Are You Concerned About Your Child’s Mental And Emotional Health?
Does your usually happy child seem sad, shut down, or overwhelmed lately?
Have they disconnected from their friends and family?
Are they frequently crying, irritable, and refusing to go to school?
And do you wish that they had the proper skills to appropriately explore and express their emotions?
You may have noticed your child experiencing setbacks at school, at home, or among their friends. Maybe they constantly fight with their siblings or have difficulty controlling their anger. They may have big emotional meltdowns in response to seemingly small stressors or struggle with self-criticism. And though they once expressed a happy, joyful outlook, you may be concerned that they’ve become sad or withdrawn.
A Significant Trauma Or Event May Have Compromised Your Child’s Emotional Well-Being
Children “act out” for any number of reasons, and oftentimes, their outward behaviors are their way of processing something that’s happening internally. If there has been a life-altering circumstance in your family—including a big move, divorce, or death—your child is likely struggling with some big, existential questions about who they are and what life is all about. Moreover, if something traumatic has happened (including a separation from birth parents if they were adopted), your child may have developed symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress as a result.
Grief and trauma affect children differently than adults, but it’s nevertheless essential for this vulnerable population to have support amid the growing pains of life. In therapy at West Houston Psychology, your child will have an opportunity to work with an experienced clinician who can help them explore, process, and express their emotions in a healthy way.
Today’s Children Have To Grapple With Unique And Challenging Stressors
When children struggle academically and emotionally, it’s important to rule out any learning or developmental disabilities that may impact their executive functioning skills. Yet, if a diagnosis of ADHD, Autism, or a learning disability is not present, it can be frustrating for parents to know exactly how to accommodate their kids’ needs.
The truth is that the mental health issues that affect adults on a wide scale are also very common among children. It’s estimated that “in any given year, at least 20 percent of American children will be diagnosed with mental illness,” which can include developmental disabilities and behavioral disorders. However, more often than not, kids experience widespread issues—like anxiety, depression, and PTSD—that may go overlooked in childhood and unacknowledged without proper treatment.
Unfortunately, societal circumstances often perpetuate our children’s suffering. Not only do they feel an extreme pressure to succeed from a young age; they’re also grappling with the peer pressure involved in social media and forming their own unique identity. In addition, current stressors, including the Covid-19 pandemic and rise in school-related gun violence, have our children living in a state of fear and hypervigilance. Today’s kids have to contend with realities that we never faced at their age, so it’s essential to offer them a safe therapeutic atmosphere where they can self-reflect, ask questions, and process their emotions.
At West Houston Psychology, we specialize in counseling children. Whether you’re in need of a psychological assessment to rule out developmental delays or generalized treatment to help your child combat anxiety and depression, we can offer your family a sense of hope and healing.
Therapy Provides Lifelong Skills To Your Child
If your child struggles with their mental health, the idea of therapy can be daunting. You don’t want your child to be labeled, and it’s possible you feel like you’ve somehow messed up as a parent when you can’t relieve them of their psychological pain. But emotional challenges are both normal and common—after all, your child is growing into their own person, and there are bound to be some obstacles along the way.
Fortunately, our team is made up of clinicians who are experts in the field of child development and psychology. We understand which behaviors are normal for their age and which ones may be a cause for concern. And with our tailored approach to therapeutic treatment, we will make sure that counseling is an opportunity for your child and family to develop individualized skills for managing stress, emotional dysregulation, and other symptoms.
The therapeutic process begins with a general intake that will allow us to get to know you and your child better. As a parent, your involvement in therapy is essential, so we will make sure to involve you in relevant sessions while also creating ample time for your child to meet with us individually. (Please note: if there has been a legal separation or divorce, we will need to see custody paperwork before taking your child on as a client.) As such, once we have ruled out a need for any psychological evaluations or testing, we will create a therapeutic treatment plan that addresses your child’s unique mental health concerns, as well as your family’s needs in general.
Your child’s therapist will then meet with them to work on coping and regulation skills. However, ongoing therapy is not just instructional—it’s an opportunity for your child to practice essential skills that they can then apply at home, school, and in other areas of their lives. Unlike adults, who may spend months or years in counseling, children actually need their time in therapy to be broken up and/or expedited so that they have time outside of the therapeutic atmosphere to solidify their skills.
Play Therapy uses specially chosen toys, games, and other creative outlets to help children express their inner thoughts and feelings. As they feel safe to become vulnerable in the counseling session, children can better understand their feelings, strengths, and innate resources for healing. Within the first three months, parents are likely to witness visible changes in their child’s behaviors and interactions. And even though there may continue to be outbursts or disruptions as a child acclimates to their new baseline, our clinicians will work with you throughout the process to ensure that everyone in your family has the tools they need to thrive.
Our child therapists are here to walk the healing journey with you and your child. Working together, you can meaningfully address your child’s symptoms so that they can have the skills they need to function at their highest potential.
Maybe You’re Not Quite Yet Convinced That A Therapist Can Meaningfully Help Your Child…
Your Child Can Feel Happier With Therapy
If you’re concerned that your child is exhibiting symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other hurdles to their mental health, counseling at West Houston Psychology can offer your child and family clarity and guidance.