Therapy for Children
Is your child struggling?
Having meltdowns several times week or even daily?
Acting oppositional and defiant?
Maybe your child just sees "sad or upset?"
Is your child refusing to go to day care or school?
Has your child seen or experienced something that was
scary or upsetting?
Are you, as the parent overwhelmed, exhausted and at your wit's end?
It may be time to get your child in therapy.
The First Step is Assessment
The first session is assessing the reason for therapy, exploring what is going on and identifying goal for therapy. Together therapist, parent and child will create a treatment plan.
Therapist will meet with the child and depending on age parents on a regular basis.* Ideally, the first month to six weeks sessions occur weekly to build a trusting and safe relationship with the child. Depending on progress sessions may decrease to bi-weekly, monthly and finally discharge.
*For both Child Parent Psychotherapy and TF-CBT, therapy is weekly and requires parent involvement at each session.
Structure of Sessions
Children's first language is play and with that in mind children 6 and therapist will utilize play therapy techniques...it is how young children learn, communicate and explore their world. Yes, this can be done both in person and virtually!
Older children that meet with the therapist, may share "all we did was play uno" or "I just painted." Rest assured parents, more is taking place than they realize.
Young children experience their world through the attachment of their caregivers. Therefore, for children under the age of 12 parents should be prepared to be highly involved. Participating in assessments, being present in family sessions, engaging in parent only sessions and assisting with activities and practicing skills outside of sessions.
A lot of the success of therapy is in the relationship between the therapist and client. This is no different when working with children. The therapist will invest significant time and interest in building trust and safety in their relationship with both the children and parents.
Discharging from therapy is a cause for CELEBRATION!!!
This is especially true with children. Discharge is planned in advance with lots of discussion, counting down and of course a celebration of sorts during the final session.