FAQs from Parents
What are signs that my child may benefit from therapy?
Your child may benefit from therapy if he or she:
Has sudden changes in behavior, including isolation or tearfulness
- Experiences changes in his or her peer group
- Becomes withdrawn from activities or friends previously enjoyed
- Experiences a significant drop in academic achievement
- Acts out aggressively, either verbally or physically
- Exhibits regressive behavior, such as bed-wetting or baby-talk
- Engages in high risk behaviors
- Develops an eating disorder
How can I prepare my young child for therapy?
You can help prepare your child for therapy in many ways:
Inform your child that this visit will be different from regular appointments
- Emphasize that he will not have a physical exam or receive a shot
- Let her know that the therapist’s office is a safe place where feelings and thoughts can be expressed
- Reassure your child by explaining that the therapist will want to talk and play—children often resolve problems through play
- Present therapy as a positive step for your family
- Drive your child to the appointment if possible
How can I prepare my teenager for therapy?
When it comes to therapy, adolescents may experience some of the same anxiety and fears as younger children. It’s important to discuss the basics of therapy appointments (addressed above). In addition, older youths may be concerned about confidentiality. Let your child know that information discussed during his appointment will not be shared with parents, caregivers, siblings, or doctors unless he gives permission—the only exception is if your teen shares thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or harm of others.
How can I provide additional support to my child?
The best way you can support your child is by setting aside time, free from distractions, to listen and support him. Other ways you can support your child include:
Let your child know that her feelings are important
- Be open-minded to his experiences and feedback
- Communicate that she is not in this journey alone—the therapist and family will work together to resolve issues
- Be a good role model
- Respect the relationship between your therapist and child