How do I know my child needs therapy?
As a parent, this is something that can be hard to decide or understand while so many other things are going on with the care of your child. You may also be unsure about what therapy is like for a child, leaving you with more confusion about whether therapy is right for your child or not.
Even though children begin talking and can express words, most of their feelings are expressed through behaviors. This can be an outward, visible behavior like a melt down or a fight. Or it can be a more internal behavior like being withdrawn or “sad” all the time.
Behaviors are a form of communication for children. Our training allows us to unearth the emotions driving behaviors and help children develop positive ways to get their needs met.
With this understanding of how children express emotions and their inner experience, play therapy is found to be the most helpful form of therapy for children. Play therapy allows the child to communicate feeling and experience in their natural way. By following this natural way of therapy, children generally develop more positive behaviors and more engaging relationships between parent and child. Research shows play therapy helps to reduce symptoms along with developing self-esteem, responsibility, improving problem solving, and social skills.
Research supports the effectiveness of child and play therapy with children, ages 2-12, experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including: children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, family dissolution, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters (Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). Also, play therapy helps with anxiety depression, ADHD, Autism, self-esteem, and academic/social development.