Children are just as prone to mental health issues as adults are. But all too often, children aren't given the same level of care for their issues. But at iGP, we've made counselling for children one of our top priorities.
There are several therapies for children, and they've all been adapted to take into account the inexperience and vulnerability of a child's mind. We create a safe space for honest and open communication - helping children to process their emotions, develop resilience and formulate coping skills for everyday life.
If your child needs counselling, we're here to help. Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation with a BACBP-qualified therapist. Or if you just need more information about counselling for children at this stage, read on.
Children are often forced to talk about their emotional struggle with people they know, such as parents and teachers. But this can often leave the child feeling self-conscious and judged. Therapies for children create safe spaces for honest and forthright conversations.
It's often harder to coax information out of children and develop trust. That's why children's counsellors use tools such as crafts, play and group activities as the basis for therapy. The reading of a story, for example, may be used to demonstrate positive emotions such as trust, empathy and honesty.
Counselling for children is often an interactive process. For instance, a child may feel more comfortable communicating negative emotions through the medium of art. Some children prefer talking, and others respond to a combination of both.
A good therapist will try to understand the child's state of mind and improvise an appropriate treatment approach.
Children suffer from depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health issues in the same way adults do. And with the right approach, youngers can enjoy the following benefits of counselling:
Increased self-esteem and confidence
Better results at school
What to Expect from Counselling for Children
Counselling can be an intimidating and scary process for children. That's why it's important to prepare your child for what lies ahead. While there's nothing to be afraid of, children tend to respond better when they know what to expect.
Your counsellor will need to speak to you and your child about the emotions and symptoms that brought you both to therapy. There may be a preparatory meeting with just the parents or guardians before the first meeting, however.
An assessment will be made by the therapist as to whether or not your child will benefit from counselling. If the root causes or exacerbating factors involve you or other members of your family, your therapist might recommend that they also attend counselling.
The initial consultation will involve a lot of questions. If this approach doesn't work, however, activities and interaction might draw out the relevant information from the child.
The counsellor can then formulate a custom therapy plan based on the specific needs of the child. This may include various types of counselling, solo sessions and sessions with you or other family members.
In order to create an open, honest environment for effective counselling, a bond of trust and cooperation must be established between your child and the counsellor. Your child's therapist will use a range of techniques during the early stages of counselling to ensure this happens.
Once the counsellor has developed genuine trust in the relationship, they'll begin to raise the emotions and symptoms being treated. There may also be an attempt to link these emotions to actions. Roleplay and activities may be used at this stage.
It's important to face and address the root causes of the mental health problem being treated. This can be a highly emotional stage of the counselling process. And there may be times when your child gets upset or agitated. This is a natural part of therapy, and you'll be kept abreast of developments at every opportunity.
If you believe that counselling can help your child deal with emotional issues or mental health challenges, get in touch with the expert therapist at iGP today. We'll listen to your story and assess whether or not therapy is the way forward. We'll then arrange an initial consultation to get the process underway.