Posts Tagged ‘my child needs therapy’

How do I find a child therapist?

September 12th, 2011

child

Choosing a therapist for your child or choosing a family therapist is a difficult decision. As a parent you want the best for your child and you want to find the “right” person who can help your child be successful in managing their behaviors and expressing their feelings.

Here are my professional recommendations:

  • Ask another parent or professional for recommendations of child therapists in your community. Your pediatrician, school counselor, tutor, or other professional should give you the name of several resources for you to choose from.
  • Find a therapist who understands your child’s issues and your concerns as a parent.
  • Schedule a consultation with a several professionals and ask them questions about how they would best support your child. You’ll learn much about the potential therapist by how promptly they return your call and how they interact with you during the consultation.
  • Do not just rely on your insurance company for therapist referrals. Not all therapists specialize in working with children and many blanket their services as “child, adult, and family”, yet they have no additional training specializing in children’s specific developmental needs.
  • Let your child meet with the therapist and decide if that is the person they would like to work with. Let them know they have to see someone, and you can give them a choice of who they see.
  • As the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock said, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do”. Listen to your intuition and find the right person who respects your and your child and is willing to help you find new positive ways to communicate.

Need some more support to help your child? Schedule a complimentary Support Consultation by clicking here!

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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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