Posts Tagged ‘does my child need therapy’

How do I know if my child needs to go to therapy?

June 22nd, 2011

Parents, do you sometimes wonder, does my child need help? Should I take them to therapy? I worry about my child being diagnosed, labeled or medicated.

So here are some signs that your child may be in need of additional support:

  • Your child acts out and become really angry or upset when things don’t go their way, everything is power struggle and it seems like the littlest thing sets them off
  • Your child gets really quiet and disconnected when they feel overwhelmed and stressed out; you’re feeling powerless to help them and you are wondering if they are okay
  • Your child worries about school or friends, they don’t quite “fit  in” socially or you’re worried about their choices and friends, and you’re not sure if it is normal
  • It is a battle to get your child to do homework or chores; you’ve asked them 100′s of times to pick up their things, they just tune you out, and it’s starting to impact your relationship because you find yourself yelling, nagging and complaining
  • Your child gets into arguments at home with you and their siblings and even the littlest things can blow up into a tantrum, or they withdraw into silence and their room
  • You are noticing that they have changed, maybe they’ve begun lying to you or keeping information from you, or things are becoming a power struggle
  • You are concerned that something else may be going on with your child, your child’s teachers or other family members have brought up concerns and you’ve noticed your child struggling and you are worried this may not be normal
  • Your child is anxious, stressed out, overwhelmed, or is having a difficult time coping with loss or changes. You may notice an increase in acting out or withdrawing behaviors as your child attempts to cope

Parents worry that if their child is diagnosed then it may impact their child in the future, such as education and career choices. So what can a concerned parent do?

If your child is having social, developmental, behavioral or relationship problems ask for support from an expert. You can choose to work with a therapist or doctor who provides services and you pay them directly. When you use your medical insurance for therapy or other medical services it is necessary to diagnose your child and their condition must be deemed “medically necessary” for insurance to reimburse you or your health care provider. Meaning, your child will receive a diagnosis to receive support, even if it is typical “adjustment issues”.  If you do not want your child diagnosed talk with your health care provider to see what other options there are to provide your child service without a label.

Here’s when it would be beneficial to receive a diagnosis for your child, when the difficulties they are experiencing are significantly impacting their functioning and a doctor or clinician assesses that medication may be a treatment option, or your child is in need of academic support services that can be covered by the school district if they are evaluated and determined to be in need of these services.

Not sure if your child’s behaviors are normal development or something more?

Seek out assistance from a professional. Based upon your observations and your child’s behaviors (and often times the school’s feedback) a skilled clinician can help you explore support options for your child.

An informed parent is an empowered parent, so ask questions and most of all, “Trust yourself. You know more that you think you do” (The great pediatrician: Dr. Benjamin Spock).

Need some additional help? We do not diagnose your child to give them the support they need. Often when children learn new cognitive and behaviors tools and the parents learn new ways to communicate the problems diminish. We work to rule out if the problems are environmentally based and/or behaviorally based. If additional support is necessary we provide families a comprehensive list of other evaluation options, all while respecting your decisions on how you best choose to support your child.

Click here to schedule a Complimentary Child Support Consultation to learn more>> www.thecreativityqueen.com/schedule

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Art Therapy: Using Art as A Tool to Help Your Child

June 9th, 2011

Sarah was an unforgettable girl. She was a tall lanky teenager with as many piercings on her face as freckles. She was a student in an alternative high school where I worked. I can still picture Sarah today in her baggy pants, ripped clothes and colored hair. She was one of those students who wore her anger and sadness like a badge.

Everyone knew Sarah had a rough time. She had even threatened to kill herself a year earlier. The clothes and the personal history made it easy for Sarah to be left alone, and she said that’s what she wanted.

A natural artist and freethinker, Sarah was recommended for art therapy by a concerned teacher. She strolled into our first session, unloaded her books and grabbed some clay. Quietly she molded the clay. For the first month we sat mostly in silence as she formed the clay into angry mask-like faces. I accepted what she gave me unconditionally, knowing there was more to Sarah than angry masks. I waited for weeks until the time was right. I asked Sarah, “What’s behind the mask?…If you took away the angry mask what would there be?” Sarah sat quietly looking at her clay. A long pause, a sigh, her brown eyes rimmed with tears, “ I don’t know”. Our journey together had begun.

Sarah, like many kids I’ve worked with over the years, embraced art. Even with so many let downs and mixed emotions, she was able to let go and risk show who she was through her artistic creations. I witnessed Sarah bloom from lost teen to graduating Senior. Her artwork changed too. From dark pictures and angry masks to bright colored painting she proudly gave to friends and family. She had finally found a way to give of herself and to be accepted.

Years later I got a phone call. Sarah wanted to meet for lunch. That day I walked in to see the butterfly Sarah had become. Her face was glowing. She looked so happy and healthy. Her pink outfit mirrored her wonderful transformation from anger to acceptance.

We ate, laughed, listened, and knew silently that we were part of a journey that had brought us to this place. I felt grateful to have witnessed Sarah’s transformations.

Art Therapists working with children share the hopes of all parents. Our goal is to help children discover their inner beauty and potential. For many people, this journey to self-acceptance requires special support.

I saw Sarah again several years later. She was visiting home briefly and had changed schools. She was going to study counseling. She told me she was going to make a difference in somebody’s life. I nodded and smiled, knowing that she already had.

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