Image of a therapist and client in a counseling session.

5,749 people sought child therapy help in Florida in the last year

Discover how starting child therapy can support your own journey toward a happier, more fulfilling life.

Karen Allen

Hear from Karen Allen, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

View Karen Allen's profile

What is your go-to approach for child therapy?

My go-to approach for helping kids in child therapy was to see the world and their experiences through their eyes as much as I possibly could. From there, I used a developmentally appropriate cognitive behavior therapy approaches, helping children learn skills for appropriately expressing their needs and getting their needs met. My therapeutic approach also involved keeping parent(s) in the loop on what skills were being developed so they can coach their child between appointments.

What tools do you teach in child therapy?

Children learn by modeling and by doing. Skills taught in therapy include the same cognitive behavioral therapy skills taught in adult therapy - but from a developmentally appropriate perspective. Children are taught:

  • Coping/soothing skills to help reduce stress and emotional flooding
  • Emotional regulation skills to help identify and manage emotions in constructive and appropriate ways, including frustration tolerance
  • Cognitive skills to identify and reframe negative/unhelpful thought patterns and self-talk
  • Assertiveness skills to help ask for and get needs met appropriately
  • Behavior management skills to help manage impulsivity and acting out
  • Parenting tips to help parents develop/strengthen a healthy relationship with their child and to support parents in their parenting roles

How do you know when a client is making meaningful progress in child therapy?

I know a child is making meaningful progress in child therapy based on the child's self-report of improvement, parental report of improvement at home, reports on satisfactory or better academic performance, and improved assessment scores as indicated.

What can clients do in their personal time to supplement child therapy?

Children can supplement their time in child therapy by practicing skills learned in therapy. In all likelihood, this will not occur without parental encouragement. Parents can actively practice and model skills for their child as one way to extend the therapeutic benefits of the session.

What should someone do to prepare for starting child therapy?

To prepare for their first child therapy session, a child can learn what to expect in therapy. Parents can check the local library for age appropriate books to help children adapt to the therapeutic experience. It is important for parents to normalize the counseling experience so their child is more likely to have a positive initial experience. Often children feel protective of their parents and are anxious talking about what is going on at home that may be causing them stress. In this case, parents can give their child permission to talk about their feelings, even their feelings about their parents, home, school, and friends. Parents also need to respect their child's confidentiality and not ask them what they talked about in therapy. Trust that the therapist will discuss with you any safety concerns. When I work with children, I support the authority of the parental role and work to improve the parent-child relationship as much as I can.

Starting Child therapy

What is child therapy?

Child therapy, also known as counseling for kids, helps young individuals better understand and manage the challenges that affect their mental health. Common challenges amongst kids include behavioral issues, trauma, bullying, depression, and anxiety. All ages of children can attend and benefit from child-therapy at Thriveworks Gainesville.

How does child therapy work?

Child therapy works by using multiple techniques, tailored to fit the child’s needs based on their age group, their challenges, and the severity of their challenges. It might involve play therapy for younger kids or cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, art therapy, and others for varying ages. In any case, Thriveworks child therapists in Gainesville, FL have the expertise and experience to help kids at their level.

Play therapy vs child therapy

Child therapy is a type of therapy meant for clients within a specific age group, while play therapy is an approach to therapy that helps children with self-expression and stress relief, among others. Play therapy is a technique that is often used in child therapy to help children express what’s running through their minds when they do not have the words to express their thoughts and emotions. It can get children to express what’s wrong, what might be causing unwanted behaviors or what they might need, in a way that is accessible to them so that therapists can then work to treat the issue.

How to tell if my child needs counseling

It’s not always obvious when a child should see a therapist for their behavior, though in the midst of challenges like divorce, loss, bullying, and other mental health conditions, it’s often a good idea to seek it out. Common behaviors that can indicate a need for child therapy include separation anxiety, bedwetting (at inappropriate ages), and agitation/excessive irritability — especially if it reaches a point of physical violence.

What type of therapy is best for children?

Cognitive behavioral therapy at Thriveworks in Gainesville, FL is one of the best types of therapy for children. However, it can be administered in child therapy sessions in a variety of ways that are more accessible to young minds, such as play therapy.

Is child therapy conducted in person or online?

Child therapy at Thriveworks is conducted both in person and online by video. We encourage you to choose the option that works best for you.

How long does child therapy last?

The length of child therapy depends on your child’s needs as well as the goals that you and their therapist might have for them. Generally, child therapy sessions will last for several months.

How much does child therapy cost?

At Thriveworks, we take most major forms of insurance, which means that many of our clients only pay a $0-$50 co-pay per session. However, there are also self-pay options that sit around $200 per session, depending on the service and location, for those who are out-of-network.

Pricing & insurance

Our therapists accept most major insurances. We accept 585+ insurance plans, and offer self-pay options, too.
Learn more about pricing for therapy and counseling services at Thriveworks.

Our Gainesville therapists and counselors accept 21 insurance plans

  • Aetna

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield | Anthem (Blue Card)

  • Carelon

  • Cigna | Evernorth

  • Cigna | Evernorth EAP

  • Cigna | Evernorth Medicare Advantage

  • Compsych

  • First Health Network

  • Florida Blue | BCBS | Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Humana Exchange

  • Humana HMO/POS

  • Humana PPO | EPO | HDHP

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Self-pay costs at Gainesville
Talk therapy

Talk therapy

Includes individual, couples, child/ teen, & family therapy

First session


Ongoing sessions


Talk therapy


Includes reducing symptoms with medication & management

First session


Ongoing sessions


Hear from our clients

5.0 Learn about verified reviews
I cannot sing the praises of Thriveworks any louder; I have three professionals guiding me through a really rough time in my life. I didn't know how much I "needed" therapy until they started helping me see myself an my situations in an honest light. I look forward to continued growth with the support and guidance of my amazing team.
Read more I cannot sing the praises of Thriveworks any louder; I have three professionals guiding me through a really rough time in my life. I didn't know how much I "needed" therapy until they started helping me see myself an my situations in an honest light. I look forward to continued growth with the support and guidance of my amazing team.
Robin Feb 2024 verified review

Where to find us

Getting here

Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Gainesville is at the corner of NW 39th Avenue and NW 43rd Street. We are across the street from Truist, and share an office building with Swift Creek Realty.

Phone number

(352) 469-4507

Languages spoken by FL providers

  • English
Sunday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Monday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 9:00pm

Shown in ET

Sunday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Monday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Tuesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Wednesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Thursday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Friday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Saturday 7:00am - 6:00pm

Shown in ET

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