Sometimes kids, like adults, can benefit from counseling. Seeking counseling can help develop skills such as social, emotional and problem- solving. Therapists can help not only the child but the family as well with stress, behavioral and emotional issues.
Many kids need help learning tools and techniques in dealing with depression, anxiety, bullying, compulsive issues or peer pressure. Others may need to discuss their feelings about family issues especially if there are major life transitions such as divorce, a move, death or a serious illness.
Depending on the age and functioning level of the child, play therapy may be beneficial. Playing can not only help make the child feel at ease, but also the therapist takes note of what the child chooses to play with, how they play and how they interact. Children may have trouble expressing their emotional problems to their parents and when talking to a therapist, they offer a consequence free space to say whatever they need to. With this open environment, it leads kids to feel more incline to talk about what problems they may have and gain a deeper insight into their anger, aggressiveness, depression, anxiety or whatever may be the issue.
The parent(s) involvement is still needed in order to make therapy work. The therapist will meet with the parent(s) to collaborate on skills and techniques to further their child’s development and learning in therapy.
Signs that there may be a bigger problem than what parents can handle include:
- Developmental delay in speech, language, or toilet training
- Problems in transitions
- Custody evaluations
- Learning or attention problems
- Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Being the victim of bullying or bullying others
- A significant drop in grades, particularly if your child normally maintains high grades
- Behavioral problems such as excessive anger, acting out, eating disorders, or bedwetting
- Bereavement issues
- Signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use
- Mood swings
- Episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or depression
- Management of a serious, acute or chronic illness
- Problems in transitions including separation, divorce, or relocation
- Development of or an increase in physical complaints such as headaches, stomachaches, or not feeling well despite a normal physical exam by a doctor
- Sudden changes in appetite
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Excessive school absenteeism or tardiness
- Overly aggressive behavior such as biting, kicking, or hitting
- Insomnia or increased sleepiness
- Mood swings such as happy one minute and upset the next
- Sexual, physical or emotional abuse or other traumatic events