Child Therapy

Does Your Child Need Therapy?

Does Your Child Need Therapy?

Childhood is often thought of as a carefree exploration filled with fun, play, and love. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for all children.

Children are susceptible to the same emotional health issues and mood problems that affect adults. According to some studies, as many as one in five children and adolescents may have an identifiable mental disorder that requires treatment, while at least 1 in 10 have some serious emotional difficulties.

Many factors can contribute to children and adolescents having emotional issues, but it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault. Getting your child intervention and learning and employing some tools can help make a huge difference. Early intervention is key to most issues in children and adolescents.

Here are some warning signs that your child might need professional interventions:

• Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
• Constant anger and a tendency to overreact to situations
• Showing behavior issues at home or school
• Persistent worry, anxiety, or fearfulness
• A sudden, unexplained drop in grades at school
• A loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
• Changes in patterns of sleeping or eating
• Reclusiveness, preferring to be alone rather than in the company of friends or family
• Expressing thoughts of suicide
• An inability to sit still
• Performing routines obsessively throughout the day, such as washing hands or cleaning things
• Experiencing regular nightmares
• Taking part in violent acts such as setting fires or killing animals

If your child shows some or many of these signs, they should consider seeing a qualified therapist. Therapy for kids can be very beneficial, particularly if a problem is identified before it worsens. Prevention is always better than intervention!

If your child starts therapy with me as a new client, the first step is identifying the symptoms we need to work on. I often use a combination of the following approaches:

• Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In this therapeutic intervention, children are taught how their thoughts can affect their mood and behavior. Kids are shown how to identify negative or distorted thought patterns and learn how to change them. It’s great for kids to learn they are in control instead of their anger, anxiety, or mood. This type of therapy helps address anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues.

• Play therapy: Toys and fun are often used in any therapy. Different types of play help children (and sometimes adults) figure out feelings and express them in a safe and playful environment. Play therapy can help kids with trauma, relational difficulties, or social difficulties. Most of my patients want to stay in the room when the therapy session is over.

• Behavior therapy: Therapy focuses on behavior modification. It helps treat children who have ADHD, anger issues or are having trouble listening to adults at school or home. Behaviors are identified that need to be discouraged or encouraged, and then parents and therapist work together as a team to modify the environmental factors for desired or undesired behavior. If your rules for your child are not working, consulting a professional can be very helpful before things get worse. Please don’t wait until they are 16!

• Dog therapy: Animals can be very calming for all of us, especially children. Research has shown that dogs increase our happiness, decrease our anxiety and blood pressure, and promote trust and socializing. I’ve been using my emotional support dog, Mochi, in my office for adults and children. It’s been constructive in providing a safe environment.

Mochi is as cute as a button, and you will fall in love with her!

Learn about other services:

Adult Psychotherapy

Child Custody Mediation

Group Therapy

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