needs more support than you can provide. The good news is that counseling for children can help you gain an understanding of what is going on.
What’s more, a child therapist can offer both you and your child tangible skills to address the challenges they face so you can move forward with more understanding, knowledge, and the right tools for coping.
Increasing Life Challenges Can Push Kids To Their Breaking Point
Although we often feel like we’re the only ones whose child is struggling with anxiety or depression, we’re not alone in this fear. A recent Pew Research Center survey of parents with children younger than 18 noted: “Mental health tops the list of worries that U.S. parents express about their kids’ well-being. In that survey, four-in-ten U.S. parents said they’re extremely or very worried about their children struggling with anxiety or depression.” (1)
Sadly, these days, life has become increasingly challenging for children to navigate. Between rigorous demands at school, expectations to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, and the many pitfalls presented by social media, the life of today’s children looks significantly different than how we grew up.
The Stressors Inherent In Today’s World Only Add To The Problem
Coupled with the current state of the world with its myriad problems, our kids may worry or have a hard time coping with stress from an earlier age. And while having certain worries or fears in childhood is normal, “persistent or extreme forms of fear and sadness could be due to anxiety or depression.” (1) As much as we may try to protect them from damaging external influences, that’s simply not how the world works.
If your child’s mental health is suffering or a developmental challenge is impacting their self-esteem, therapy can help. Working with a compassionate therapist, your child can learn how to understand and regulate their emotions as well as how to express themselves so that they gain confidence.
Therapy Can Provide Parents and Children With Solutions That Work
Taking the step to seek professional support for your child might be difficult, but it’s the best thing you can do for them. Of course, when considering therapy for your child, it’s important to keep in mind that they feel comfortable and safe in the therapeutic environment.
For that reason, we provide a gentle and unthreatening space for your child to gain an understanding of how they feel as well as learn to identify where these emotions are coming from.
What To Expect In Child Therapy Sessions
Our therapists are skilled at working with children of all ages as well as at different stages of development. They will tailor counseling for your child so that it’s not only age-appropriate but will also be customized to their unique needs.
The main goals of our session will be:
- Identifying what your child’s challenges are.
- Determining what you, as their parent, are hoping therapy will achieve.
- Customizing a treatment plan and setting quantifiable and attainable goals that address your child’s problems.
In this way, we can help keep both you and your child on track and check in periodically to ensure that we are achieving results.
Tailoring Our Approach To Your Child’s Needs
Because your child hasn’t fully matured yet and may be unable to put into words how they feel, we approach therapy differently for kids than for adults. Our therapists have experience with a variety of different child-centered therapy methods that take the emphasis off of making children tell us how they feel and, instead, allow them to express themselves freely.
Throughout sessions, your child’s counselor will help them develop skills to express their feelings with clarity, thereby avoiding emotional dysregulation, such as angry outbursts, worrying, or suppression and detachment. The benefits of therapy that’s customized for them are enormous—your child will learn to flourish.
For therapy to be successful, we encourage parents to be participating as actively as possible with their children. Your participation will allow you to gain invaluable insight into how your child thinks. And armed with this knowledge, you can explore ways to adjust your parenting style that will improve communication and foster trust between the two of you.
While you won’t be required to attend every session, your child’s therapist will want to keep you in the loop to ensure you can support at home what your child is working on in sessions.
Perhaps You’re Interested In Child Therapy, But You May Still Have Some Concerns…
My child doesn’t want to come to therapy.
Understandably, your child may not like the idea of talking to a stranger or think therapy is formal and serious. Depending upon your child’s age, you may want to at least initially attend therapy with them which will hopefully make them more comfortable with the idea. We also aim to have therapy meet children’s developmental needs by providing a relaxed atmosphere to put them at ease.
If my child needs therapy, does that mean I’ve failed as a parent?
Although you might blame yourself if your child is struggling, remember that, in today’s world, many families are under pressure and pushed to their limits. We understand that you’re doing the best you can. And the fact that you are looking into solutions for your child’s challenges demonstrates what a caring parent you are. The good news is that children are resilient and usually respond quite favorably to therapy that is geared toward them.
Isn’t therapy for children time-consuming and expensive?
Seeking out a child counselor may seem daunting at first. Between scheduling appointments that don’t interfere with school and the expense, you may determine therapy isn’t worth the effort. But investing in the well-being of your child can be priceless. Not only can therapy help your child learn how to regulate their emotions and communicate their feelings to you, but witnessing them become a happier, more confident, and well-adjusted kid will be worth its weight in gold.
Compassionate Support For Your Child Can Make All The Difference
It’s okay to admit that your child may need help that you can’t provide. We’re here to help. If you would like to find out more about therapy for children, please contact us today.