Children and teens face their fair share of obstacles. The good news is that there are therapists and counselors who specialize in helping young individuals overcome these obstacles and learn tools that will help them live better for years to come.
“Play therapy is based upon the fact that play is the child’s natural medium of self-expression. It is an opportunity which is given to the child to ‘play out’ his feelings and problems just as, in certain types of adult therapy, an individual ‘talks out’ his difficulties.” –Virginia Axline
There are many strategies used to help kids and teens in therapy; play therapy is just one. If you think that your child or teen could benefit from working with a professional, give Thriveworks Peachtree City a call. Our excellent counselors and psychologists are ready to step in and make a meaningful difference.
Mental Health Disorders in Children and Teens
Children experience a significant amount of growth and development during their youth and adolescent years. Child therapy focuses on the growth and changes occurring in your child and their effects on his/her mental health.
During periods of change, children and teens are just as susceptible as adults to develop a mental health concern. Stressors such as moving, school, family separation and relationships with their peers can all contribute to a child exhibiting the symptoms of an underlying problem. Some mental health disorders that are typically prevalent in youth are:
- Mood disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Eating disorders
- Autism spectrum disorders
It can be difficult for parents to identify if their child’s behavior is age and socially appropriate, or if there is a need to seek counseling. Knowing what things to watch for and seeking counseling once they have been detected can ensure that a child receives proper care as soon as possible. Though signs can be unique to each child, there are some overarching signs that young people in turmoil will exhibit. These may include:
- Loss of sleep or chronic tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Aggressive behavior
- Difficulty concentrating
- Intense mood changes
- Drastic and sustained changes to their behavior
If you have observed one or more of these symptoms in your child then it may be beneficial to seek the guidance of a child counselor. A qualified counselor can use the signs you have observed along with their expertise in the area as a guide to determining the underlying cause of the behavior.
How Can Therapy Help Kids and Teens?
Each individual’s journey in therapy depends on the challenges they face, their needs, and their goals. The therapists at Thriveworks Peachtree City will first get to know your child or teen and then design treatment to best help them. That being said, the following are often used in child therapy:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques: Therapists often use CBT to help kids and teens. The goal of this form of therapy is to help the client to understand and change negative thoughts. So, for example, if your teen feels like a failure after doing poorly on one test, their therapist would help them understand that it was but one test–it doesn’t reflect their overall performance at school or in life.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) techniques: DBT is another helpful approach to therapy in helping kids and teens. This form of therapy helps with emotional regulation. If your kid has trouble understanding or managing their emotions, DBT can prove effective.
- Play Therapy techniques: Play therapy uses imaginary situations to help kids process real experiences they can’t otherwise process. For example, play therapy can help a child to explore their emotions related to their parents’ divorce.
Schedule a Child Therapy Appointment at Thriveworks Peachtree City
Our office provides a controlled and safe environment for your child to express their feelings and learn tools to better cope with the stress and change in their life. A licensed and experienced counselor can help develop those skills to work through issues that are specific to your child and their experiences. Through counseling, children can develop resiliency skills that they can build on starting in their childhood and continuing throughout their whole life.
Please contact our Thriveworks Peachtree City office to set up an appointment with a counselor or psychologist to further discuss the signs and symptoms of a mental health illness. A trained professional would be happy to help.