DOES MY CHILD NEED COUNSELING? While childhood is usually thought of as a happy and carefree time, your child may be experiencing mental health issues that should be addressed by a mental health professional. Often, mental health issues in children are brought on by major life changes such as a divorce or a death in the family. Because children may be unable to understand and communicate complex feelings, it can be difficult to recognize signs that your child may be in need of counseling.
While there can be many signs that counseling for you child is appropriate, below are some of the common ones to look for. While many children may experiences these issues at one time or another, it is especially important to seek out help if the signs are more extreme than you normally see in other children, they last day after day or week after week, or you have tried to work with the child, but the problems continue. Parents should also pay special attention to these signs if they begin to persistently occur or increase in severity or frequency following a traumatic event such as divorce or the death of a loved one.
Persistent Worry and Anxiety
Long Periods of Sadness
Withdrawal or Social Isolation
Loss of Appetite / Dramatic Weight Loss
Sudden Drop in Grades at School
Increased Physical Complaints Despite a Normal, Healthy Physician’s Report
Return to Younger Behavior
Frequent Nightmares and Sleep Difficulties
Performing Obsessive Routines like Hand Washing
Parents are Unable to Help the Child
Low Self Esteem / Self Deprecation
Feelings of Guilt
Sudden or significantly increased problems saying good-bye to parents
DOES COUNSELING WORK? With counseling, children can learn to recognize, understand, and cope with problematic feelings and emotions. Children who attend counseling are encouraged to learn techniques to deal with emotional distress and other difficult feelings. They are taught that its okay to talk about their experiences and feelings and that they can use a variety of coping mechanisms such as deep breathing, journaling or art therapy, practicing positive self-talk, and talking about their feelings with their parents or another trusted adult. In times of significant change or traumatic events, child counseling can also help children to focus on the positive and stable aspects of their life.
WHY SHOREPOINTE? At Shorepointe Counseling, we have nearly 40 years of combined experience in the mental health and social work professions working with children and adolescents on issues ranging from common emotional and family problems, to severe personality disorders and significant life crises. In addition to first class responsiveness and flexible hours to accommodate the most demanding of clients, our direct but warm and assuring approach provides clients with all of the tools necessary to improve themselves and their relationships.