Children and adolescents, or teens, build social skills and emotional intelligence as they grow. These things often lead to healthy, happy lives. But some kids have emotions or behave in ways that disrupt their well-being.
Learning about children’s mental health issues can increase your knowledge of how to help. Certain skills can teach you to interact more effectively with your child. Seeing a therapist can teach you these skills. A therapist or counselor may also benefit children or teens. Therapy can be a safe space for kids to process thoughts and emotions.
What Problems Do Therapists Help With?
Therapists are trained to help with all kinds of problems. For example, they help kids and teens going through tough times like:
- family problems
- school problems
- health problems
They can 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
- trauma-related disorders
Why Do Kids and Teens Need Therapy?
Kids and teens need therapy when they have problems they can’t cope with alone. Or they need help when problems affect how well they do, feel, or act. If things don’t get better on their own, kids may need therapy so things can improve. Sometimes, entire families need support while trying to communicate, learn, and create boundaries.
How Does Therapy Work?
In therapy, kids learn by doing. With younger kids, this means working with the whole family, drawing, playing, and talking. For older kids and teens, therapists share activities and ideas that focus on learning the skills they need. They talk through feelings and solve problems.
Therapists give praise and support as kids learn. They help kids believe in themselves and find their strengths. Therapy builds helpful thinking patterns and healthy behavioral habits.
A therapist might meet with the child and parent together or meet with the child alone. It depends on the child’s age. A therapist might also meet with a parent to give tips and ideas for how to help their child at home.
What Happens in Therapy?
At first, the therapist will meet with you and your child to talk. They will ask questions and listen. This helps them learn more about your child and about the problem. The therapist will tell you how they can help.
After that, your child will go to more therapy visits. At these visits, your child might:
Talk. Talking is a healthy way to express feelings. When kids put feelings into words instead of actions, they can act their best. When someone listens and knows how they feel, kids are more ready to learn.
Do activities. Therapists use activities to teach about feelings and coping skills. They may have kids draw or play as a way to learn. They may teach mindfulness and calm breathing as a way to lower stress.
Practice new skills. Therapists help kids practice what they learn. They might play games where kids need to wait their turn, use self-control, be patient, follow directions, listen, share, try again, or deal with losing.
Solve problems. With older kids and teens, therapists ask how problems affect them at home, at school. They talk over how to solve these problems.
How Can Parents Help?
You can do things to help your child get the most from therapy. Here are some of them:
- Find a therapist you and your child feel comfortable with. Your child’s health care team can help you find someone.
- Take your child to all the appointments. This change takes time. It takes many therapy visits for your child to learn new skills and keep them up.
- Meet with your child’s therapist. Ask what to do when your child shows problems at home. Ask how to help your child do well.
- Spend time with your child. Play, cook, read, or laugh together. Do this daily, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
- Parent with patience and warmth. Use affectionate words, even when you need to correct your child. Show love. Give praise when your child is doing well or trying hard.
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 being 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