As they grow, children and adolescents learn how to interact with others and to understand their emotions. When these things are taught effectively, they often have a positive impact on their lives. However, some emotions or behaviors can lead to bigger problems with a child’s overall well-being.
Roughly 1 in 5 children deals with a mental disorder. Understanding a child’s mental health issues can help you know how to help. Some skills can allow you to interact more effectively with your child. Having sessions with a therapist can help you learn these necessary skills. A therapist or counselor can also benefit your child or teen. Therapy can be a safe space for kids to process thoughts and emotions.
What Problems Can Therapists Help With?
Therapists are trained to help with all sorts of problems and situations such as:
- Family problems
- Issues at school
- Health problems
They can also help with feelings like:
- Stress and worry
- Low self-esteem
They can also help kids and teens with conditions like:
- OCD and anxiety
- Eating disorders
- Disruptive behavior disorders
Why Do Kids and Teens Need Therapy?
Kids and teens need therapy if they’re struggling with issues they can’t cope with alone. They might also need help if their struggles are interfering with behavior. If things don’t get better without help, kids may need therapy to improve. Sometimes, the entire family can benefit from therapy sessions. These sessions can help them learn to communicate and learn more about each other.
How Does Therapy Work?
In therapy, kids learn by experience. Younger kids work with the entire family, playing, creating, and talking. For older kids, therapists share exercises that focus on learning the specific skills needed. They talk about feelings and how to solve problems.
Therapists give positive affirmations and support kids as they learn these skills. They help build self-confidence and determine their strengths. Therapy sessions can build healthy habits and patterns of thinking.
A therapist might meet with the child and family or meet with the child one on one. It all depends on the child’s age and maturity. A therapist might also meet with a parent alone in order to give tips for how to help their child outside of therapy sessions.
What Happens in Therapy?
Initially, the therapist will meet with you and your child to talk and get to know you. They will ask questions and listen to your responses. This helps them learn about your child, the family, and what the problem is. The therapist will then tell you how they believe they can help.
After that, your child continues to go to additional therapy sessions. During these visits, your child may:
Talk: Talking about problems is a healthy way to work through them. When your child talks about their feelings instead of reacting to them, they are able to respond in a more appropriate manner. When a therapist listens to a child to understand how they feel, kids are more open to learning from them.
Do exercises: Therapists use exercises in order to teach about emotions and how to cope with them. They might have a child draw or play. They may teach stress-reducing techniques and breathing exercises that calm breathing as a way to release tension.
Practice new skills being taught: Therapists help kids practice what they are trying to teach. They might play games where a child will have to listen, share, be patient, or think before they act.
Solve problems: A therapist might ask an older child about problems they are facing and talk through possible solutions together.
How Can Parents Help?
You can participate in your child’s therapy at home. Some things you can do are:
- Find a therapist or counselor both you and your child are comfortable with. Your child’s pediatrician or family doctor can help you with this.
- Be sure your child attends all appointments. Positive changes do not happen overnight and it may take multiple sessions to help your child start practicing what they are being taught.
- Meet with your child’s therapist personally and talk about their treatment plan. Ask what to do when your child exhibits negative behaviors at home. Ask how to help your child and what else you can do to help.
- Spend time with your child. Talk with them and ask them if they need help with anything. This could help you assess why they are drinking or using. Do something they enjoy, be it playing, listening to music, or just laughing. Practice patience with your child and give them the time they need. Use loving words for feedback, even when you need to correct your child or their behavior. Praise your child when they are doing well or trying hard. Show love.
Bricolage Behavioral Health is Here for the Teens of Flower Mound, Texas
The staff here at Bricolage Behavioral Health does not want teen mental health to continue to be swept under the rug.
We believe the whole family gets stronger when their kids and adolescents have the best tools to live both functionally and happily, and we have unique assessment methods and counseling plans to make it happen for each individual family we work with.
Offering Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient Care (which can work around your son or daughter’s school schedule), and aftercare plans, we want to bring out the inner resilience in your children and help your whole family.
Located on Long Prairie Road, near Firewheel Drive and the Montessori Rainbow School, and close to one of Flower Mound’s large residential areas, we are convenient to reach out to.
So, don’t wait for your kids to spiral out of control. Talk to them. And then talk to us.
Call Bricolage Behavioral Health for a Mental Health Assessment for Your Child or Teen Today: 469-968-5700