Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers of television fame) once stated, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Through play, children can learn to make friends, develop empathy and problem-solving skills, and to regulate their own emotions. That’s why many child therapists use play in the therapeutic process in order to help children overcome their psychological and behavioral obstacles.
Play therapy is one of the many ways that mental health professionals at Thriveworks in St. Louis, MO can reach children on their own developmental level. Every child is different and requires individualized treatment if they’re experiencing a mental health issue. Child and adolescent psychologists at Thriveworks have the training, expertise, and compassion to support children who need a little more scaffolding to achieve success, whether that be in school, at home, or in their social lives.
Is Child Therapy Effective?
There are a number of evidence-based child therapies that can be highly effective at treating diverse issues like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and depression. Early interventions that involve the primary caregivers work best.
It’s also important that the child and therapist are a good match. Mental health providers at Thriveworks in St. Louis, MO specialize in diverse types of therapy and perspectives in clinical child-adolescent psychology. Each course of treatment is tailored to the individual child, whether they’re one-year-old or on the cusp of adulthood. Therapy can address a wide range of feelings and behaviors, benefiting both the child and family as a whole. Thriveworks therapists can treat mental illnesses as well as neurodiversity, learning, and behavioral issues.
What Are the Symptoms of Mental Health Issues in Children and Adolescents?
Young children and older children can present with a number of symptoms when they’re struggling with mental health and behavioral issues.
- Appetite changes/weight loss or gain
- Sleep difficulties (nightmares, insomnia, bed-wetting)
- Violence or aggression
- Slipping grades
- Severe anxiety
- Alcohol or drug use
- Self-harming behaviors
- Trouble concentrating
- Expression of suicidal thoughts
- Repetitive behaviors
- Risky behaviors
- Body image issues
- Low energy
- Intense irritability
- Inexplicable stomach-aches or headaches
If you notice a drastic change in your child’s behavior, it may be time to consider an assessment at Thriveworks in St. Louis, MO. If your child is going through a difficult transition like a move, a parental divorce, or an adverse childhood event (ACE), it may also be a good time to consider whether your child may benefit from talking to someone who isn’t a family member. Sometimes it’s easier to open up to a nonjudgmental mental health professional.
What Are the Most Common Mental Health Issues in Children?
The most common mental health issues that present in children are the following:
- Behavioral problems
Adults can also experience these same difficulties, obviously, but working with children can be more challenging due to the fact that young brains are still developing. The child psychologists and other specialized child therapists at Thriveworks in St. Louis, MO have the experience and training to optimize a course of treatment for certain age groups and individuals.
How Do Child Therapists Treat Mental Health Issues?
Many child therapies overlap with adult therapies, but they must be tailored to a child’s level of cognition, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and more. Child therapies include the following:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Play therapy
- Art therapy and music therapy (which reach the child through self-expression)
- Child-parent relationship therapy
- Family therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Emotionally-focused therapy
- Child trauma therapy
A child therapist at Thriveworks in St. Louis, MO might also include a parent, caregiver, or family member in the therapy session, observing interactions and offering feedback and suggestions. These insights can be helpful for continuing the work of therapy at home.
Support Your Child with Licensed Therapy at Thriveworks in St. Louis, MO
When you call the Thriveworks office in St. Louis, MO, our staff can quickly match your child to a licensed therapist. Most new clients can meet with their provider within 24-48 hours of booking an appointment. Thriveworks members can also reach their providers by phone or email between sessions, which is helpful if parents are experiencing concerns or have questions.
Children rely on adults for guidance and care. Give them the best mental health support you can by calling Thriveworks today.