Knowing If Child and Teen Counseling Is Right For Your Child
It can be difficult to know how to express yourself and understand your feelings, especially when your brain is still developing and you’re still learning how society expects you to behave, as with children and teens. Everyone goes through hard times as children, and that’s something that child and teen counseling can help with. Child and teen counseling helps them learn how to deal with challenges such as with mental illnesses, bullying, trauma, and behavioral issues.
The same as adults, child and teen counseling can help children and teens in many different ways, from problems that are traditionally seen as more severe, such as mental health issues, to ones that are not seen as a big deal to adults but can be life-alteringly huge for children and teens, such as moving to a different town. Child and teen counseling can be very beneficial, as it helps children make sense of what is going on in a way they understand and can better cope with.
Child and teen counseling helps with issues such as:
- Mental illness
- Abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, mental)
- Death of a loved one or pet or another hard loss
- Developmental delays
- Behavioral issues
- Learning disorders
- Addiction in the family
Many children won’t share their issues or distress with their parents because they don’t want to be a disappointment. Therapy gives them a space to share those concerns and obtain the help that they need. Therapy helps children work through their emotions so that they can live happy, healthy lives. Left untreated, psychological distress and mental health issues can lead to developmental delays and negatively impact your child’s life in many different ways, from their overall wellbeing, to their social life, to their grades, and more.
There is no age limit for when a child can and cannot go to therapy, as child therapists are trained to be able to work with young minds, including toddlers, preschoolers, middle schoolers, and high schoolers.
Therapy for toddlers will address concerns such as disruptive behavior and developmental delays.
Therapy for kids will work with concerns like anxiety, learning disorders, and any of the aforementioned concerns that your child may be struggling with.
Therapy for teens often focuses on mental illnesses, stress, bullying, and more.
Child therapy will vary depending on their age and the problem they are dealing with. In some therapies, parental guidance may be critical, while in others, privacy is more helpful. Methods of therapy used can vary based on age, too. Younger children may be treated with integrative play therapy and hands-on activities while older kids may have more of a traditional therapy experience.
The child therapist will be able to adjust their methods to what best suits your child, so that they can express themselves and understand and sort through their emotions in a way they can comprehend.
Therapy For Teens
Therapy can help your teen with many different issues from mental illnesses to bullying to stress to self-discovery and more. Teenage years are very difficult, so it’s important that your teen has someone they can talk to to help them through this season of life. Teen therapy can greatly help your teen’s well-being, as well as prevent minor problems from becoming major issues later on.
It’s important to work with a therapist who is experienced in working with teens and all the concerns teenagers face. Your teen should be a part of this process of choosing a therapist, as they should be able to tell you whether or not they are comfortable with their therapist and whether or not therapy is helping.
When You Should Seek Child and Teen Counseling
It can be hard to know what’s part of just growing up and when you should seek out a child therapist for your child or teen. If your child or teen is dealing with one of the issues mentioned before, they could benefit from seeing a therapist. Some of the other signs you can watch out for that can indicate that your child or teen is having a hard time and would likely benefit from therapy and a safe space to talk about what’s going on include:
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Aggressive behavior
- Changes in appetite that have nothing to do with puberty
- Persistent anxiety/nerves
- Social isolation
- Substance use
- Trouble sleeping
- Slipping or failing grades
- Expression of suicidal thoughts/attempts at suicide
- Repetitive rituals
- Trouble adjusting to social situations
- Leakage of urine
- Responding to voices in their head
- Complaining about physical issues, even if a medical professional states they are healthy
Child therapists have the skills, training, and methods needed in order to help your child with their specific concerns. The goals of child or teen counseling will vary depending on what issues your child or teen is dealing with. If you are concerned about your child, a child therapist can help. Child therapy helps children open up about what they are going through, learn healthy communication, coping mechanisms, and problem solving, and that it is okay to talk about what is going on.
While it may be difficult for your child or teen to feel comfortable in therapy at first and take them a bit to open up, ultimately, child therapy will help them build the tools they need to live happier, healthier lives.
Ogden Psychological Services provides child and adolescent therapy services. If you are concerned about your child or teen, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment.