How Do I Prepare for Child Counseling? (GUIDE)

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Need to know how to prepare for child counseling? If your child has recently been though something traumatic, a recent life event has thrown them off balance, or you’ve noticed that their moods have changed, you might be alarmed as a parent. As children grow and change rapidly in the early stages of their lives, their emotions and behaviors change quickly as well. This is often a common part of development for children, but at times these behaviors and mood changes can indicate a bigger issue. Mom or Dad, if that’s you, welcome.

How to Find an Adolescent or Child Therapist

Similar to adults, children can experience feelings of anxiety, depression, etc. When children don’t know how to navigate these feelings and we as parents aren’t sure of the best way to help them, it may be time to reach out to a professional. Therapists are trained and can help your child cope with their feelings to come up with a solution. 

If you’ve made the decision to get your child the help they need you’ve conquered the first step. Many parents themselves have never had to reach out to a mental health professional so they aren’t always sure where to start. Navigating this process can be tricky, so we want to provide you with the best steps for you to prepare for child counseling.

If you haven’t received a referral from a trusted friend, family member, or colleague, an internet search for: child counselor near me is where many parents start. Honestly, trust your gut when it comes to checking out potential child therapists’ websites. Do you get a good feeling from what you’re reading and seeing? Does the potential child counselor have the appropriate background for what you are looking for? Do they have reviews and proper credentials? Do you like their bio? Take some time to do some research. It will be well worth it to find the perfect match for your child. And you too as your child’s caregiver(s).

How To Know If Its a Good Fit

Finding a good child therapist requires some work. This individual will play an important role in your child’s life. Therefore it’s important that you make sure this individual is someone that both you and your child can trust. While each relationship will be case by case and dependent on the needs of your child, the initial consultation beforehand will allow you to ask some important questions such as procedures, payment, insurance, logistics and expectations so you can establish that this professional will be a good fit.

If you like what you see, and your gut says YES. Follow the next step and sign up for a complimentary consultation. (That link goes to Audacious Therapy’s online booking system where you can easily pick a day and time to connect.) Most child therapists will offer a complimentary consultation to see if it’s a good fit.

What To Expect From Child Therapy

Oftentimes it’s confusing for parents to know how long therapy will last, how soon to see progress, etc. While each case and child are different, one thing is certain: therapy isn’t a quick fix. Its good to have a realistic expectation of therapy. One or two visits won’t solve the issue your child is facing and child counseling requires a customized approach and semi-frequent visits usually for several months at least.

Parents also need to know that all children progress differently. With a number of factors at play such as age, trust, etc all children take to therapy differently. Depending on the needs of your child, this process may take longer or shorter than “usual” and depends on the relationship and growth between your child and therapist. 

Next Steps at Audacious Therapy: Parent(s) or Caretaker Session First

Once you have decided to move forward with a therapist, it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page. Expanding your logistical discussion to things like consent forms, medical decisions, payment plans, etc. will allow you to be on the same page so that upon the initial session the important work can get started, helping your child. 

Typically, intake sessions come next, which will be the initial step before the therapist meets your child. In these sessions you will discuss topics like medical and health history, main concerns you are having, and any goals you may have. If there are co-parenting issues, divorce and custody can be discussed at this session. Please note that if medical decision making custody is shared, both parents have to sign consent forms for therapy to begin.

Prepping Your Child for Their First Counseling Session

After all the behind the scenes work has taken place, it’s time for your child to meet their new therapist and prepare for child counseling. This initial session will generally begin with a get to know each other time. Your child and their new therapist will talk, play, and work on establishing a relationship of trust. This way, as sessions continue they can work on progressing to the root of the problem and a solution! 

You Got This! (And Now You Know How to Prepare For Child Counseling)

Choosing to find a therapist for your child is a big step. For most, this is stepping into uncharted territory and trusting a stranger with the person you love most! However, if you go into this situation with a positive mindset and the right approach, both you and your child can benefit in the long run. With a clear game plan and team on board, you can work towards helping your child become the best version of themselves while knowing they are in good hands every step of the way! If you need more help with how to prepare for child counseling, simply click below to reach out for a phone consultation. We are here for you!