Child and behavioral counseling
What is child and adolescent behavioral counseling?
Child or adolescent counseling is counseling with children under the age of 18 years old. The focus can be on the child receiving counseling with input from the parents or the family as a whole. Often children can be going through some challenging issues, but are hesitant to speak with their parents, as their emotions can seem confusing. Adolescents especially face a lot of challenges with social media, academics and relationships. Our counselors provide a neutral, compassionate avenue for your child to open up and discuss their emotions.
Treatment approach for family counseling
Often children and adolescents have difficulty communicating their emotions. Counseling with kids consists of helping them identify these uncomfortable feelings and open up about their problems. Therapists create an environment in which the child or adolescent can play with toys, sand trays and create music while talking which helps the emotion of what they are discussing decrease. This is often referred to as Play Therapy. This allows the counselor to address this emotion or problem and create positive coping skills.
We feel parents are an important part of counseling for a child and that the parent-child relationship is important toward growth. Our counselors will speak with parents to gain their perspective of the issues in the first session and provide updated progress related to their child.
Our counselors can accommodate sessions between the parents and child, the child by themselves, or the parent by themselves. In the first session the therapist will work with you on what types of sessions will be needed and what you can expect as you continue sessions for your child. At any point if a parent feels they need to discuss something with the child’s counselor they can securely message them through the patient portal or ask for some time during session.
When in session with the child we like to keep sessions private for that child. This helps create a therapeutic relationship and provide an avenue for discussion. If there is an issue that concerns us, we will discuss with the child the importance of parent involvement and help facilitate a discussion.
Benefits of therapy for family counseling
I. Improved communication skills
II. Conflict resolution
III. New perspective
IV. Improved relationships
V. Positive behaviors
Here are some thoughts our counselors have on children in counseling.
Written by Cynthia Ince, LPC
Engaging a counselor to talk with your child is an effective way to try to discern the connection between your child’s feelings and behavior. There is a direct relationship between how children feel and how they behave. When a child is feeling like all is right with the world, their behavior will reflect this. Counselors help a child to feel right by accepting their feelings unconditionally. Steady denial of a child’s feelings can lead to childhood depression as well as anger problems. The process of helping your child grow to maturity involves guiding them to learn to know their feelings and be able to talk about them in a healthy manner.
Feelings are neither right nor wrong, but when a child is not able to express their feelings in a healthy manner they may become physical to express those feelings. When these feelings are expressed in a physical manner it will cause problems in the home and school environment. Helping a child to understand and express their feelings also helps them to understand the perspective of others. When a child understands the perspective of others they develop empathy for others. Lack of empathy for others can develop into conduct disorder. Intervention strategies used by a Licensed Professional Counselor help to reduce the inappropriate expressions of anger and help the child gain control of angry feelings. Nothing is more rewarding in life than to have your child reach adulthood with a healthy understanding of their own feelings as well as the feelings of others.