Are you concerned about your child’s academic, mental, emotional or social development? Do teachers regularly contact you with concerns about your child’s emotional well-being, peer relationships or classroom behavior? Does he or she have trouble sitting still or paying attention in class? Perhaps academic difficulty is impacting your child’s self-esteem. Or, alternatively, low self-confidence may be holding your child back from seeking new relationships or meeting academic goals. Has depression or anxiety made functioning in school or at home a challenge? Are you worried that bullies target your child or that he or she bullies other children? Is your child facing difficult life circumstances, such as the loss of a loved one, a traumatic event or a separation or divorce? Do you sometimes feel helpless and wish you knew how to help your child feel happier and more comfortable at school?
Seeing your child experience challenges at school can be devastating. It can feel stressful and even scary to send your child off to a place where you know he or she is struggling just to get through the day. You may spend your weekdays worrying about how your child is managing, and wonder if your child will have a melt-down or if you’ll face another evening fighting about the homework. Your child may have difficulty with peer interactions, reading social cues and impulsivity. Trouble in school may seem to find your child even when every attempt is made to behave and get along with classmates. For some children, the school setting is overwhelming. Their classroom environment may be too stimulating and distracting, making learning a challenging experience. Learning disabilities, attention issues and social difficulties can compound issues and lead to loss of confidence and even despair.
When children are not coping well in school, they often define themselves by their failures. “I am terrible at math.” “Nobody likes me.” “My teacher thinks I am stupid.” Many children feel hopeless or misunderstood by their peers and the adults in their lives. They internalize the negative experience of school. It becomes hard for them to appreciate their strengths, which are overshadowed by their shortfalls. For example, your child may be a talented artist and a creative out-of-the-box thinker, but also highly disorganized. He or she may have trouble with writing or handing in assignments on time, which creates distress and compromises your child’s ability to appreciate his or her gifts.
Child Counseling Can Help Your Child Express Feelings, Improve Peer Relationships, Reduce Negative Behavior and Succeed in School
Child counseling can help alleviate your child’s suffering, facilitate growth and development and provide support to your family. In therapy, your child can gain a deeper understanding of what is troubling him or her. In a safe, non-judgmental setting, your child can learn to express feelings in effective and thoughtful ways. Child counseling can also foster increased self-confidence and assertiveness, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve social skills. Through the therapy process, your child can learn more effective coping and problem-solving skills, as well as how to identify and utilize their strengths.
Many children have trouble verbalizing their emotions. In sessions, a therapist can help your child name and understand his or her feelings, which can then be processed and expressed in a meaningful way. Children express themselves in many forms in therapy sessions, including through play, drama, art and talking. They are able to explore fears as well as fantasies in a setting in which every effort is made for them to feel safe, heard and understood.
As a parent, seeing your child in distress is extremely difficult. You may feel confused, guilty, even helpless. In addition to working directly with your child, we provide support to you (parents and other family members). We offer parents strategies, insights and tools to use at home. Working together, we can gain a better understanding of your child’s feelings and concerns.
At Cope With School NYC, we understand and appreciate that each child is different. Insomuch, we will tailor our approach to meet your child’s specific personality, needs and goals. With the right approach and an experienced, compassionate therapist, your child can develop the skills and confidence needed to succeed. Whether your child is challenged by learning, attention or peer issues at school, struggling to adjust to a challenging life event or experiencing anxiety or depression, we can work as a team to help your child to feel better, function with more ease and reach his or her goals.
Although you believe that your child could benefit from extra support during this difficult time, you still may have questions or concerns about child therapy…
What happens in the first session?
In the first session, the therapist will typically meet with you without your child present. This allows us to speak in-depth about your concerns, your child’s history and development. During this meeting, we will outline a treatment plan. We can then schedule a time for your child to come in.
My child is anxious about seeing a therapist. What should I tell him or her?
Child counseling is a new concept for many children and this new situation, understandably, can be anxiety provoking at first. Quite a few children have told us they were worried that they were going to have to get a shot (like at the doctor’s office). You can reassure your child by explaining that in counseling sessions he or she will be able to speak about anything he or she wants to. There will be toys and games to play with. Younger children sometimes refer to their therapist as a “feelings doctor” – someone who helps them to understand their emotions and who will work with them to feel better.
How do you involve parents in the therapy process?
Regular contact between you and your child’s therapist is crucial in a successful child treatment. You can provide important perspective about your child’s life, challenges and growth and can share details that your child may be unable to express or understand. Your child’s therapist will update you on your child’s progress and discuss any concerns you might have.
Can you speak with the school?
If necessary and with your consent, we can speak with school personnel (teachers, counselors, psychologists, etc) to help problem-solve or to act as a liaison. School observations and meetings can also be arranged.
I have heard that child counseling can be expensive and time consuming.
We understand that child therapy is a big commitment. However, investing in your child’s emotional well-being may prove invaluable. Addressing issues now can prevent more serious problems from developing as your child grows older. While Cope With School NYC does not directly accept insurance, we can provide you with a detailed invoice that you may be able to submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement. The duration of child counseling will vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the problem, consistency and motivation for treatment.
You and Your Child Do Not Have To Face This Difficult Time Alone
Child counseling can help your child feel more confident in and out of school, reduce negative behavior and improve coping skills. We invite you to call us today for a free 10-minute phone consultation to discuss your child’s needs and to answer any questions you have about Cope With School NYC.