This is a very common and appropriate question that parents ask me when scheduling the first session for their child. They might state concerns such as “I don’t want him/her to feel like something is wrong with him/her.” While this is understandable, therapy is usually a lot more anxiety-producing for parents than it is for their child. In fact, most children who come to see me appear relieved to be in my office, and quickly understand my role in helping him/her/their family feel better about whatever it is they are struggling with. Nonetheless, at times children and teens may resist therapy, and these suggestions for how to talk to children about starting therapy can be helpful:
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
It may sound cliché, but in my professional experience it could not be more accurate: There is an enormous amount of academic pressure on children today. Many of the children and teenagers who seek my services are struggling with severe anxiety over the workload, pace and level of difficulty experienced in school. Some of these children have an extra challenge: trying to keep up with the hefty demands of school while also having a Learning Difference (LD).
For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of being a mommy. My favorite photograph is of a pig-tailed 7-year-old “me”, pushing around my toy carriage. I had 8 or 9 dolls in tow, and my little pink night gown was stuffed with pillows, indicating more little dollies on the way. “Oh, yes,” I exclaimed confidently, “one day I am going to have 100 children!” Although this magic number (thankfully!) decreased as I got older, my love for children and my desire to be a mother never waned. I often referred to myself as the “second mother” to my sister 7 years my junior, and was a beloved and much sought after baby sitter through middle and high school, and even college. I even earned the nickname “baby whisperer” as I could seemingly soothe any baby to sleep. My studies in child behavior and development in college and graduate school, as well as my work thereafter, only solidified my dreams of having children of my own. There was no doubt in my mind that between my love of children and knowledge of child development, I could (and would!) be the “perfect” mom.
The “dog days” of summer have arrived. The sun is blazing, the mosquitos are biting, and the kids are, well, barking (at least in my house!). Summertime certainly brings its share of joy and laughter, but after 3 months of relaxed schedules, unpredictable routines, and normal “jitters” about the start of a new school year, many children (and parents!) have become downright cranky.