Counseling for children and teens is available to you. Children may benefit from counseling services in a multitude of ways. Play Therapy is most often utilized with younger children. Young children with behavior or family difficulties don't always feel comfortable in what is known as traditional "talk" therapy. To help these kids, therapists provide an array of toys and/or art supplies and talk with the child while they interact with the toys.
When children are distressed, they act out through their natural method of processing -- play. For example, when a divorce is happening in the family, a child may use the dolls in the dollhouse to play out a scene where the parents are fighting. This gives the therapist the opportunity to talk with the child about the feelings this kind of situation stimulates in him.
Play Therapy is a widely accepted, very effective tool for helping children in problematic life situations learn to express their feelings and explore coping skills. The therapy can be helpful in dealing with a wide range of problems from simple environmental stress to more severe behavior difficulties. In order to benefit from this kind of therapy, children need to be comfortable with both the therapist, and the environment.
Adolescents and their families often experience significant improvement during the counseling process. Life stress, poor choices or hardships may bring the teen and her family to a challenge that requires education, encouragement and objectivity to conquer. The teen and parents may notice a recipe for conflict; differences in teen/parental points of view- Teen's point of view: This is who I am/how am I unique/ What is my individualistic identity apart from family. Teen wants to think for herself learn her own lessons. Adult point of view: due to my life experience I know best/ I want compliance/good choices/uniformity/teen to adopt my values, etc.
Ways to Strengthen Self-concepts of Teens
- Stated and unstated messages of unconditional acceptance
Counselor and parents providing the messages
- "I value you"
- "You can think"
- "You have control"
- Maintain eye contact
- Use appropriate touch
- Provide opportunities for teens to struggle through and own their own decisions and responsibilities
- Acknowledge their effort
- Display their competence
Counseling for children and teens is a call away.