Child Therapy

Children and adolescents have similar mental health challenges to adults, but working with them requires a significantly different approach for two main reasons. The first reason is that children don’t have the same level of emotional vocabulary as adults. This means they often struggle to express their thoughts and emotions verbally. This is why therapy for children and adolescents often includes creative modalities like art, music and play.
The second reason for the different approach to therapy for children is that it almost always involves their family or parents in some capacity. In order for child therapy to be effective, the progress during therapy sessions needs to be repeated at the child’s home. This is why child therapy usually includes some element of parenting support as well.

How Child Therapy Addresses Issues Facing Children Today

Today’s kids have a number of unique challenges. They may have similar mental health issues as adults, including the following:
However, children today are increasingly active on social media, which can be a great place to connect, but it can also cause a number of social problems. Therapy for children and adolescents can address these issues and help kids understand how to use social media in a healthy way.

What Is Child Therapy?

As previously mentioned, kids have unique needs when it comes to therapy. Each age stage features distinct phases of development. These stages build new capabilities and limitations. A child psychology therapist always considers a child’s developmental phase when planning various forms of therapy. It’s common to use Dr. Erik Erikson’s Stages of Development to pinpoint the stage of development in a specific child. Your therapist will also factor in things like the child’s school, community and home environment. All three of these strongly influence a child’s personality and behavior.

A specialist in therapy for kids also employs professional training in child and adolescent development. They usually have experience working with kids between the ages of one and 12.

Assessment For Age and Developmental Stage

When beginning therapy, parents often ask the therapist whether their child is normal or if they should be worried about their abilities for their age. In order to respond to these questions, your therapist will employ a tool known as the Ages and Stages Developmental Assessment. This assessment tool can be completed in one to two therapy sessions and will give you a complete and detailed picture of your child’s level of function in the following areas:

This is an important part of beginning therapy, and it isn’t at all boring or serious, but rather fun and interactive. It will help ease any anxiety you may have about your child’s functioning, and it will also isolate any concerning areas that can be focused on during therapy. If concerning areas are found, then a detailed treatment plan will be constructed that can be applied at home and in therapy sessions.

Creative Therapy

It’s normal for kids to have a difficult time expressing themselves verbally. Talk therapy traditionally includes a lot of talking, which is typically fine and important for adults. However, kids don’t necessarily respond to talking the same way. That’s why therapy for kids generally employs various alternatives. These alternatives are usually focused on creative expressions, such as art and play. The therapist will observe the child’s body language and behavior during these activities.

Does Your Child Need Therapy?

You might be wondering how to know if your child needs therapy. There are a number of signs to look out for that may indicate your child is struggling with some issues. Consult this list for some common symptoms:
If your child has experienced stressful situations like chronic illness, parents getting divorced, moving or the birth of a new sibling, therapy can help.

Menachem Psychotherapy Group specializes in child psychology as well as group and individual therapy for kids and adults. If you’re thinking about taking your child to therapy for any of the issues or concerns discussed above, contact Menachem Psychotherapy Group to find out more about what to expect.

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