One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is guiding our children’s behavior in an effective and kind way. If your child is acting out at home, or if you hear that your child isn’t listening or is struggling academically at school, it can be difficult to understand why.
Children feel all of the same complicated emotions as adults. In addition to feeling joyful and excited, they also experience intense negative emotions such as fear, anger, jealousy, insecurity, and embarrassment. Young children are unable to express these feelings in words, and older children may not want to talk about their feelings because they are embarrassed or don’t know how to adequately name and describe their emotion. In these cases, children tend to express themselves with changed behavior: acting out, withdrawing from friends and family, or underperforming in school.
In some cases, children need support that is above and beyond what they can receive at home or at school. Therapy for children at Be Well Therapy Studio is evidence-based, effective, and involves both parents and children. In addition to receiving support for your child in therapy, you will learn strategies that are effective not only in managing your child’s behavior and emotions, but that allow for the protection and growth of the relationship between you and your child.
Why your child may need therapy
There are a range of issues and situations that can bring a child to therapy. If the family is dealing with a crisis such as illness, mental health diagnosis, or addiction, the child will feel acute stress and distress. Children can struggle to cope with stress and anxiety. They can have difficulty managing their emotions and as a result, act out with hostility or irritability. They may misbehave to communicate to the adults in their life that there is a problem.
Behavioral issues are often what brings a child to therapy. Sometimes teachers at school are the first to notice that something is wrong. Behavior therapy often will include both you and your child in order to help you develop behavior management strategies while building a better relationship with your child.
Other challenges that can bring children to therapy are a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), dealing with major transitions in the family, or adjusting to foster care or adoption.
What happens in therapy
Typically, therapy begins with a meeting with you, your child’s therapist, and your child. You will decide, together with your child’s therapist, if you will continue to participate in future sessions with your child, or if you will continue to get updates from the therapist after each session by phone or text. Every child and family is different and the approach we take to therapy is unique and based on your child’s needs.
Parents who wish to attend therapy sessions of young children are always welcome because the end goal is to help you learn strategies and develop a greater understanding of what is happening with your child. We want to enable you to help your child even when therapy is over. If you are not attending sessions, we will update you over the phone or text and let you know about any homework that is to be done with your child.
For younger children, therapy happens through play or the expressive arts because they are unable to verbalize their thoughts and feelings in the way that adults do. Structured play therapy allows us to help your child process their difficulties in an age-appropriate manner and develop coping skills to manage difficult emotions and behavior. For both younger and older children, the therapy style will be customized according to your child’s needs.
Call now to make an appointment for therapy for your child in Skokie or Tinley Park, or just fill out the contact form and click Send.