Child and Adolescent Therapy in Arlington, VA—Child Therapists, Counselors
How does a parent know when it is time to find therapy for their child? What should you know for each stage of development? Is there something your child is doing that is normal for that age, or is there something wrong?
Parents and caregivers are often confused about the behavior of their children—are the emotions just part of the stage they are going through, or is it something more that needs to be addressed by a therapist? While you do not want to make a big deal of something that is considered normal, you also do not want to wait in case it is something that can be helped now instead of later when it may erupt into something more serious.
If a child is experiencing emotional distress that is affecting daily functioning, causes them to be overwhelmed, or interferes with the achievement of developmental milestones for their age, it is wise to seek child and adolescent therapy. For instance, if the parents divorce, it is an emotionally upsetting experience for a child, and children react to it in a number of ways. If a child who usually maintains good grades is now failing in school, is afraid to sleep alone, or has a great amount of anxiety when separating from a parent, these are indicators that the normal functioning has been interrupted.
If you, as a parent or caregiver, a teacher, a coach or somebody who is close to the child observes an issue or concern that is hindering them in their everyday life, it is a good time to make an appointment with a therapist or counselor at Thriveworks in Arlington, VA. The child therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Arlington, VA are professionally licensed and have years of experience in the field.
Reasons to Seek Child and Adolescent Therapy/Counseling
If your child’s behavior is causing chronic trouble in school or seriously disrupting your family’s life, it is time to get help. Disruptive, explosive or dangerous behavior can be caused by anxiety, trauma, frustration, a possible undiagnosed learning problem or something else. Once you understand what is behind your child’s behavior, a therapist can work with the child in finding effective ways that will rein in the behavior. Additionally, if your child seems unusually anxious, sad or irritable for a long time and it interferes with doing things that are appropriate for kids the same age, it is important to seek help.
A child who is anxious or depressed is suffering and missing out on important parts of childhood. Getting help as soon as possible is important before they fall behind their peers in social and academic development. In addition, the longer your child lives with anxiety or other emotional issues, the more likely it is to shape their behavior in harmful ways. A young child who can’t sleep apart from the parents might become a school-age child who doesn’t participate in sleepovers with friends or enjoy the many activities that camp has to offer. A child who is excessively fearful can become an adolescent whose identity and social life are built around avoiding things that make them anxious.
Adolescence is an emotional time for most kids, and middle and high schoolers who have learning and attention issues may experience even more stress than their classmates. They may also be more likely to develop anxiety. The following are signs to watch for to know if your “tween” or teen is experiencing anxiety:
- Frequently complains of headaches or stomachaches with no medical reason.
- Refuses to eat in the school cafeteria or other public places.
- Suddenly changes eating habits.
- Refuses to use restrooms other than at home.
- Gets restless, fidgety, hyperactive or distracted, but doesn’t necessarily have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
- Shakes or sweats in intimidating situations.
- Tenses muscles constantly.
- Has difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- Cries often.
- Becomes cranky or angry for no reason.
- Is afraid to make even small mistakes.
- Has extreme text anxiety.
- Doubts skills and abilities even when there is no apparent reason for it.
- Can’t deal with criticism no matter how constructive it is.
- Has panic attacks—or is afraid of having them.
- Has excessive fears about natural disasters or has phobias, such as of bees, dogs, etc.
- Is afraid that people will find out about their learning and attention issues more so than other children with the same issues.
- Worries about things that are far in the future, such as a high school freshman worrying about getting college applications in.
- Has nightmares about losing a parent or somebody close.
- Has obsessive thoughts or worries about things that may cause them harm or other issues that are upsetting.
- Avoids participating in class activities.
- Remains silent or preoccupied when they are supposed to be working with others.
- Refuses to go to school.
- Avoids social events with friends after school and on weekends.
- Refuses to talk to peers or strangers in stores, restaurants, etc.
- Becomes emotional or angry when separated from parents or those who are close.
- Has explosive outbursts.
- Withdraws from activities that were once enjoyable.
- Seeks approval from parents, teachers and friends continually.
- Excessively washes hands, arranges things, taps or other compulsive behaviors.
Make an Appointment with a Child Therapist at Thriveworks Arlington, VA
The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Arlington, VA will work with your child to identify the issue that is holding them back from enjoying home life, school, and activities. These professionally licensed and credentialed therapists will work with your child on a range of issues, whether it is anxiety, grief from a death in the family or somebody close, a learning disorder that needs to be addressed, the effects of abuse and much more.
Therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Arlington, VA have an understanding of the physical, mental and behavioral development of children and adolescents and are knowledgeable in the issues they face. Schedule a session with Thriveworks Arlington, VA for child and adolescent therapy and counseling, where you won’t be placed on a waiting list. Appointments are available in 24 hours for most new clients.