When is it time to take my child to see a counselor?
Sometimes kids, like adults, can benefit from therapy. Therapy can help kids develop problem-solving skills. Many kids need help dealing with anxiety, school stress, such as homework, bullying, or peer pressure. Others need help to discuss their feelings about family issues, particularly if there’s a major transition, such as a divorce, move, or serious illness. An LDS child counselor can help if your child is suffering with any of these situations above.
When there has been a significant life events — such as the death of a family member, friend, or pet; divorce your child may exhibit changes in their behaviors such as loss of social functioning or sudden struggles with their school work, bed wetting, or withdrawal.
In some cases, it’s not as clear what’s caused a child to suddenly seem withdrawn, worried, stressed, sulky, or tearful. But if you feel something is wrong, trust your instincts.
Signs that a child may benefit from seeing a psychologist or licensed therapist include:
- behavioral problems (such as excessive anger, acting out, bedwetting or eating disorders)
- a significant drop in grades, particularly if your child normally maintains high grades
- episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or depression
- social withdrawal or isolation
- being the victim of bullying or bullying other children
- decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
- overly aggressive behavior (such as biting, kicking, or hitting)
- sudden changes in appetite (particularly in adolescents)
- mood swings (e.g., happy one minute, upset the next)
- management of a serious, acute, or chronic illness
- problems in transitions (following separation, divorce, or relocation)
- bereavement issues
- therapy following sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or other traumatic events
Consider a number of factors when searching for the right counselor for your child. A good first step is to ask if the counselor is willing to meet with you for a brief consultation or to talk with you during a phone interview before you commit to regular visits. Finding an LDS child counselor that is right for your child is an important consideration and not all counselors choose to work with children. Some of the factors you may want to consider when choosing a counselor include:
- What type of experience does the counselor have?
- How long has the counselor worked with children and adolescents?
- Would your child find the counselor friendly?
- Is the counselor available by phone during an emergency?
- Is the counselor willing to meet with you in addition to working with your child?
- The right counselor–client match is critical, so you might need to meet with a few before you find one who clicks with both you and your child.
Jody VanDrimmelen is the top LDS child counselor and can help your child work through whatever issues they are struggling with. To find out more about our unique approach to child counseling visit us online at j9n.83e.myftpupload.com or call us at 972-426-9500.