As children develop, so do some of their behaviors. Sometimes they’re just a phase, but other times professional help may be required, and it’s challenging for parents to know which is which.
At Life Counseling Institute, we encourage parents seek child therapy when the child is undergoing a major life transition or experiencing a major stressor, such as:
- A recent move or starting at a new school
- Parental divorce or separation
- Family fighting
- Addition of a new sibling
- Loss of a loved one
- Illness in self or family member
Counseling is also a good idea if the child:
- Seems sad or withdrawn
- Is oppositional or defiant
- Is highly anxious or engages in unusual repetitive behavior
- Is having difficulty in school or making friends
Although some transitions may be positive, such as the birth of a new sibling, they can shift the family dynamic and cause stress for your child. You may notice behavioral outbursts, difficulty in transitioning, difficulty following directions, and changes in eating and sleeping habits.
For younger children, we use play therapy, a theoretically based form of therapy that engages the child in activities to expand self-expression and awareness. Children don’t always have the capacity to verbalize what is stressful or anxiety producing for them. For this reason, therapists utilize play therapy, as it’s the natural language of the child, toys being their words.
The benefits of child therapy and play therapy can be observed not only in the child but often in the family as well. As the child becomes more self-aware and develops self-regulation skills, the entire family tends to communicate more effectively and stress is alleviated, even in times of difficulty.
If you have concerns about your child, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can help you determine if your child can benefit from counseling and help your family environment feel more relaxed and connected.
Click here to learn about our three session behavior management training for parents.