Children just like adults experience difficult life events such as trauma, parental divorce, loss and grief, and abuse and just like adults experience feelings of anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and low self esteem. Often times children have a different way of expressing their emotions which may be exhibited through behavioral problems, changes in sleep and appetite, academic changes, and social interaction. Children often times do not have the words to express themselves and that is when therapy comes into play. Therapy can provide children with a safe environment and the means to learn about their feelings and how they impact their behaviors. Children sometimes need to make meaning out of why they are doing what they are doing. By making meaning out of their actions and learning the skills to verbalize their feelings, children are able to better modulate their emotions as well as their actions. In turn, children are able to better relate and communicate with their parents and caregivers.
Depending on your child's specific needs, I utilize an integrated framework to better assist your child in developing healthier coping skills. I often utilize play therapy such as projective play therapy to assist children in order to resolve their underlying problems. Children who have experienced trauma such as witnessing or being abused, and have the vocabulary to express themselves, often benefit from trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
Being aware of changes in your child's affect and behaviors is vital and as a parent making the choice to bring your child to therapy is commendable. You are your child's greatest advocate and in turn their means to a healthier emotional and social well being.