The Need for a Therapist
Children can benefit from the use of a therapist. If you think that your child is a candidate, here are some examples of reasons that a child could need to talk to someone.
* Death of a parent
* Traumatic incident (school shooting, loss of a friend)
* Car accident
* Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
* Developmental disorders (autism, ADHD, OCD)
This is not a comprehensive list but one that includes a few common needs. As parents, we often feel that we should be able to heal any hurt that our children have. To that end, we talk to them and set rules in the hope that whatever the problem is that they are facing, it will go away.
No matter how much we continue to talk, sometimes a professional is better able to handle the situation. But, there is a stigma surrounding therapy for children and adults. The myth is that people will think that you are crazy if therapy is sought.
The truth is that therapy performed by a qualified individual can lead to a better understanding and a resolution of the problem at hand. If symptoms or feelings of loss (sadness, depression, outbursts, uncharacteristic behavior) are still present, consider the option of a professional.
Talk to your child first. Ask them how they feel about seeing someone. Try not to preface anything that you say to influence their decision. If their honest answer is that they would like to try, it may be time to seek outside help.
Finding a Therapist
Finding a therapist is a process. Here are a few steps to get the ball rolling.
* Ask for recommendations – Your medical doctor may have suggestions for you. Ask friend and family members, your church pastor or other religious person of authority.
* Check out credentials – Once you have a list of potentials, check to see that they are professional therapists. Also, if your child has a specific condition, a therapist that works with children suffering from that condition may make a better match for your child.
* Set up an introduction – Let your child meet the therapist to see if they are a good match. One aspect of good therapy is the connection between the therapist and client. If your child is uncomfortable, move on to your next choice on the list.
* Evaluate the results – It may take several sessions to get at the heart of the problem, but you might see a change in your child sooner than that as a ray of hope. Positive results are a possible indicator that the therapist is beneficial.