Child and Adolescent Counseling Services


Child and Adolescent Counseling Services

With the continued growth of children and adolescents, they experience new areas of development and change that can sometimes be challenging for them. During these times, it can be difficult for family members to know which changes are signs of normal behavior shifts based on their age range, and which changes are symptoms of a potential problem.

Some changes during developmental years may be sources of concern that could interfere with a child’s or teen’s happiness and ability to function normally within typical social environments including around family members and at school. If a parent, family member, or even the child themselves have concerns about whether or not the changes they are facing are a part of their normal development cycles, it may be a good time to get in contact with a mental health professional like Christie Jones for guidance.

An assessment by an experienced professional can be an effective way of determining if there are specific problems with development that need to be addressed, and what the best method of handling these problems to achieve a positive outcome would be. While there are a variety of methods for approaching problems that a child or adolescent may be facing, communication and positive support are integral for achieving a lasting, positive result.

Because of the wide variety of problems that a child or adolescent may face during different cycles of development, it is important for all parties involved to maintain a broad perspective regarding specific goals until a working plan can be developed following an assessment. Depending on the complexity and severity of a specific problem, the length and circumstances of therapy sessions can vary.

Introducing a Child to the Concept of Therapy

Many parents and family members struggle with the idea of approaching a child or adolescent to discuss therapy services. In this kind of situation, it can be beneficial to spend time beforehand to find a therapist that you feel comfortable interacting with first and work with them during an initial consultation to get advice on the best methods of approaching your child.

In some cases, a child may come to a parent or other adult family member to ask for help finding a therapist or counselor themselves. Regardless of circumstances, however, it is very likely that the child or teen will have questions about how therapy can benefit them.

Some common questions that a child or teen might ask include:

• What is therapy exactly?
• Why do I have to go see this person?
• Did I do something wrong?
• Is there something about me you don’t like?
• Will the therapist tell you everything I tell them?
• What am I supposed to talk about?
• What if I don’t like them?

Keep in mind that as a parent or adult family member, you’re not expected to have the answers to all of these questions. At the same time, it can be helpful to arm yourself with enough information to answer these questions yourself ahead of time. For any questions they ask that you don’t know the answer to, the best option is to remain patient, and reassure them that you will find out the answers together to encourage involvement in the process.

Common Reasons to Seek Support

Children and adolescents may benefit from the support of a mental health professional for many reasons. Because it is normal for a child or teen to change is many ways as they continue to develop, it is important to keep their specific situation in perspective, and sometimes that can be a challenge with the kind of training and experience that a professional like Christie Jones can provide.

A parent or family member may struggle to understand whether or not the behavior they are seeing is normal, and can benefit from the support of a professional for a variety of concerns including:

• Problems with attention or learning
• Unexplained anger and aggression
• Lack of interest in social interactions
• Unusual changes in appetite or sleep patterns
• Unexplained episodes of sadness
• Self-destructive behavior
• Repeated absences from school
• Difficulty with behavior following a traumatic event

Finding the Right Professional

When choosing a mental health professional to work with your child or adolescent family member, it is important to find someone who has the knowledge and experience necessary to determine whether or not specific behavior is part of normal growth cycles or a cause for concern, and how to address specific problems. Even more important than this, however, is the need to find someone that both you and your child or teen will feel comfortable interacting with to promote real positivity during each interaction.

If you feel like your child or adolescent may require counseling and you want to find out if Christie Jones is the right professional to meet your needs, be sure to reach out today to schedule a consultation!