Children are as vulnerable to anxiety, depression and emotional abuse as adults. In fact, kids as young as 3 might have body image issues. These mental health issues can grow and fester, unless the right treatment and care is provided. The good news is that child experts can establish a unique rapport with their skills and patience and work to provide the most effective therapy for various types of childhood mental health problems, according to experts at Institute For Personal Growth.
Individual therapy offers a safe space for children to explore difficult emotions and learn coping techniques. However, the child needs to start with a positive attitude towards the process for it to be helpful. Here’s how to be honest and introduce them to therapy in an age-appropriate way.
1. Present it as a New Adventure
Kids with anger, sadness, low self-esteem and high stress are unable to cope effectively with their feelings by themselves and therapy can help them feel happy and active, according to an article on KidsHealth. However, inaccurate information about the sessions might result in aggression or resentment. Make it seem like a new chapter of their lives that will help them deal with life’s challenges in a better way. Promise interesting skills and positive changes with a therapeutic alliance.
2. Minimize Stigma
Consider therapy as a way to provide useful information. For example, children with mental health issues are not weak, less-loved or unimportant. They are not lazy or incompetent. Try to dispel the idea that children struggling with psychological disorders are in any way less or different than others. Talk to your child about love and acceptance, while embracing their individuality. Reassure them that everyone feels low or anxious at some point and asking for help is the smartest thing to do. This will help them open up before the therapist and trust them with the process.
3. Give Them Honest Insight
Globally, 10%-20% children and adolescents are diagnosed with mental disorders and, if left untreated, can hamper development and a productive life, according to an article by the World Health Organization (WHO). Therefore, therapy is crucial if you notice signs of eating disorders, frequent panic attacks or social anxiety. Research well or get in touch with an experienced therapist to understand the best course of the session. Drawing, talking and games might be used by the therapist to learn more about the child. They might be asked to share their secrets, talk about friends and worries in general. Once you know what the sessions might be like, share the information with your child so that they know what to expect.
Improved self-esteem and confidence, with better coping skills are a few results of child therapy. Promote it as a growth opportunity to see a significant difference in the long run.