Does my child need therapy?

Parents of young children often say that it can be difficult to decide if what their child is experiencing warrants treatment. They may be wondering if this is a “bump in the road” or something more.

Treatment may be appropriate if your child experiences:

  • Lack of self-confidence or self-esteem
  • Excessive worry about the future
  • Fears or phobias
  • Excessive reassurance-seeking
  • Reluctance or fearfulness when separating from you, sleeping independently, being in new situations, or socializing with new people
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Difficulties with transitions
  • Frequent negative statements
  • Excessive tantrums or emotional outbursts
  • Challenges following directions
  • Difficulties hearing “no”
  • Toileting concerns

Psychologists use methods that not only treat emotional and behavioral challenges but prevent them. Whether your child needs help navigating typical, age-appropriate challenges or is managing more serious mental health difficulties, psychologists can provide helpful services that can make life healthier and more meaningful for your child and family.

Further, waiting to treat concerns typically results in longer, more intensive treatment. When concerns are left untreated, children may face the compounding challenges that come with rehearsing the same difficulties. Because the problem can seem unsolvable or out of the child and family’s control, it can also lead to decreased confidence and low self-esteem.

By Dr. Rachel LaFleur, Staff Psychologist, Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill

http://www.washingtonanxietycenter.com

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Author:

I am a clinical psychologist with approximately 15 years of experience assessing and treating anxiety and depressive disorders in young children, adolescents, young adults, adults and geriatric populations. I completed a 6-year predoctoral training award at the National Institute of Mental Health, and postdoctoral training at the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital. From my clinical and research experiences, I have come to see the struggles of many families deciding when to pursue professional help and feeling very lost in the process. I will address several mental health issues that will help educate and empower my readers to make better mental health decisions for themselves. Welcome to my blog! Johanna Kaplan, Ph.D. Disclaimer-This blog is not and cannot be used in replace of formal therapy. This blog is used to inform and educate and is not a form of informal or formal advice.

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