When to Know If Your Child or Adolescent Needs Therapy?
When a child and/or adolescent is having difficulty managing emotions and life stressors, oftentimes it will show itself in their behavior. Do they often have outbursts or rapid mood change? Do they have trouble in school? Are they often oppositional and defiant? Your child may also isolate and withdraw. A good indicator it is time to seek help for you and your child is when your child’s behavior is impacting their school environment or disrupting family life.
What Does Therapy Look Like For a Child or Adolescent?
It is important to understand what your child’s behavior is trying to communicate to you. During the therapeutic process, the therapist will help you and your child understand the need behind the behavior. Oftentimes, the behavior is an ineffective way for a child to get his or her needs met by adults. There are a variety of tools to help teach children and parents effective ways to express needs, emotions, and manage behavior.
Play therapy provides children with a way to express and communicate feelings, experiences, thoughts, and concerns. Children have trouble expressing their feelings through words because it is a developmental skill that has to be developed and strengthened over time. Play comes naturally to children and is important for development, learning, and cultivating relationships; these are important skills to have throughout the life span.
Play Therapy Can Help Children & Adolescents
- Become more self-aware
- Regulate emotions
- Reduce anxieties
- Promote creative thinking and problem-solving
- Encourage effective communication of needs
- Feel more confident
- Learn new skills
- Play out difficult feelings or stressful experiences for better self-regulation
- Safely express tough feeling to gain a sense of relief
Play therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of social, emotional and behavioral concerns including stressful and traumatic experiences.
Play Therapy Can Help Your Child or Adolescent With:
- Aggressive and Challenging Behaviors
- Anger Management
- Attachment Concerns
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Bed Wetting/Toileting Concerns
- Bullying/Peer Relationships
- Challenges with School and Academic Motivation (Including School Refusal)
- Chronic Illness/Hospitalization of a Child or Family Member
- Divorce, Separation and Family Concerns
- Grief and Loss
- Life Transitions- A Move, Blended Family or Sibling Birth
- Low Frustration Tolerance
- Low Self-Esteem
- Social skills
What Does Therapy Look Like?
Oftentimes, adolescents are big kids at heart, and over time, they get comfortable with the idea of play! Based on the developmental age, needs, and preferences of your child, the therapist will use a variety of tools to help your teen. In addition, most adult therapies like Brainspotting, EMDR, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy can be tailored to meet the developmental needs of your teen.
Check our Groups page to see if we have a current Support Group available!