Why children may need therapyChildhood has been described as a difficult and sometimes lonely time for many children. A lack of knowledge of how the world and life work leaves them unprepared to deal with challenges on their own. The importance of therapy for children who may need it cannot be stressed enough. Being told to “be tough” or “stop crying” is not appropriate for children who face major issues that they simply cannot deal with without the help of an understanding counselor.
Reasons children receive therapyThere are a number of reasons why a child may need to see a therapist. Factors such as being overly sad or anxious, a history of family mental health issues, talk of suicide, cutting or self-harm or talk of self-harm and other problem behaviors may indicate the need for child therapy. In instances where there has been a parental divorce, loss of a friend or loved one or a change in schools, adopt a watch-and-wait approach and if the problems persist for several weeks or a month, then contact a therapist.
How to recognize when child therapy is neededChildren love to play, and sometimes they may play games with the way they feel and how they behave. Mental issues are not a game, but kids can mask their feelings to be “like a grown-up” and be strong, but inside there are serious issues that require professional help. If your child has been feeling very sad, blue, anxious or appears listless and has no interest in things they enjoy, they may have anxiety or depression. Overly angry or violent outbursts may also be part of other issues, and all talk of suicide or self-harm needs to be addressed immediately. Watch for signs and intervene as soon as possible if you suspect there may be a serious problem.
How to seek child therapyIn most cases, all you have to do to get a child into therapy is make an appointment with a child psychologist or mental health clinic who will assist you. You will need to have medical insurance for your therapy, or you can pay for it on your own if you do not have insurance. There are low-income clinics that provide services for free or low fees, or on a sliding scale. An intake evaluation will be performed on your child when you do get the initial appointment and then after this first time, you will have regularly scheduled visits and your child will receive treatment.
The bottom lineThere are many reasons for wanting your child to attend therapy. If your child is threatening suicide or if you believe they are in danger, take them to the emergency department of a hospital that has mental health inpatient services. You can call local hospitals to inquire which hospitals have these services, or in extreme emergencies, dial 911. Request an appointment here: http://flourishcounseling.com or call Flourish Counseling & Coaching at (303) 455-3767 for an appointment in our Denver office.
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