When Do Children and Families Need Counseling? Being a parent is stressful, and being a child can be stressful, too. Children are subject to numerous problems in their lives. Not only are they changing rapidly as they develop, but they must meet the requirements of school, home and community life. They look to their parents, and siblings for help and support. Families tend to use counseling when parents are having trouble understanding or responding to their child's needs. The child may be having difficulty in school, with peers, or at home. Parents tend to be especially stressed by their children when they themselves are going through a hard time. The support they find in counseling can sometimes make a significant difference in how they handle the normal stresses of being a parent.
What Child Problems Do We Treat? Children suffer directly from loss, trauma, dislocation, and abuse. They are very sensitive and react to crises their parents are going through, such as alcoholism, substance abuse, domestic violence, marital dysfunction, and unemployment. Some of the symptoms children under stress will show are depression, defiance, anxiety, fear, hyperactivity, distraction, and acting out behaviors.
What Role Do Parents Play? When a parent brings in a child with a problem, the entire family becomes part of the assessment process. Generally, especially with younger children, parents have a greater impact on the child than does the therapist. It is important that parents understand their relationships with their children if they are to help them. Family strengths are assessed, as well as how family members relate to each other and get their needs met. It is important to find out how each person experiences the family unit, and what suggestions each person has for change. In some cases the child will be seen individually and in others the whole family will be seen together. Sometimes both types of treatment are used at different times. When a child is seen individually, parents are kept informed on how their child is doing.
Who Is Eligible For Services? Families with children as young as toddlers and as old as seniors in high school can benefit from our services.
Twenty-Five Years of Serving the Community With Multi-Disciplinary Mental Health Services