“Be the person you needed when you were younger.” –author unknown
“What more can I do?” you might think to yourself, as you say goodnight to your child. You leave the room and close the door behind you. You think about everything your child is going through, and feel overwhelmed and frustrated. “Why is my child struggling so much? I try so hard to help, and nothing works.”
We understand—you want the best for your child. And that includes being the best caregiver and helping your child find the resources they need when they need it. That is where we come in. If you feel stuck, frustrated, or sad watching your child struggle and do not know how to help, we can provide hope, healing, and peace in helping your child find the strength and solutions they need to succeed.
How common is it for children to need help in therapy?
Your child is not alone. Due to the pressures our children face today, it is not uncommon for children to struggle and need additional help. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported, “1 in 6 U.S. children…had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder.” So on average, in your child’s first grade class of 25 students, 4 or 5 of them may be struggling with a mental health issue. That does not account for other difficulties like adjusting to the death of a loved one, divorce or remarriage of a caregiver, school problems, developing identity, and more.
Now here is the good news.
Providing struggling children the help they need now greatly increases their success in the present, which increases their success in the future. It also means for you, as a caregiver, less time worrying and more time enjoying your relationship with your child. At SoulSpace we sincerely care for children and their welfare, and will work with you in achieving your therapy goals and helping their future stay bright.
How Do I Know If My Child Needs Therapy?
Great question! One simple way is to ask yourself the four questions below. If you answer yes to any of these questions, your child may benefit from additional help:
Is what my child experiencing normal? This means, compared to others within the same age group, is the behavior normal? For example, if your child is throwing temper tantrums and is two years old, this is normal. However, if they are throwing temper tantrums like a two year old, but they are 6 or 7 years old, this is generally not normal.
Is the behavior my child is presenting unacceptable according to social norms? This is asking if your child does something that makes others socially uncomfortable? For example, if your child is consistently going up to strangers and sitting on their laps. Or, perhaps your child lays down during class instead of sitting in their seat.
Is what my child experiencing unhealthy, either physically or emotionally? This asks if your child is hurting themselves with their behavior. For example, if children consistently tell themselves they are not good enough or they are ugly. Or, perhaps your child who is four years old tries to eat items that are dangerous.
Is what my child going through uncomfortable or distressing for them or for myself as a care-giver? Sometimes they might be feeling or thinking something that is difficult to watch, or it is difficult to plan for or know how to react. For example, if your child is scared to be at school from bullying, or perhaps your child is the one that bullies. Perhaps your child is so out of control that you find yourself too scared to go places or do things a child in his age range would be able to do.
What Can I Expect In The Beginning?
Our therapists are trained to work with you and your child to help you reach your goals. In the first session, your therapist will most likely meet you and/or other caregivers alone to understand the needs and concerns for your child. This gives you the space to talk freely and openly, as well as to share your concerns on an adult level before the child is brought in for treatment. During that first session, the therapist will make recommendations and initial plans that best meet the needs of the child. After more sessions, treatment suggestions may change, or even a referral given, if additional information from treatment requires such changes in the best interest of the child.
Research shows that the greatest improvements in a child’s mental health includes involvement and changes within the family unit. Therefore, caregiver involvement is very likely. Depending on the scenario, it may be recommended that a series of individual therapy sessions with the child is best, or perhaps occasional parental consults, family sessions, or a combination of the three tailored to your family.
What Concerns Can Be Treated at Soul Space for Children?
-Depressive symptoms (mild to moderate)
-Difficulty adjusting to major life change
-Difficulties with moving, or family changes
-Emotional dysregulation (ex. anger outbursts, crying spells)
(Note: Soul Space is not the best treatment location for children recovering from physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, drug use, or custody issues. For such treatment, we recommend starting with the Sunlight Center for Change, or you can consult psychologytoday.com for a specialized therapist close to you.)
We believe in providing hope and healing, and take special care in our work with children who are struggling. Remember, if you need help, we are here. You do not have to do this all alone. We look forward to working with you and your child soon!