WORKING WITH CHILDREN
Many children and teens have problems that affect how they feel, act, or learn. Therapy is a type of treatment for these problems. It is a way to get help for your child. In therapy, they talk and learn how to work out their problems. Going to therapy helps them cope better, communicate better, and do better.
What Problems Can I Help With?
I am trained to help with all kinds of problems.
Family/friendship problems / school problems / bullying / health problems / gender identity / PTSD (post traumatic stress)
I help with feelings like:
sadness / grief / anger / stress and worry / low self-esteem / bereavement, loss & grief
I work with young children and teens with conditions like:
ADHD / depression, low mood / OCD / anxiety & panic attacks / eating disorders / self-injury / disruptive behaviour disorders / trauma-related disorders
Why Do Kids and Teens Need Therapy?
Young children and teens need therapy when they have problems they can't cope with alone. Or they need help when problems affect how well they do, feel, or act. If things don't get better on their own, they may need therapy so things can improve. Sometimes, entire families need support while trying to communicate, learn, and create boundaries.
How Does Therapy Work?
In therapy, children and teens learn by doing. With younger children, this sometimes means working with the whole family, cooking, drawing, playing, and talking. For older children and teens, I share activities and ideas that focus on learning the skills they need. They talk through feelings and solve problems.
I give praise and support as they learn. It is about helping them to believe in themselves and find their strengths. Therapy builds helpful thinking patterns and healthy behavioural habits.
I sometimes meet with the child and parent together or meet with the child alone. It depends on the child's age. If the parent is not present in the session there might be a moment at the end of the session to meet with a parent to give tips and ideas for how to help their child at home.
What Happens in Therapy?
At first, I meet with you and your child to talk. I will ask questions and listen. This helps me to learn more about your child and about the problem. We then talk through how we can work together.
After that, your child will go to more therapy visits and at these visits, your child might:
Talking is a healthy way to express feelings. When kids put feelings into words instead of actions, they can act their best. When someone listens and knows how they feel, kids are more ready to learn.
I use activities to teach about feelings and coping skills.
This may include drawing, cooking or play as a way to learn. I may teach mindfulness and calm breathing as a way to lower stress.
Practice new skills
I then help them to practice what they learnt.
I might play games where kids need to wait their turn, use self-control, be patient, follow directions, listen, share, try again, or deal with losing.
With older children and teens, it is about asking how problems affect them at home, at school. We talk over how to solve these problems.
How Long Do Kids Do Therapy?
How long therapy lasts depends on the goals set out in with you and your child. Most of the time, a I will want to meet with your child once a week for a few months.
How Can Parents Help?
You can do things to help your child get the most from therapy. Here are some of them:
Find a therapist you and your child feel comfortable with. So if it is not me I may be able to help you find someone who would suit you best.
Take your child to all the appointments. Change takes time. It does take a number visits for your child to learn new skills and keep them up.
Meet with your child's therapist. Ask what to do when your child shows problems at home. Ask how to help your child do well.
Spend time with your child. Play, cook, read, or laugh together. Do this every day, even if it's only for a few minutes.
Parent with patience and warmth. Use kind words, even when you need to correct your child. Show love.
Give praise when your child is doing well or trying hard.