The past two years turned the world of most kids upside down. Closed schools, online learning from home, and fewer opportunities to see friends all affected children’s mental and physical well-being. Before the coronavirus pandemic, American children suffered from cognitive and behavioral conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that by 2019 between 9 and 10% of kids aged between 3 and 17 years suffered from ADHD, anxiety, or behavioral problems. Depression affected over 4%. While the percentages may seem low, they mean that millions of American children are struggling with their mental health at any given time.
Children’s counseling services can help address those challenges through talk therapy and other approaches. Counseling kids is an excellent option because this type of treatment endeavors to identify and eliminate the condition’s causes rather than simply addressing the symptoms.
Counseling services for kids can pave the way to a child’s happy, healthy future, allowing kids to reach their full potential and avoid struggling with mental health conditions into their adult years. At the same time, kids who benefit from counseling will often perform better in school and college than others who struggled through their mental health problems without support.
How does TrueCare™’s Counseling for Kids Work?
Kids counseling follows different rules than counseling for adults or counseling for seniors. Adults tend to display mental health symptoms differently from children, which is why the same approach would not work.
At the core of TrueCare™’s kids’ counseling offering lies a unique adaptive method. Our counselors for children base their recommendations and treatments on the individual in front of them rather than following a rigid process. A traumatic event may cause mental health challenges in children, but they have developed over time.
Their causes are not always obvious, so an adaptive approach that follows the child’s lead is most successful. Children may not immediately want to open up about their concerns. Some younger children may need to have different ways of communicating their fears and other problems. Experienced kids counselors understand that each child is an individual and will require a different type of treatment, not only depending on their condition but also their age and maturity.
Why should you consider TrueCare™ for Children Counseling Services?
TrueCare™ has built a strong reputation as a proven provider of children’s counseling services. With a network of specialist child counselors across the United States, the platform can provide fast and convenient access to services.
Counseling for kids differs from similar services for adults. That is why many counselors interested in supporting child mental health complete additional qualifications that allow them to work closely with kids and their families.
TrueCare™’s counselors have extensive experience in counseling children and young adults. At the same time, they will also look beyond the individual to assess their family situation and their wider environment, including schools, sports, and other activities.
This comprehensive approach to health in general and mental health allows explicitly TrueCare™ counselors to support their clients even through highly challenging times. During an individual’s childhood and teenage years, mental health support can be life-changing for the child and the entire family. Counseling for children has long-term benefits that may last a lifetime.
Process for Counseling Kids
Even though the approach to counseling differs between adults and children, and the structure of the counseling sessions varies, too, the basic counseling process follows the same steps.
- Assessment and diagnosis
- Treatment plan
- Treatment sessions
- Review and adjustment
Assessment and Diagnosis
Reputable therapists will not suggest a course of treatment before thoroughly assessing their patients before them. It is valid for adults and kids, but it is even more critical for childhood therapy.
Children may not immediately share their concerns with their therapist or their parent. The consultant should spend sufficient time with their client before sharing their diagnosis with the patient and family.
The therapist will suggest a customized treatment plan based on a thorough patient assessment and a diagnosis. At this stage, they may specify a type of talk therapy or other treatment and even advise on the number of sessions needed to treat a specific condition.
It is not uncommon for children’s counseling to be combined with other forms of treatment, such as medication. However, parents need to remember that medication can often only treat the symptoms of the condition rather than its underlying causes.
During the individual treatment sessions, children’s counseling explores the nature of your child’s condition and its causes.
The counselor will spend a significant amount of time exploring the origins of the mental health challenges. This part alone may take several sessions before the counselor, and your child will commence thinking about coping strategies.
Review and Adjustment
Children’s therapy is not necessarily a linear process. Understanding what your child is struggling with is the beginning. Once your child starts developing and implementing coping strategies, the child and counselor must review what works well and adjust their approach when things need improvement.
Techniques of Counseling for Kids
Counseling service for kids differs from one for adults. For example, younger kids often respond well to play therapy. Other forms of treatment for kids include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Art therapy and different expressive therapy approaches
CBT for Kids
CBT for kids can work well, especially in an online counseling setting. Like CBT for adults, the counselor focuses on helping the child understand how unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving contribute to their problems.
Children learn new coping skills, and their problem-solving ability increases. Most kids also grow their self-confidence and understand how to deal with challenging situations. CBT can be beneficial in a short amount of time.
Psychodynamic therapy is a long-term approach to mental and behavioral well-being. This method helps children see and understand patterns of behavior that may be distressing. Based on that, they learn to develop coping strategies.
Not every child finds it easy to tell their counselor about their problems. That is why expressive forms of counseling or therapy, like art therapy, can be beneficial.
Art or music can help a children’s counselor “break the ice” and access the causes of mental health concerns more quickly.
Why Do Parents Seek Counseling for Kids?
Childhood mental health issues can create problems for a person well into their adult life. That is why parents need to seek support for their kids early. Counseling can help families address mental health challenges early and allow children to develop their full potential as adults.
It is not always easy to notice when your child struggles with their mental health. However, there are some tell-tale signs parents can look out for:
- Sudden and extreme changes in behavior and personality
- Inability to concentrate
- Difficulty sleeping
- Constant fighting
- Not eating
- Disregard for consequences
Any of these signs may indicate a mental health concern or condition. If your child shows some of those behaviors persistently, it is time to seek professional help to get young people the support they need.
FAQs on Counseling Kids
Kids’ counseling can help with mental and behavioral problems, including depression, anxiety, and ADHD. This form of counseling can also address childhood bullying, learning difficulties, or attachment problems.
How do parents know that their child may need help?
Children’s mental health struggles are not always obvious. Parents can look out for sudden and extreme changes in behavior, difficulty sleeping, or constant fighting.
If those changes are more than a passing occurrence, it may be time to seek counseling for children.
Children’s counseling can work well in a range of different scenarios. Some kids open up to their counselors more efficiently in a neutral place, like the counselor’s office. Others respond well to online counseling conducted over the internet. At home, counseling is also an option. .
While therapists adapt their counseling approach to connect with kids, some counseling principles remain the same. For example, before suggesting a course of treatment, counselors will complete a thorough assessment of the child and their mental health condition.
Platforms like TrueCare™ offer easy access to a wide range of experienced counselors, including counselors specializing in child counseling services. Families benefit from the peace of mind of knowing that they have easy and convenient access to the care they need when they need it.