Counseling for Children
Is this normal??? Is this just a phase? Does my child need help?
Children are a moving target; just when you think you’re in a groove, something changes and a new challenge presents.
These challenges could be:
Counseling can help meet the needs of children and families facing any of the above situations. My approach to working with children is characterized by flexibility, responding to the unique needs of the family and children. Some of the approaches I use are:
- Parent Consultation: Sometimes meeting with parents alone can resolve concerns. We view parents as the experts on their children. Especially with young children, parents are the ones implementing interventions on an ongoing basis so their support is critical to the success of child counseling. Sometimes challenges can be addressed by helping parents understand their child’s behavior in the context of child development and providing some tips and tricks that they can use at home. We strongly believe parents are the most important influence on their child, so our goal in therapy is to give parents the tools, confidence, and encouragement to meet their child’s needs.
- Play Therapy: Young children do not have the words to explain their emotions and experiences. Play is the language of the child. By entering into the child’s world through games, art, imaginative play, etc., we are able to help the child work through internal struggles.
- Family Therapy: Sometimes it is beneficial to incorporate all members of the family in sessions to gain a better understanding of the environmental factors impacting the child. Families often find that in getting help for their child, the entire family benefits from increased insight, improved communication, and healthier relationships.
- Art Therapy: Creative arts including drawing, painting, collage, coloring, and sculpting can be used with children as well as adolescents and adults to improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, anger and more. Trained art therapists help clients utilize creative techniques to express emotions and understand the messages, symbols, and metaphors underlying their creations.
- Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT): PCIT is an evidence-based treatment designed for children (ages 2 to 7) and their caregivers who are struggling with social, behavioral, and/or emotional challenges. Conducted through coaching sessions, PCIT is implemented in two phases, giving equal attention to the enhancement of the parent-child relationship and the development of caregivers’ behavior management skills.