Much like adults, children sometimes have problems they can’t handle or cope with alone. These problems can then, in turn, affect how the child feels, acts, thinks, and learns. When a problem becomes too much for the child, and even parents, to manage, seeking a child therapist can greatly increase the chances of improvement and ability to overcome the issue.
The mental health of children and teens is extremely important. Their minds need nourishment and support, and sometimes it takes help from a professional therapist to identify where, how, and why problems preventing those exist.
At Cornerstone, our therapists and counselors work with children to help them better understand their feelings and emotions. Our professionals help them with their development, and work to identify the parts of their lives they may fear or question. We can also determine whether or not the behavior stems from a deeper condition, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders, depression, cognitive disorders, learning disorders, or behavioral disorders.
CHILD THERAPY AND COMMUNICATION
Communication is a large part of child therapy. When children find it difficult to communicate, they may shut down completely. Our goal is to offer a safe place where children feel the freedom to express their emotions, whether that be through games, drawings, or simply talking. Every child is different, but identifying the best form of communication for that child will help give them a voice during a difficult time in their lives.
In some cases, a child is able to communicate how they feel, but not understand the reason why they feel that way. Child therapy seeks to identify why a child may be acting out of frustration, anxiety, anger, sadness, confusion, or a variety of other strong emotions. Children are encouraged to explore what may have triggered these emotions, or other characteristics that go along with feeling that way, such as being tired or overwhelmed. A therapist can help a child better understand how they feel and handle why they feel that way.
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD SEEK THERAPY
Every child is different, and it isn’t always easy to tell when a child needs additional help and support. Behaviors like self-harm and alcohol or drug use may seem easier to recognize, but not every mental struggle openly presents itself. According to Thriveworks.com, certain life experiences or traumatic events tend to be common issues that arise in therapy sessions. Those common issues addressed in therapy are:
- Mental illness, such as depression or anxiety
- The death of a loved one and other difficult losses
- Abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, mental)
- Addiction in the family
- Parents’ divorce
- Behavioral issues
- Developmental delays
- Learning disorders
- Traumatic events
- Moving to a new town
A change in normal behavior can also be a sign that a child is secretly asking for help. Changes in personal interests, appetite, sleep patterns, energy levels, personal hygiene, grades, or social involvement may indicate that the child is struggling. If you notice a dramatic change in your child’s behavior, it could be time to seek professional help.
For younger children, disruptive behavior and developmental or learning delays could benefit from the help of a therapist. There is no minimum age for child therapy, and when talking through problems isn’t an option, children will be encouraged to participate in games or different types of play. No matter what age your child shows signs of mental or emotional struggle, child therapy is prepared to help.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT IN CHILD THERAPY
It is our responsibility to help children become the best that they can be. Because of this, we may question some of the behaviors they experience at home from parents, siblings, or relatives. We support parents through this process, but it is also likely that parents may be asked to make some changes. For a child to excel at their greatest potential, parental involvement is a necessity. Parents are and will be the most significant force in a child’s life.
HOW TO REACH OUT
If you want to learn more about our services or think your child could benefit from child therapy, reach out to us today.
We will work with you and your child to determine the best form of therapy to help them succeed. Our therapists and counselors are highly trained to listen and help children sort through emotions and challenges to live a happier, calmer, and more enriching life. We provide a safe, professional, and non-judgmental environment for both parents and children so you have peace-of-mind knowing your privacy is respected.
To set up or inquire about an appointment with one of our therapists or counselors, give us a call at (217) 222-8254 or schedule an appointment through our online form.