Can Kids Benefit From Therapy?

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Most parents assume that childhood is the time for the young ones to play and enjoy, but that might not be the case for every kid. Just like adults, children too are susceptible to emotional health issues and mood swings, and need timely counseling.

Studies have shown that at least one in ten children has a serious emotional imbalance. This is where psychotherapy can assist the child with most mental health-related problems such as depression, anxiety, bipolar or conduct disorder. It is crucial to provide your kid with help in their most formative years, to ensure they have the best possible chance of a happy and stable future.

 Kids  Therapy

Warning signs

The first signs of trouble that may require psychological counseling include:

  • Tendency to overreact and constant spells of anger.
  • Feeling sad and lonely persistently.
  • Thoughts of worry, anxiety or fearfulness.
  • Preoccupied with the thought of physical illness or about their own appearance.
  • Sleeping and eating disorders
  • Total loss of interest in the once enjoyable activities.
  • Prefer to stay aloof rather than in the company of family and friends.
  • Inability to concentrate and make decisions.
  • Showing signs of violence.

If your child shows any of these signs and the problem is identified, it is most likely that therapy is required, and sooner the better before it can escalate.

How does therapy help?

Kids need therapy if they are struggling with any of the above issues and cope with them on their own. While younger children will need to work with the entire family, for adolescents the therapists share the skills and exercises with them and chat with them on how to solve the problem.

As the kids gradually develop these skills, they regain self-confidence and build a pattern of healthy habits. In other words, the therapist may work with the child and family, or face the child one on one or might also prefer to have a meeting with a parent alone to give advice to further help the child once the therapy sessions are over.

How can parents help?

Parents can play a big role in their child’s therapy sitting at home. Some of the ways they can help their child is by:

  • First things first, find a good counselor or therapist for your child. Ask your family doctor or paediatrician for help in getting help, as it is important to find someone you are sure your child will be comfortable with.
  • Speak personally with the therapist and discuss your child’s treatment plan. Ask what to do in case of an emergency or signs of negative behavior to help the child.
  • While you cannot force a child to change habits overnight, at least ensure that all appointments are religiously attended. It may take a number of sessions to create interest in the child before they begin practicing what they are taught.
  • Most importantly, try and spend as much time as you can with the child. Help them by doing things they enjoy or if they need assistance otherwise. Remember, patience is the key, so give the child the time they need. Shower love and affection by speaking soothingly and lovingly.

Different types of childhood therapy

Therapy comes in a number of forms to address the issues which may arise out of mental health issues in a child. Some forms of counseling available for children include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This treatment teaches the child how their own thoughts can help improve their mood and behavior. This therapy is best for addressing issues related to depression and mood.

Here children are given toys while a psychotherapist watches them play to understand their emotional and mental health issues. This therapy can help in trouble related to the death of a loved one or issues like divorced parents.

  • Behavior Therapy

This type of therapy focuses on modifying behaviors that need to be discouraged and encouraged. Helpful for children with ADHD or where behavior modification is required.

  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

The theory operates on the assumption that a child’s behavior will improve once the inner struggles are brought in the open. Helpful in cases of anxiety, depression, eating or conduct disorder.

Online or Offline Treatment? How to choose the best option.

Online therapy may not be the best for all children, so at first, it is best to come to grips with how online therapy actually works for children and the potential risks and benefits associated with it before joining for a session as compared to face-to-face treatments. Whether it is better or worse is one thing but one thing is sure it is something different.


Children mostly face behavioral issues while at home and behave totally differently when outside. In such a scenario, online therapy will be able to give a better assessment of the child’s problem, since the surroundings are familiar and the problem can be seen real-time.

Then there are some children who experience social anxiety and stigma in meeting a therapist in-person and divulging personal information in front of everyone. A home appointment, on the other hand, offers more flexibility to parents, given their busy work schedules.

As children are used to chats and video calls these days for communicating with friends, they find this mode of contact with a therapist much more comfortable and secure, and that too in the privacy of their own homes.

Lastly, as there are no overhead costs involved for the therapist, online therapy is more economical and can be accessed by a child even from a rural area.

Also, keep in mind that online therapy is not allowed for children below a certain age. It is typically only recommended for kids aged 12 or above, thought some sites such as Amwell for example lower the bar a bit

As a concerned parent, you will need to do a lot of research to make sure the therapy site is legit and can actually provide proper care for your kid. You can start by reading both professional online therapy reviews and reviews from actual past clients to get a sense of which service is right for you and your child.

The downsides

Younger children, who do not have the experience of sitting in front of a screen may not be able to give proper attention to the words of a therapist online. Moreover, it is impossible to pick up body language through a picture on the screen.

Again, online therapy may reduce the role of a parent as they would find it difficult to check the progress. This involvement is extremely important if the child is below ten years.

Having said that, whether you treat a child online or offline it is just a perception. Depending on the type of problem, both have their pros and cons, so the one who is dealing with it has to make the final call.

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