“Fix my Child”
I often hear these words from desperate parents who are struggling with managing their child’s emotional dysregulation and disruptive behaviors. My first thought is usually “your child is not broken”. Many parents come to me and ask me to “make my child listen to me”, “get my kid to do his/her homework”, or “my child needs to talk to someone about his/her problems”. Unfortunately, I cannot do these things.
As a licensed professional counselor, I cannot make anyone do anything. That is not what counseling is about. Here’s what I can do. I can build a relationship with your child that will encourage him or her to be open about thoughts and feelings. I can validate those thoughts and feelings, because after all, we are all entitled to our feelings. I can work with your child to make positive changes that will allow the child to live a happier life. It all begins with the relationship.
Most kids don’t come into a therapist’s office and immediately open up about their feelings. Building this relationship is the first step when working with any client in therapy. Depending on the age of the child, I will engage in activities that help build a positive working relationship and trust. I encourage kids to share their emotional experiences by listening and validating. As human beings, we all want to be heard and have our thoughts and feelings validated. Once this relationship is built, I am then able to work with your child on exploring the struggles that they may be experiencing and working on ways to make positive change.
It is important to note that a child’s struggles are not just the child’s. Parents and families are often affected by the child’s struggles and behaviors. The entire family may need to learn how to relate in more positive ways to one another. As part of a child’s therapy, I will also work with parents on making changes in how they relate to the child. I will also hold family session to work with the family to make positive changes that support the child. Research has shown that it is the family’s interactional pattern that can contribute to a child’s mental health struggles. Changing those problematic interactions will help motivate a child to change.
Feel free to contact me to see how I can help your child and family.