A child therapist requires special training and experience. The skills, personality and demeanor used when dealing with a child are much different than when providing therapy for an adult. One of the leading types of child therapy is "play therapy". The therapist interacts with the child while playing a game, playing with toys, doing puzzles, and other fun things that allow a child to relax and be themselves. Therapy like this is especially effective in situations where children may be emotionally unstable or hurt (grief from the passing of a loved one, dealing with their parents' divorce, social anxiety, bullying at school, physical deformities, recovering from sexual abuse).
When the child is at ease, the therapist can communicate with them more easily, and there is less pressure and anxiety for the child. While speaking with the child, the therapist also takes notice of what the child chooses to play with, how they play, how they interact with a playing partner, and more. These keen observations can sometimes tell more about a child's personality and what they are currently feeling than any conversation can.
Playing also makes the child feel that they are in a safe and familiar environment. The increased comfort level allows the child to speak freely and express their emotions. Children may have trouble expressing their emotional problems with their parents for fear of upsetting or disappointing them. A therapist offers a consequence free environment so that children can say whatever is on their mind. Giving a child an open forum to speak their mind can help them to bring their problems into the open and find out what is at the root of their anger, depression, aggressiveness, or whatever the issue may be.
The parents will also be involved in this process as well. The therapist will meet with the parents to keep them informed on the progress of the therapy. They may also make suggestions to use in the home to benefit the therapeutic process. You may need to set more restrictions in some cases for your child, and loosen restrictions for others.
Therapy gives your child an outlet to express their problems and issues in a safe and comfortable environment that they might not have available elsewhere. This can help to resolve any emotional or mental issues they may be dealing with. The goal of therapy for your child is to increase their overall well being and to set them on the right path to develop emotionally, socially, and mentally. If you think your child can benefit from therapy please call to schedule a consultation today.