How do you know if your child may need therapy?

chronic fatigue syndrome As a parent, the word therapy can bring many negative associations. However, there are many situations in which a child could benefit from therapy, without necessarily having a mental illness or needing medical help.

The big question is: how do you know whether your child needs therapy? Let's take a look at some signs that can mean that your child could benefit from attending counseling sessions.

What is therapy? :

Before considering the signs that a child could benefit from therapy, it's worth establishing what is meant by therapy. Therapy is a concept that can include a variety of ideas. Generally speaking, when we talk about therapy in daily life, we usually mean:
  • Emotional counseling
  • Treatment for mental health problems
  • Support for learning disabilities, neurological disorders, etc.
Therapy for your child might be any of these, as children can need professional support in relation to their daily struggles. For a mental health problem, or for neurological disorders.
The concept of therapy is often misrepresented. Many people feel that “needs therapy” means the same thing as “being crazy”, “needing psychiatric help”, or equate the need for emotional support or treatment for mental health disorders with being insane.
This can make parents feel uneasy and often not seek therapy as an option because of their perceptions or because they fear stigmatisation. However, this could mean that their children do not receive the support and care that they need.

What to do about Anxiety

Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to help you to deal with anxiety. This therapy is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotions), and how we act (behaviour) all interact together. Your thoughts determine your feelings and behaviour. Your thoughts are causing this anxious feeling that you experience.

This therapy is known as “talk therapy” that is used to teach, encourage, and support you about how to reduce or stop harmful thoughts and behaviour. It helps one out-think negative patterns that may be keeping you from recovering from depression.

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What are the signs that a child needs therapy?

Keeping in mind the above ideas about therapy, there are different aspects that are associated with the need for therapy. We will consider several of these.
First of all, when could a child benefit from emotional counseling? This type of therapy is meant to help the person deal with difficult or traumatic life situations, change their ideas or beliefs about the world, and work to improve overall well-being and quality of life.
This type of counseling can benefit people dealing with any sort of issue. Emotional counseling can be a short-term or long-term process depending on the situation.

Some signs that this type of therapy would benefit a child are:
  • Trouble making friends or fitting in
  • Problems adapting to school, kindergarden, or other situations
  • Difficulties being separated from their parents
  • Excessive distress, fear, anxiety that seems disproportionate
  • Frequent anger, irritability, and tantrums beyond what should be expected for the child's age
  • Distressing events like a divorce, moving, a loss of a family member
  • Traumatic events like abuse, bullying, violence
Overall, emotional counseling can help when the child is having difficulties coping with a situation, has experienced something distressing, is showing a significant change in behaviour that is not associated with age-related changes, or is showing more negative emotions than expected.
Emotional counseling can benefit many people and can help them develop better coping skills, social skills, and others.
Children can also develop mental health disorders like anxiety disorders and depression, among many others. Sometimes, the signs of these disorders might overlap with some of the above. There is no clear line between having difficulties and developing a mental health disorder, so a professional can help see whether the child needs treatment or not. Some signs of mental health disorders in children can be:
  • Loss of interest and motivation for many activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Frequent headaches, stomachaches, or other types of pain
  • Bed wetting and other problems with wetting even if the child has previously learned to control it
  • Irritability, sadness, anger
  • Pervasive worries, fears, nightmares
  • Cruel or violent behaviour
  • Frequently showing behaviour associated with an earlier age (e.g., thumb sucking when the child previously outgrew it)

chronic fatigue syndrome Mental health disorders in children can manifest differently than in adults, which is why it can be important to investigate your child’s behavior, and talk to a mental health professional in order to see whether the child needs further professional help.
While the idea of a mental health disorder can be frightening, it's better to diagnose it and treat it in a timely manner.
Another reason why a child might need therapy is associated with neurological and developmental disorders that often affect a child's cognitive abilities, learning, and motor skills. These disorders can often be recognized because the child is not meeting their required developmental goals, or because the child is struggling significantly in school. Some signs of these problems are:
  • Affected communication skills
  • Developmental delays
  • Difficulties with language and communication
  • Difficulties with reading or writing
  • Difficulties with math
  • Affected motor skills – movement, coordination, etc.
  • Unusual behavior in social situations
  • Difficulties understanding non-verbal communication
  • Difficulties maintaining attention or focus
These signs, among others, might indicate the presence of a developmental or neurological problem that can be worked with in therapy, often focused on helping children improve their skills and better adjust to the expectations of school and society.
This type of therapy often has the goal of teaching skills, helping manage problems like dyslexia or other specific issues, and to improve coping overall.

I'm not sure that my child needs therapy

In some cases, parents might see emotions or situations that worry them, but that don't necessarily mean that there is a problem requiring professional support. However, it's worth remembering that therapy is not a last resort, but can be also a way to see whether there is a problem that needs more attention or treatment, as well as a way to improve overall well-being.
Therapy can be likened to going to the doctor. It's important to check on our mental health and seek treatment as needed. Therapy in modern society is becoming less stigmatised as time goes on and is becoming more accessible. It can be important to consider therapy as an option if there are signs that worry you.