Is therapy right for my child?
Seeking out therapy is a family choice. There are many reasons why parents seek counseling for their children. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in in the family such as a divorce or death of a loved one or pet. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth as parents. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues that impact social and emotional health.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and school related concerns. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem. The benefits you, your child and your family obtain from therapy depend on how well the process is received and how the skills learned are put into practice. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of your child
- Developing skills for improving relationships and helping develop friendships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family
- Improving self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you, as the parent, are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors or to reinforce your child's work outside of counseling sessions. For therapy to be most effective you, the parent, must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.