Childhood is often depicted as a period of carefree fun. In reality, childhood and adolescence are often filled with challenges that kids and teens aren’t sure how to handle. Do your best to think back to these years: a time when we’re still learning the necessary tools to understand our emotions, manage stress, and communicate well with others. It proves difficult for kids and teens to navigate the challenges that arise as they grow and develop.
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
–L. R. Knost
The good news is that there is professional help for children and adolescents. A child therapist’s job is to work with these young individuals to understand and address the problems they are experiencing as well as equip them with effective tools for managing problems they may face in the future.
If your child or teen is struggling—if they’re reluctant to go to school and you don’t know why, they are showing signs of a mental illness; if they’re grieving the loss of a loved one; or they’re struggling with something else entirely—a child therapist or psychologist at Thriveworks Alexandria can help. These providers are skilled, caring, and experienced. And they want to make a difference in your child’s life.
When Can a Child Benefit from Therapy?
You might be hesitant to say that your child needs therapy. Rather than deciding if your child needs therapy, think about whether or not your child could benefitfrom therapy. Many children and teens could benefit from therapy, from those with a mental illness like depression or ADHD to those who are having trouble adjusting to life in a new town and at a new school. Remember, the end goal of therapy is for the client to be happier, healthier. Here’s a more comprehensive list of children who might find value in working with a therapist (starting with those we’ve already covered):
- They are reluctant to go to school and you don’t know why
- They’re grieving the loss of a loved one
- They’re showing signs of a mental illness
- They are having trouble adjusting to life in a new town
- They are getting bullied at school
- They’re having trouble making friends
- They are engaging in rebellious behavior
- They have been exposed to a traumatic event
This list does not include every single child or teen who might benefit from therapy. In fact, we believe that all young individuals could benefit in some way from working with a counselor! If you are interested in child therapy and want to book an appointment or hear more about our services, call Thriveworks Alexandria.
How Does Therapy Help Kids?
As with therapy for adults, child therapy can vary between one client and the next. A counselor at Thriveworks Alexandria will first work to understand the child and then develop an individualized plan for helping them find success in therapy. Therapy might involve the following:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):This is a common therapy technique used in therapy, including child therapy. The goal of this approach is to help individuals identify negative thinking patterns and correct them. So, for example, if a teen says, “I got a C on my biology test, I’m obviously stupid,” a therapist might use CBT to bring them back to reality.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT focuses on four main skills, including emotional regulation. It is useful when it comes to enhancing coping skills for children and teens who have trouble controlling their emotions and coping with stress.
- Play Therapy: Play therapy uses different play and art therapy techniques to help children process their emotions and address personal issues. It allows children to process experiences through make-believe when they aren’t able to do so in real life.
These are just a few techniques used in child therapy. Again, each child’s experience in therapy is dependent on the problems they present and other individual factors.
Work with a Child Therapist or Psychologist at Thriveworks Alexandria
Do you think your child could benefit from working with a therapist? Call Thriveworks Alexandria to schedule an appointment. Our therapists and counselors are dedicated to helping their clients live happier, healthier, more successful lives. They can’t wait to make a difference in your child or teen’s life. Call today and a scheduling specialist will get you set up with one of our providers.