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.
Because the process of separation and divorce leads to the end of a nuclear family, family therapy for divorcing families strikes many as an oxymoron. What would be the purpose of helping a family communicate and function better if the family is ending? But while loss and endings are inherent in separation and divorce, the process is also one in which families families reorganize, establish new patterns of relating, and find new roles and tasks for individual family members. Family therapy can be a powerful tool for families to attend to these tasks. [Read more…]
As the incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have exploded in the last 15 years, much progress has been made in understanding this complex developmental syndrome. People with ASDS are now recognized as a diverse group with a variety of diagnoses who vary widely in abilities and functioning levels. The defining features of those on “the spectrum” include difficulty with social skills and problems with reciprocal communication. People with ASDs may also engage in excessive rituals, have difficulty regulating their impulses, or display intense and focused interests. Many people with ASDs are either oversensitive or undersensitive to stimuli such as touch or sound. Some have particular talents, or “splinter skills”, and most are good visual learners. [Read more…]
Parents who seek therapy for their child or adolescent usually have serious concerns. Their child may be exhibiting moodiness, oppositional behaviors, poor social skills, or signs of experimenting with substances. Parents know that these concerns can significantly impact a child’s life and future development. By the time they begin the search for therapy services, parents may have tried several methods of remedy, and may already have consulted with a professional such as a pediatrician or school counselor for guidance.
Many children and adolescents who present for mental health services experience difficulties in their peer relationships. They may encounter problems making and keeping friends, have trouble noticing social cues, or have a hard time expressing themselves. Both individual and family therapy can assist children and teens to gain skills for navigating their interpersonal environments. Therapists may help kids to develop their social skills via a number of methods: [Read more…]