Every parent wants the best for their child. So, it can be unsettling when they realize their child is struggling with mental health issues and may need to see a therapist. It’s natural to feel protective and want to be involved in every aspect of their care. But it’s important to remember that the therapist is the expert. They have been trained to help your child in ways you may be unable to. So, developing a good working relationship with your child’s therapist is crucial. Here are tips from the Child Psychologist in Calgary to help you do that.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 5 children experience mental health issues annually. So, if your child displays signs of mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, aggressive behaviors, and problems with focus and attention, it’s vital to seek professional help.
The goal of therapy is to help your child feel better. Your child will learn how to cope with their feelings, deal with stress, and solve problems through talk therapy. They will also learn healthy ways to express themselves.
So, how can you work well with your child’s therapist to ensure they’re getting the best possible care? Well, before getting into details, it’s essential to know that having a fruitful collaboration with your child’s therapist will depend on several factors, such as:
-Your ability to explain your child’s symptoms and behaviors
-The therapist’s reception to your input
-How well do you handle stress?
That said, let’s now explore some actionable tips on how to work well with your child’s therapist:
Having a great collaboration with your child therapist sessions starts with you finding the right professional. One who will connect well with your child and make them comfortable enough to open up.
You can use the following tips to find a good child therapist:
-Look for someone with extensive experience working with children with mental health issues.
-Schedule an initial consultation to see how your child responds to them.
Remember, the selection process can take a while, but finding someone who’s a good fit is well worth it.
As a parent, you play an essential role in your child’s therapy. You are the expert on your child. The therapist will rely on you to provide crucial information about your child’s symptoms, behaviors, and medical history.
Having spent more time with your child, you will likely have a good understanding of their unique needs. So, it’s important that you openly share your observations with the therapist. This will help them develop an effective treatment plan for your child.
On the other hand, if you don’t feel like you’re being heard, don’t hesitate to speak up. The goal is to find a balance between the therapist being in the driver’s seat and you being an active participant in your child’s care.
The therapy process takes time. And despite being concerned about your child’s welfare, you need to be patient. The therapist will likely move at a different pace than you would like. They will want to get to know your child first and build trust before diving into the more complex topics.
It can be frustrating, but try to be understanding. Remember, the therapist is trying to help your child in the best way possible.
Therapy is not a walk in the park. It can be tricky and challenging. Your child will likely talk about some difficult experiences and emotions during therapy sessions. As a parent, you must create a safe environment for them to do so.
This means being open-minded and not passing judgment on what they say. Let them know it’s okay to express themselves and avoid overreacting to what they share. In the same breath, if the therapist takes an approach you are unfamiliar with, try to be open-minded and understand their reasoning.
You may be surprised that your child presents themselves differently at home than in therapy. When sharing your observations with the therapist, avoid coming across as critical. Instead, describe the events in a story. This will help the therapist get a clear picture of what’s happening and how your child feels. For example, there is a difference between saying:
“I noticed that Johnny has been having a lot of meltdowns lately. Just the other day, he threw his dinner on the floor and started crying.”
“I noticed that Johnny seems to be having a lot of difficulties managing his emotions lately. Just the other day, we were having dinner, and he became distraught when I asked him to eat his vegetables. He ended up throwing his plate on the floor and started crying.”
In the first example, you describe your child’s behavior without context. In the second example, you provide more information about what led up to the event and how your child felt. This will give the therapist a better understanding of your child’s situation and help them develop an effective treatment plan.
To get the maximum benefit from your child’s therapy, you must understand your role in the process. As the parent, you are the expert on your child, and the therapist will rely on you to provide crucial information. You should openly share your observations with the therapist and be patient as the process takes time. In addition, be open-minded and avoid being judgmental. Describing events in a story will give the therapist a better understanding of your child’s situation. Following these tips can help ensure that therapy is successful for your child.