As children and adolescents grow, they continue to develop in so many very important ways. There are predictable ranges of cognitive, emotional, and social growth according to the age of a child and kids will experience shifts in their thinking, mood and behavioral patterns as they mature. During these periods of growth, it can be difficult for families to know when a change reflects the normal challenges in child development or, rather, signs and symptoms of something that more significantly interferes with their child/teen’s happiness and functioning within the family, at school or with social connections. If a parent, family member, or a child/teen is questioning whether the problems they are facing fit within the range of normal development, they might seek consultation with a mental health practitioner who has specialized training and experience in working with families and pediatric populations. Therapy and counseling services include initial assessments by qualified mental health professionals that can help define if there are problems that need attention and what type of services might be of assistance. Therapy for children or teens allows families and kids to learn more about themselves, their strengths and their paths toward problem-solving about the obstacles in their lives.
Coping with transitions
It can be difficult to know which type of services might be of benefit and how to talk about therapy services as a family. In our experience, it is a good idea to use the same tools that you might use to find another type of doctor or clinician. Talk to a variety of therapists about their training, experience, and areas of interest; ask other trusted professionals for referrals; and take time during initial meetings to get to know who is working with your child. A good fit between child/teen and the therapist assists the achievement of therapy goals. Many professionals claim to offer child/adolescent therapy, but it is up to you to choose a therapist who is best for your child. We believe it is critical to review your questions and concerns with the therapist to increase communication about the goals and methods of therapy and to enhance the success of the visits.