Realizing your child could benefit from psychotherapy is often a gradual process. It can involve feedback from teachers and school administrators, or sometimes from family and friends. Alternatively, a parent may observe his or her own child, and slowly awaken to the idea that his or her child needs support. This realization can be painful, but it can also be of great relief—to believe that change and growth may be possible with the help of a professional. Once this realization sinks in, it can be difficult to take the next steps—finding a therapeutic match for your child—a most precious person in your life, and setting up a first appointment.
At the Counseling Center, parents are invited in to discuss any concerns they may have about a child, or about the dynamics at home. Sometimes all that is needed is parent guidance—a process whereby mothers and fathers are offered ideas and strategies to address problems in the home, or in the child’s life. This is especially useful for parents with infants and toddlers, where there may be temporary but difficult roadblocks, and changing one’s approach can be quite helpful. For children and teens who struggle with anxiety, depression, social difficulties, learning disorders, or adjustment issues or when faced with serious stressors such as divorce and loss, then individual therapy can be highly effective. Psychotherapy assists the child or teen in recognizing who he or she is as a person and how to effectively communicate his or her needs and advocate for oneself at home and in school. Play therapy is utilized with younger children, as this medium allows their feelings to be expressed through the language of play.
Family or dyadic treatment can be a very useful approach to problems that mostly exist in the home. Family therapy incorporates the whole family, or a subset of the family unit. Dyadic treatment involves working in pairs. This approach can be particularly useful with teens, so that they might express delicate feelings to one parent with a trained professional present, which allows for safe and supportive communication.
Child and Family therapy can offer great relief, and can give direction to families when they feel unmoored, and are searching for constructive solutions. Even small issues can blossom into large ones in the life of a family, and thinking these problems through with a professional could be just what is needed.
READY TO START? Call the Counseling Center to arrange an appointment at (914) 793-3388.