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Taking Your Child to a Therapist


What Is Therapy?

Many children and teens have problems that affect how they feel, act, or learn. Therapy is a type of treatment for these problems. It is a way to get help for your child.

In therapy, kids talk and learn how to work out their problems. Going to therapy helps them cope better, feel better, and do better.

What Problems Do Therapists Help With?

Therapists are trained to help with all kinds of problems. For example, they help kids and teens going through tough times like:

They help with feelings like:

They help kids and teens with conditions like:

Why Do Kids and Teens Need Therapy?

Kids and teens need therapy when they have problems they can't cope with alone. Or they need help when problems affect how well they do, feel, or act. If things don't get better on their own, kids may need therapy so things can improve.

How Does Therapy Work?

In therapy, kids learn by doing. With younger kids, this means drawing, playing, and talking. For older kids and teens, therapists share activities and ideas that focus on learning the skills they need. They talk through feelings and solve problems.

Therapists give praise and support as kids learn. They help kids believe in themselves and find their strengths. Therapy builds good feelings like confidence, courage, and hope.

A therapist might meet with the child and parent together or meet with the child alone. It depends on the child's age. A therapist might also meet with a parent to give tips and ideas for how to help their child at home.

What Happens in Therapy?

At first, the therapist will meet with you and your child to talk. They will ask questions and listen. This helps them learn more about your child and about the problem. The therapist will tell you how they can help.

After that, your child will go to more therapy visits. At these visits, your child might:

How Long Do Kids Do Therapy?

How long therapy lasts depends on the goals you and your child's therapist have. Most of the time, a therapist will want to meet with your child once a week for a few months.

How Can Parents Help?

You can do things to help your child get the most from therapy. Here are some of them:

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: January 2018


Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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