It is always difficult to see your child in pain, but when the issue is mental, not physical, it can be particularly devastating. When your child scrapes their knee, you can give them a band-aid and a kiss, but when your child is suffering emotionally, it isn’t so cut and dry. It is hard to know exactly what to do when your child seems to have mental health problems, and many parents only turn to child counseling as a last resort. You may worry that taking your child to therapy will label them as mentally ill, or that your child won’t respond to such methods. However, putting your child in therapy can be enormously helpful. Even if therapy is ultimately not continued, bringing your child to counseling teaches them that it is okay to talk about their feelings and seek help when they need it. Therapy teaches children how to cope with their emotions and solve problems in their lives.
So, when does the situation need professional intervention? Here are some signs that it may be time to schedule a child counseling appointment:
- If your child threatens harm to themselves or others
- If they isolate themselves from their friends and family
- If there is a sudden change in their behavior, sleep patterns, or appetite
- If they seem preoccupied with death or dying
- If they are showing regressive behaviors (i.e. age-inappropriate bedwetting, temper tantrums, or clinginess)
- If there is a major life event (i.e. death in the family, divorce) that seems to be causing distress
- If they are extremely sad or fearful often
- If there are behavior problems at school and home
Seeking child counseling may be overwhelming, but there is hope. Contact Kentlands Psychotherapy in Gaithersburg today and we can help.