All of our offices including Lexington, Richmond, and Frankfort KY offer counseling and therapy for children and adolescents. Our clinicians utilize play therapy, PCIT-Parent Child Interaction Training and a variety of cognitive, behavioral and family therapy and systems approaches. Children and adolescents require specialized training and a high level of experience and expertise. Trust the mental health of your child to someone who meets these criteria. Child psychology is something we can help with.
Why does my child need child counseling?
There are many reasons why kids might need counseling. Just like adults, they can have a multitude of issues that can be resolved with the assistance of a counselor.
Your child might need to see a counselor if they are currently experiencing any of the following:
- Stress with school, including text anxiety, bullying, or trouble fitting in
- Family issues, such a death of a family member or divorce
- Abuse, trauma, neglect, or dealing with illness of a family member
- Move, change of schools, or start of middle school, high school, or other change in school
There are many signs to tell if you child might need child counseling:
- Developmental delays including speech or language problems or toilet training issues
- Attention problems (ADHD, ADD)
- Difficulty learning
- Behavioral problems including acting out, anger, violence or frustration, vandalism, theft
- Inappropriate sexual behavior or teen pregnancy
- Eating disorders
- Significant change in school performance or drop in grades
- Depression or hopelessness
- Withdrawing from friends or other social situations
- Bullying (as the victim or the perpetrator)
- Lessened interest in activities
- Sudden changes in appetite
- Inability to sleep or stay awake
- Absences from school
- Mood swings
- Signs of drug or alcohol use
- Development of physical complaints, such as headache, stomachache, other aches and pains
Warning Signs that your Child might need Counseling
In 1999, the Surgeon General reported 20% of children between the ages of 9 and 17 have psychiatric disorders. Even if you do not see all of the symptoms, one or two might be enough to seek child counseling. At any given time, your child will experience one or two of these on the list. That is the nature of childhood and the process of growing up. However, if you see that these symptoms are becoming worse, negatively impacting their lives, or are becoming uncontrollable, you should seek assistance from a qualified child counselor.
Leaving your child’s problems unresolved could lead to much more damage, and it is sometimes irreversible. Seeking attention at the onset is important for the well-being of your child and the success of your family. Unresolved issues can stunt developmental or cause trauma for your child.
Types of Child Counseling
There are different types of child counseling that might be appropriate for your child.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of counseling that assists with depression, anxiety, and stress. CBT is used to break down negative thought patterns and replace them with positive thoughts. This is done by bringing attention to the negative thoughts, performing exercises to restructure the thoughts, practicing coping and relaxation skills, and stress management.
Psychoanalytic Therapy is also a possibility for your child. Psychoanalytic Therapy is usually not used on young children, but can be appropriate for teenagers. Psychoanalytic Therapy is, more or less, the commonly recognized “talk therapy” that will allow the child counselor to analyze the situation and provide suggestions to change the child’s situation.
Individual child counseling is simply a counseling situation in which the child and counselor are one-on-one. This allows the opportunity for the child to be honest with the counselor, forms a stronger foundation of trust, and allows the child to be open without fearing judgment from parents or siblings.
Group counseling is another option, and might be more appropriate for children who are uncomfortable in a one-on-one situation. Group counseling usually involves meeting with other children who are around the same age as your child, and are addressing similar problems. Together, and with the assistance of a child counselor, they will discuss their problems, problem solve and attempt to resolve their issues, and build social skills, anger management techniques, and stress relief methods in order to alleviate their pressing psychological issue.
Family counseling is another form of commonly used counseling when working with children. Often, the child’s problem is not isolated just to the child; instead, other members of the family are either contributing to the problem, or being affected by the problem. Family counseling usually involves a mixture of counseling sessions, including some sessions with the child alone and other sessions with some or all of the family. The primary goal of family counseling is to alleviate tension and build effective communication techniques in order to solve problems as a family unit.
Play Therapy is a common technique used when working with young children who are either unable to communicate their feelings effectively or just uncomfortable doing so. Play Therapy is a type of child counseling in which the counselor will deviate from the typical “talk therapy” and instead encourage your young child to communicate through games, toys, dolls, or art projects. Using play therapy with young children allows the child counselor to build trust and rapport with your child, ease into difficult topics and conversations by distracting the child from the emotional pain or distress of discussing the difficult situation, and will allow the counselor to analyze your child’s behaviors in a natural setting.
Benefits of Child Counseling
See how play therapy works (video).
Other types of child counseling exist, and will be recommended depending on your child’s specific situation. These include, but are not limited to:
- Comprehensive Assessment and Individualized Treatment Planning
- Specialized Treatment for Sexual Victimization
- Teen Suicide Prevention Treatment
- Educational Presentations
- Psychological Consultation
What is Child Counseling?
Child counseling is just one fish in the counseling pond, but it incorporates many different techniques, including family counseling, group counseling, CBT, and more, in order to effectively help your child achieve his or her highest potential and well-being.
Generally, counseling is a mental health discipline in which people can seek assistance in dealing with particularly difficult or stressful times in their lives, from job loss, to death, to divorce, to substance abuse issues, to job or education problems, and more. Child counseling is of the same idea, but is focused on the specific problems of children, ranging from young toddlers and children to teenagers.
Knowledgeable child counselors are prepared to break down barriers, analyze the child’s current situation and stressors, and determine an appropriate and real-world solution for either the child or the entire family to implement in order to alleviate the problem and improve the well-being of the family unit.
Tips for Child Counseling
Child counseling can help children get in touch with their feelings, open up about their problems, and attempt to resolve their problems in order to improve their well-being. Mental illness or behavioral problems can be very detrimental to the child as well as the entire family, and repairing the family relationships can be done through assistance of family counseling in addition to child individual counseling.
Call today! 859-338-0466 or contact us now!
Our practice offers many different types of counseling, including child counseling, and we can help you decide what is best for your child and family today. View the Counseling Process section of our website for more information on getting started today.
We have multiple locations and flexible scheduling in order to accommodate you. Our well-trained staff can assist you with scheduling, and help you feel comfortable starting your journey with us.
Help us help you. We want to alleviate your child’s pain and return your family to its functioning state. Set up an appointment today.