Children’s Therapy 101 – Everything Parents Need to Know Before their Child’s First Session
When children are referred to therapy, parents often find themselves worried, upset, and feeling a lot of guilt and self-doubt. These emotions are perfectly natural, so first and foremost, we want parents to know that everything will be okay. Children’s therapy is a helpful resource that can benefit young people as they process a difficult experience, manage big or challenging emotions, change unhelpful thinking patterns, adjust harmful behaviors, and tackle any number of other complicated situations that arise. Therapy can also help parents develop the strategies and skills necessary to meet the needs of a child who’s going through a difficult time. In this blog, we answer some of the common questions we hear from the parents of children who are referred to visit us at Lotus Psychology Group. Don’t forget to reach out if you have questions or want to learn more about what to expect from your child’s visit with our team.
Did I Do Something Wrong?
If you’re a loving, caring parent who is trying your best (and asking this question at all), you have almost certainly not done anything wrong. You’re doing your best for your child, and you love them. If they are struggling, that doesn’t mean you did something wrong or that you’re not a good parent. Like adults, some young people have a more difficult time managing their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Learning better ways of dealing with the challenges that life throws our way is all part of being human. In some cases, therapy uncovers that your child has some needs you can help meet in different ways. Again, this doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. It just means you didn’t have the right tools, but the power of therapy is helping you get the right set of tools to be an even better parent.
Why Was My Child Referred to a Therapist?
There are numerous reasons why a physician, school counselor, educator, or other professional may recommend a child visit with a therapist. The easiest answer is this – someone in your child’s life cares about them and wants to make sure they are safe, happy, and healthy. Our society stigmatizes seeking treatment for mental health needs, but for many children and adults, therapy is a useful tool to help them heal, grow, and lead their most fulfilling lives.
What Happens During Therapy Sessions?
Like therapy sessions with adults, we want to help your child engage with difficult emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. For adults, simply talking can be enough to start grappling with these things. For children, we may need to utilize other resources like games, artwork, music, or other forms of play and self-expression to help your child access big thoughts and emotions in a way that is safe and understandable for them. While children’s therapy sessions may look like fun, they can be tough work for kids. Don’t be surprised if your child leaves therapy sessions feeling especially tired.
Will You Keep Me in the Loop?
Like adults, children do have some level of confidentiality with their therapists. That means we may not tell you everything your child says to us during a session. However, parental involvement is essential. We want parents to be active participants in helping young people work toward achieving their desired change, so they can feel better. When we talk to you about your child’s therapy, we’re going to talk about their goals, strategies to achieve these goals, and the skills your child is learning during sessions. We hope parents will help our young clients to transition what they’re learning in therapy sessions into their daily lives.
How Does My Child Get Started?
At Lotus Psychology Group, we make it easy to get started working with one of our knowledgeable clinicians who have experience providing therapy for young people. Simply take a few moments to use our scheduling form or give our team a call to schedule your child’s first session. We’ll walk with you every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.