How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available for children participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as managing worries and anxiety, social skills and
friendship, sibling and family conflicts, and home/school behaviors. Many children also find that counselors can be a tremendous help with learning how to talk about their feelings, set age appropriate goals, and manage problems
with their family and friends .
Therapists can help parents provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or help navigate in the direction of a solution. The benefits children and parents obtain from therapy depends on how well new skills are transferred
into parenting and when child-based strategies are put into practice.
Does my child/family really need therapy? I should be able to handle these "little" problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy
is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they or their child needs a helping hand. Recognizing a need is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and willing to
make a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you, your child and your family, the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and
overcome whatever challenges you face.
What is therapy like for my child and for me as a parent?
Since each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy is indivdualized. For a child in counseling, play-based activities (games and crafts) lead to lots of chatting about events and feelings as well as practice of
strategies and tools for navigating bumpy moments. There may be some fun homework, useful for practicing new skills and generalizing them into the community and school. Therapy with children is usually problem specific. When things
are improving, sessions are spaced out and eventually disappear so that children can go about the other important tasks involved in growing up. I am always happy to have parents and children circle back with me for a check-in if
For a parent, life events, parenting goals, strategies and tools to use at home are discussed and modified. Depending on specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue or longer-term, to deal with more difficult
patterns or desire for more personal development.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in the session back into your life. Therefore,
beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, I may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking
action on your goals. People seeking counseling support are ready to make positive changes in their lives, be open to new perspectives and willing to take responsibility for their lives.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the
therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of the confidential disclosure agreement, and expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”.
Sometimes, however, you may want me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Classroom teacher), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your
However, state la
w and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming self or has threatened to harm another person.