Parenting is one of the most rewarding–and hardest–jobs there is. There is no doubt about it; parenting can be stressful at times. With new parents, every sneeze and fever can make you wonder if your child should see a doctor as soon as possible. But, it is not only the medical problems that can plague toddlers, preschoolers, children, and adolescents. Many psychiatric disorders can develop in early childhood as well.
How do you know if your child needs to see a therapist? Do you listen to the advice of your aunt who raised a brood of kids? Do you take the quiz in the women’s magazine you saw at your doctor’s office to double-check if your child is developing normally? Or, is it best to trust your instincts—your “gut” feeling—when something about your child just does not seem to be right?
While it may be helpful to talk to other parents and family members about your child’s behavior or development, the person who knows your child best is you. If you have noticed things that seem unusual or feel that something is wrong, it should not be ignored. When children and adolescents show signs of a possible mental health issue, the sooner they have it diagnosed and treated, the better for the overall health of the child.
When you feel your child should talk to a therapist or a counselor about their behavior or another concern, the professionals at Thriveworks in Bristol, VA Child and Adolescent Therapy/Counseling have the knowledge about the many issues that affect children and adolescents. Whether the signs are extreme anxiety before tests in school, distress about parental conflict or being the victim of bullying, the therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Bristol, VA are professionally licensed and have years of experience in the field.
Child and Adolescent Therapy/Counseling for Traumatic Events in Life
Many issues bring children and adolescents to therapy, where they gain the knowledge about asking for help when they need it, learn how to express their feelings in healthy and positive ways and find tactics to solve problems they encounter. Some of the issues children experience are sleep problems, disruptive behavior in school, concentration, addiction to drugs and alcohol, difficulties with friends and more.
As a child grows into a teenager, where they are still a kid but on the verge of adulthood, they face many challenges. Teenagers have many emotions that are new to them and they are learning to deal with, but when the pressures become more than they can handle—obsession with grades, getting into college, gender identity and peer pressure—they may benefit from seeking the help of a therapist or counselor.
A traumatic event is a shocking, scary or dangerous experience that affects people emotionally. These events can be natural, such as a tornado or an earthquake. They can be caused by others individuals—car accidents, crime or a terror attack.
Researchers for the National Institute of Mental Health have explored the factors that help people cope with traumatic events, as well as those that increase their risk for problems that follow the event. Many individuals have intense responses immediately following—and very often for weeks or months after—a traumatic event. The responses can include:
- Feeling anxious, sad or angry
- Trouble concentrating and sleeping
- Continually thinking about what happened
Trauma and Emotions
The responses of feeling anxious, sad or angry, as well as difficulties concentrating and constantly thinking about the event, are normal and expected. They generally lessen with time for most people. But, in some cases, the stressful thoughts and feelings following a trauma continue for a long time and begin to interfere with daily life. It is important for people who continue to feel the effects of the trauma to seek the help of a therapist. Some of the signs that show your child may need help include:
- Worrying a lot or feeling very anxious, sad or fearful
- Crying often
- Having trouble thinking clearly
- Having frightening thoughts and reliving the experience
- Feeling angry
- Having nightmares or difficulty sleeping
- Avoiding places or people that bring back disturbing memories and responses
Trauma and Physical Responses
There are physical responses to trauma that may also indicate a child needs help. They include:
- Stomach pain and digestive issues
- Feeling tired
- Racing heart and sweating
- Being jumpy and easily startled
Trauma and Children with Existing Mental Health Problems
Children who already had mental health issues or who have had other traumatic experiences in the past and are faced with ongoing stress or lack support from friends and family members may develop stronger symptoms than those listed and need additional help. Some children and adolescents turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with the symptoms.
Child/Adolescent Therapy Techniques
At Thriveworks in Bristol, VA child and adolescent therapists and counselors work with the child to discover the area of concern, improve upon communication skills and help to pinpoint the strategies to help them contend with their surroundings—in their families, with their peers, in relationships with friends and the opposite sex, and in their lives.
There are many types of child and adolescent therapy/counseling techniques that work well for certain situations, and the counselors and therapists will find the most effective methods to use with the child and the family. Some children are at an age where they are not able to voice how they feel or find the right words for their emotions, while others have difficulties that hinder their communication skills. For those children and adolescents, there are many types of therapies used, including art therapy. Thriveworks in Bristol, VA uses some of the following techniques for child and adolescent therapy:
- Behavior modification techniques
- Play therapy
- Family therapy
- Cognitive and behavioral therapy
- Art therapy
- Narrative therapy
Professionally Licensed and Credentialed Child and Adolescent Therapists and Counselors at Thriveworks in Bristol, VA
The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Bristol, VA have professional licenses and credentials and ensure a positive environment for you and your children to express yourselves and discuss the situation you are facing. The therapists have the knowledge of working with children, adolescents, and their families.
Therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Bristol, VA have an understanding of the physical, mental, and behavioral development of children and adolescents and are experts in the specific issues they face. Call Thriveworks in Bristol, VA at (423) 822-5099 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.