As many as one in five children may have an identifiable emotional disorder that requires treatment. Children are vulnerable to many of the same mental health issues and mood disorders that afflict adolescents and adults. However, their reactions to these issues, situations and relationships are generally quite different from that of adolescents and adults.
Behavioral signs that your child may need psychological counseling include:
- Overreacting to situations
- Consistent nightmares
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Anger or explosiveness
- Verbalizing thoughts or attempts of suicide
- An inability to sit still
- Constant fearfulness, anxiety or worry
- Lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- An unexplained or sudden drop in grades at school
- Experiencing bullying from peers or classmates
- A preoccupation with illness
- A fixation with their own appearance
- Changes in patterns of eating or sleeping for no apparent reason
- An inability to concentrate, think clearly, or make decisions
- Wanting to be alone rather than with friends or family
- Has been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused
- Dangerous or self destructive behavior
- Has a recommendation from school or doctor’s office for therapy
If a child shows any or some of these signs, he or she may need counseling. Typically, when working with children the therapist will implement play therapy as the treatment modality. Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which a child plays in a protected and structured environment with games and toys provided by a therapist who observes the behavior, affect, and conversation of the child to gain insight into thoughts, feelings, and concerns. As conflicts are discovered, the therapist helps the child understand and work through them.
Informed parents recognize when counseling may be beneficial to their child and realize that this is not a sign of parental failure. Rather, it is a step to insure that their child develop the necessary coping skills to deal with and overcome the issues at hand. It is important to understand that if a child does not get the necessary help needed, his or her issues may become more severe. Your involvement as a parent is crucial in your child’s treatment. We rely on your feedback regarding your child’s development, habits, relationships and behavior. You will be consulted as the treatment goals are being formulated and throughout the therapeutic process.
If you would like further information or to make an appointment for your child, please contact us.