Childhood should be a happy time in a person’s life. Dealing with mental and emotional troubles, however, can impede this simple, carefree time. It can also lead to more difficulties during adulthood.
Sometimes, kids need help just like adults would. Because children naturally think differently than adults and have a different way of looking at things, traditional clinicians may struggle to treat disorders in children. Having a therapist with clinical experience in child counseling is key to provide a safe, positive, and helpful experience during your and your child’s therapeutic journey.
Your child’s therapy will be an individualized experience filled with activities to support their expression, coping skills, and overall wellness. We approach our work with children through many different avenues – art, yoga and mindfulness, play, and many others. Our intention is to provide encouragement and empowerment for not only your child but your entire family. Recognizing that your child may need to see a counselor can feel overwhelming. You may have many questions, and our aim is to make the counseling experience as safe, comfortable, and encouraging as possible.
Preparing for the First Visit
Seeing a therapist is most likely a new experience for your child. Feelings of nervousness and confusion are sometimes the case before the first visit. It is important to be honest about why your child (or family) will be going and prepare him or her for the discussion we’ll have about symptoms and behaviors.
For younger kids, explaining that this isn’t a usual doctor visit – there will be no shots or exams! – tends to calm some nerves. Share with them that therapists talk and play with children and families so they can feel better and solve problems. Sometimes, kids feel encouraged to know that their parents or family will be getting help, too. It’s also important to let them know that everything we talk about will be kept a secret unless someone is in danger (including them!) or we ask their permission to share first.
For older kids, letting them know everything they share is confidential and won’t be shared with anyone (including parents) without permission can make them feel less skeptical about coming to a therapist. Of course, the exception to confidentiality is if they indicate someone is in danger, including themselves.
We are here to assist with the challenges of many disorders and situations, including: