We have an amazing team of child therapists who have experience working with kids of all ages. They can work with small children, even helping parents and babies with their initial bond and attachment, all the way through the teen and young adult years. (You can read more about their experience and training in different types of therapy for children at the bottom of this page.)
When does a child need therapy?
An indicator that you may want to consider therapy for your child is if a child’s emotional state or behavior interferes with their ability to manage their daily life. Children have a small repertoire of coping strategies and may need an adult help to find solutions to manage emotions and behaviors. There are often times when parents do not know what to do for their child, but it’s OK because there are professionals who can help!
Some issues you might seek help for your child include:
- Frequent tantrums
- Aggressive or angry behaviors
- Difficulty calming down or being soothed
- Having many worries or stressors, or seeming easily startled or distressed
- Getting in trouble frequently at home, school, daycare, or other situations
- Difficulty making or keeping friendships
- Difficulty or regression with potty training after the expected developmental stage (suddenly having accidents etc.)
- Unusual changes, such as in mood, sleep patterns, appetite, behavior
- Repetitive, impulsive, or compulsive behaviors
- Difficulty with transitions, hard to change from one task or situation to the next without distress
- Coping with changes in life situations, such as adding a sibling, parents divorcing, blended families, grief and loss
- Any signs of anxiety or depression, just remember that anxiety and depression in children do not look the same as in adults. Many of the items listed above could be signs of these.
What does therapy look like at different ages?
- Under three years: Children under three years need to use their parents as a safe base. Therapy can help the parent and child gain a harmonious rhythm in their relationship.
- Preschool and elementary school children: Children at this age find comfort in expressing feelings and experiences through play. In play therapy, the metaphor gives the child a feeling of safety to express themselves. Children are not able to change their story but they can change how they view themselves within the story.
- Teens: Teens are able to express themselves verbally and need a safe person with whom they can share their concerns. They can then use this relationship to gain skills and perspective while making meaning of their experiences. You can read more about counseling for teens on our Teen and Family Therapy page.
How will therapy help my child?
- Improve parent and child relationships
- Increase positive behaviors at home and school
- Strengthen social skills and self-esteem
- Develop self-control and manage anger
- Succeed in school
- Decrease conflict with family members, teachers and peers
- Heal from traumatic effects of abuse
- Recover from emotional distress
- Decrease anxiety and calm their nervous system so they can learn better, explore the world, and enjoy childhood
What is my role as the caregiver in my child’s therapy?
Just like parenting the caregiver will be essential in the early years and less involved during the teenage years. The parent is always an important part of the therapeutic process. They will be invited to be a part of the therapy sessions when it seems to be most beneficial for the child or therapy. Parents will also often have some brief time to speak privately with the therapist at each session to discuss progress, goals, and ideas for home, etc. Parents are always welcome to make sessions for themselves individually or as a couple with a therapist as well.
Types of Child Therapy:
Our child therapists have extensive training and experience to provide the best care for your child and family.
They are trained in Play Therapy which is helpful for kids in general as children process emotions and life through play.
They have also been trained in Child-Parent Psychotherapy which can help with the attachment bond between parent and child which stabilizes children and gives them security, therefore decreasing anxiety and problem behaviors. It also helps parents gain skills and confidence in parenting their children.
Somatic Experiential Play Therapy is also a part of the incredible training this team has. This type of therapy helps children especially with difficult situations and traumas they may have experienced, even ones they don’t remember including birth trauma.