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Q. Why do children need therapy?

A. Like adults, children can experience a range of powerful emotions and encounter some very stressful issues. Unlike most adults, however, children may not always be able to cope with or understand what they are feeling. They may also be rather ill-equipped to take on and effectively deal with stressful issues such as divorce or bullying. Therapy can assist children in developing greater insight about their own feelings and behaviors, and can provide them with tools and techniques to better cope with the demands and stress of their lives.

Q. I’m a good parent. Can’t I just help my own child?

A. Absolutely. Therapy is no replacement for good, effective parenting. However, sometimes even good and effective parents can feel like they’re in over their heads when attempting to help their children with things like depression, anxiety, or divorce. In this regard, therapy can also serve as an aide for parents. The goal of therapy, therefore, is to augment the parenting process, not replace it.

Q. What exactly is play therapy?

A. Play therapy is actually a structured and theoretically grounded approach to working with children, and is accompanied by a whole host of effective techniques designed to aide children with a wide range of issues. Play that is therapeutic offers children a medium through which they are able to express otherwise difficult to express feelings and thoughts. It also offers a safe and therapeutic way to address problematic behaviors. In this regard, play is viewed as a means by which children can communicate and resolve even the most troubling issues.

Q. Isn’t what my child or teen experiencing normal? If so, why do they need therapy?

A. Many children and teenagers who are brought into therapy do not, in fact, have major mental health issues. Such children and teens may simply need some additional support in working through a particularly stressful situation or life event. In this regard, utilizing the services of a therapist is akin to hiring a tutor to aide with a particularly difficult subject. Once the situation or event has passed, the need for treatment may also be at an end.

Q. How long will therapy take?

A. This is usually a difficult question to answer as it often depends on a number of factors. Some factors influencing treatment length may include the amount of time the issue or disorder has existed, the severity of the issue or disorder, the age of the child, the quality of family support, the quality of one’s parenting skills, current stress levels, and motivation for treatment (yours & your child’s).