Child Counseling: What it is and why your child may need it

What is Child Counseling?

This is a specialized area of psychology which is focused on working with children who have either experienced a traumatic event, have a mental illness, or those who are in difficult family situations. This type of therapy often deals with a lot of similar issues like the ones adults have such as grief, anxiety, or depression.

The big difference between this type of therapy and adult therapy is that it’s more focused on breaking down the problems that children are facing so that they can understand and make sense of them. Child therapists/counselors can offer parents valuable insights into the inner workings of their child’s mind that may not be visible to them.

Why Do Children Need Counseling?

The guidance of expert child therapists/counselors can is invaluable in illuminating the underlying problems your child may be experiencing when it comes to their emotional and mental health. The counselors can break down the complexities of any mental and emotional problems that the child may have and help them explore the causes of their issues in ways that they understand.

Parents may seek a child counselor’s services to determine a diagnosis of mental illness like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A physician may also seek the services of a child counselor for a mentally ill child as part of a treatment plan.

What Issues Are Addressed By Child Counseling?

The stress of a tragic or unsettling event in a child’s life such as physical or mental abuse, or the sudden loss of a parent can prove very difficult for them to understand. That’s when parents need the help of a skilled therapist to help their child through those extremely stressful situations. These are some of the more common issues that child counseling addresses:

  • Death of a parent or loved one and grief
  • Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event
  • Parents going through a painful divorce
  • Sexual, physical, or mental abuse
  • Bullying
  • Relocating cities or schools
  • Addiction or substance abuse in the family

Signs That Your Child May Need Counseling

If your child is exhibiting developmental problems or acting out in unusual ways then they will probably benefit from child counseling. This is especially true if there has been a significant event or trauma that affects their life like divorce or death.

A few of the more common signs that your child could be distressed and in need of counseling include incontinence, unwarranted aggression, sleep difficulties or frequent nightmares, grades dropping in school, and difficulty adjusting to social situations.

More serious indicators that your child may need therapy include self-harming (for example cutting), drug or alcohol use, increased complaints about their physical well-being despite doctor’s clean bill of health, social isolation and always wanting to be alone, and expressing thoughts of suicide.

The Goal of Child Counseling

The goal of child counseling is for child therapists/counselors to help your child address major issues in their lives including trauma, anxiety, grief, divorce, any significant change, developing their self-esteem as well as their self-confidence,

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