I recently read the wonderful article on Psych Central about making the most of your child’s therapy how to make the most of therapy for your child and it led me to thinking about why one might seek out therapy for their child in the first place.
We think of children as naïve, innocent, and instinctively want to shelter them from the adult troubles and turmoil associated with a visit to a therapist office. Yet children face interpersonal difficulty, self-esteem, adjustment, and sometimes trauma. Children as young as 3 and 4 can have anxiety and depression. Children might have learning differences, or a developmental difficulty, with co-occurring social difficulties or mood disturbance. Therapy can help with all of these things.
Therapy for children can be provided in a group, family, or individual format. Depending on the presenting concern, a combination of these therapies might be most helpful. A social skills group might be best for kids with developmental or interpersonal difficulties, whereas individual therapy can be helpful for children in a short-term or longer term format. Family therapy is important to help support the positive changes a child or family unit is implementing.
It is hard to imagine a child engaging in the traditional talk therapy format. He or she probably does not easily sit down on a couch and talk about their thoughts and feelings in an articulate and insightful manner. A child therapist will probably incorporate active and play therapy techniques to engage with your child and help him or her learn the skills necessary to make the most from their therapy experience.