What is child therapy?
Many children experience emotional difficulties while growing up. Sometimes, they display attention-seeking behaviours, and at times they avoid social activities completely, refusing to even go to school. They prefer an environment where they feel safe, such as their room at home, perhaps playing video games or absorbing themselves in browsing on the net.
Therapy can assist kids in making sense of their own jumbled up feelings and in developing healthy coping strategies to face everyday stressors and a variety of emotional and behavioral issues.
Is therapy required for your child?
- Do you find it difficult to get him/her out of bed in the morning and off to school, or to engage in social or family activities?
- Is your child struggling academically, emotionally or socially?
- Do teachers call often, reporting that your child has outbursts, can’t get along with others, is being bullied or has trouble paying attention or sitting still?
- Is having a conversation with your child a giant task that drives you up the wall?
- Do you worry that your child is overwhelmed and cannot cope with a traumatic event, such as a divorce or death in the family?
- Do you worry he/she is becoming increasingly isolated, spending hours alone, preferring his or her own company than being with friends?
- Do you wish that you were better equipped to help him/her succeed with friends, in school and in life in general?
If you answered yes to some of these, do not wait it out, seek therapy.
I’ve had the enriching experience of being a school counsellor in a South Mumbai high school where I helped with the academic, social and emotional needs of kids from Nursery to Grade 10. It was hands on practical experience with concerns like: Learning difficulties, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), student-teacher-rapport, underachievement and low self-confidence, increasing access to the internet and the bombardment of unwanted information etc.
During therapy, through activities like play, art, and games, children can reflect on their experiences and express themselves in ways they haven’t before. I can assist them in identifying their strengths and in taking pride in who they are. We can discuss topics that they find embarrassing, without any judgements.
How therapy helps:
If ADHD-like symptoms are a problem – such as poor organizational skills or difficulty focusing in class – I have the experience and strategies needed to help your son or daughter begin to manage symptoms and learn new social and organizational skills.
I often conference with teachers, and even help children set time tables and organise their schedules.
During this process, parents are expected to continue to be involved with the therapy by meeting with me regularly and at times, following up on “assignments” at home.
Your child’s road to recovery can ultimately become a joint effort between parent, child, therapist, and teacher so that you never have to feel alone.
A note to all parents:
Please remember that all children have different learning styles, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Your child’s behaviour is not a reflection of you as a parent and can stem from any number of reasons that don’t involve you, such as being bullied at school, a learning difficulty, or a predisposition to depression.
I can offer an accepting and compassionate environment where you can receive parenting support. I help parents build their confidence to improve the relationship they have with their child and encourage participation among all members of the family.
There are many common parenting struggles that I have previously addressed in therapy. Some of these topics include:
- Recognizing symptoms of anxiety, depression, low self- esteem, etc. in children
- Strengthening parent-child communication
- Setting specific, consistent and reasonable limits with children
- Understanding and using rewards and consequences
- Building awareness about common emotional challenges that children face
- Helping children cope with parental conflict, separation, divorce and other major life transitions
What’s important is that you choose to participate in your child’s well being. It’s a sign of a healthy relationship. Help them bloom and reach their goals. Make them feel accepted and loved for who they are!