happy child girl with a kite running on
CHildren
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Marian Kelsey

MA LMFTA

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Sara Sui

MA LMHCA

Do you feel like your child is struggling? Is your child having mood issues, social issues, trouble adjusting to school or other situations?

Children are amazing, and the love that parents feel for their children is immense. But it is difficult for parents when they start realizing that their child is struggling. Some children don’t do well on play-dates because they have a hard time managing their emotions. Parents know that learning to get along with others is part of growing up, but some children have a more difficult time with that than others. Some kids tend to break down when something goes wrong. They may even hit other children. They may withdraw from other children and choose not to play with their peers.

It is also difficult for parents who have children who do not stay on task at school. Being contacted constantly by the school about their child’s behavior can be stressful for parents. It’s especially challenging when they can see that their child’s bad experiences at school crush are crushing their self-esteem. Many children try to improve their behavior to get positive feedback from their teachers, but there seems to be a disconnect between their intentions and reality when controlling their impulses.

Some parents feel that, no matter how much they talk to their child about their problems, it doesn’t seem to improve their child’s behavior. Some parents can’t figure out how to manage their child’s actions. 

Children in this situation can struggle with anxiety, sadness, and impulse control. Some children feel that no one wants to be their friend, and they hate school. They can even start hating themselves.

Do you feel like your child is struggling with managing feelings, social interactions, and school?

Sometimes parents will take their children to the doctor, thinking there might be something wrong with them, only to find out that their child is healthy. They are thankful, but they still wonder what’s going on. Some children struggle with emotional health. 

Now it is time to address your child’s emotional health. Some children struggle with anxiety, and the parents often wonder where they learned their unhealthy behavior. They feel like they did something wrong. That’s where we come in.

Do you feel like you’ve done everything you can with your child, but now it’s time to seek professional help? Every parent wants their child to overcome life’s struggles. People know that parenting isn’t easy, but sometimes it gets so difficult that it’s time to seek help. Counseling helps bring out the best in children. 

When You Seek Child Counseling with Hope and Thrive Counseling

  • Your Child will build skills in understanding their emotions: why they are having emotions, identify their emotions, and learn what to do with their emotions

  • Your Child will be able gain processing skills to understand past events that are bothering them

  • Your Child will learn how to increase their positive social interactions with peers and family

  • You (the parent) will be involved in counseling sessions with your child, and you will see what they are working on and what tools/skills they can work on outside of session

The Child Counseling Process

Child Counseling is a special type of counseling in which the therapist uses play to help the child gain skills and work through things bothering them. Children do not have strong verbal language skills, but they do play out their feelings and thoughts. This is where Play Therapy comes in. The child will play, role-play, do expressive art, and talk while in session. The therapist is often at the child’s level, and often the parent is invited to join in too.

We use Directive Play Therapy, Adlerian Play Therapy, Managing and Adapting Practice, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. The therapist goes through different stages of therapy 1) Relationship Building, 2) Investigating the Lifestyle, 3) Gaining Insight, and 4) Reorientation. This type of therapy is very intentional in working the child through the different phases and to their goals of success. Together we work with the child on building their skills and building their confidence.

We’ll meet together weekly for 50-minute sessions. Typically, Child Counseling sessions continue for several weeks, as it is an in-depth process to explore the complexities that contribute to your child’s struggles.

Here’s what to expect:

WEEK ONE: Intake

During this initial session, we define the counseling relationship and discuss the details of informed consent. I gather information about your child, your family members, and your child’s biological and social history and how this is impacting your current situation. We also discuss the goals for your child. We also ask your child what they wish they could be better at.

WEEK TWO and Beyond: Child Counseling

We will do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Managing and Adapting Practice. Both are Evidence-Based Practices, which means there has been significant research that has been proven effective in treating Mental Health disorders in children. Here the Therapist will work on skills building with the child and parent/family. These techniques are given throughout the counseling sessions and process.

ALSO:

Directive Play Therapy and Adlerian Play Therapy: Again, both are supported through research, and the child will show significant improvements in areas of concern. 1) Relationship Building is where the therapist creates an environment in which the child feels safe and builds trust. 2) Investigating the Lifestyle is where focus is placed on how the child views themselves, others, and the world. 3) Gaining Insight is where the therapist uses the child’s view of themselves, others, and the world to develop a plan of action in which we can use the child’s strengths and abilities to help them overcome their struggles. 4) Reorientation is where the therapist teaches the child skill sets through role-play, family work, and more. Here we will also work on generalizing their natural skills to other areas to support their self-efficacy.

TERMINATION: 1-2 Final Sessions

In our final sessions, we will review the goals to ensure you are satisfied with your counseling experience and that our work together has met your expectations. We will also outline a plan going forward so that you are able to retain what we have worked on together and implement all you have learned outside of session.

Child Counseling is best for children dealing with Anxiety, Depression, Adjustment, and Social Skills problems. This type of counseling does require parent/family involvement, due to the child needing extra support outside of counseling session to help build their skills. Also, it improves the child’s relationship with their parent/family as they learn they are able to communicate with their family, and they are being understood (for example: the child will play and the parent will learn how their child’s play is their language).

Your child will benefit from Child Counseling sessions if:

  • Your child is having a hard time adjusting to home changes, adoption, classroom rules/teacher

  • Your child is having racing thoughts, fears, anxiety that is preventing them from accomplishing tasks (school, sleep, chores)

  • Your child is having sad feelings and negative thoughts about themselves or others

  • Your child has a history of Trauma (sexual, neglect, adoption, divorce, death of a caregiver, car accident)

  • Your child has impulse control issues

What Does Child Counseling Cost?

Child Counseling is a fee-for-service program, and Hope and Thrive Counseling accepts all major forms of payment.

Each session costs $150, and you and I will discuss the recommended number of sessions during our initial contact based on your unique situation.

We accept insurance and offer in-network and out-of-network benefits. You can read more about the policies we accept and payment options here (under the Rates and Insurance tab).

Your Next Steps

It is possible for your child to shine like the little star they are. Your child has so many strengths and abilities. In counseling, we help bring those strengths and abilities out. 

We look forward to walking with you and your child in this journey. It is an honor for us to be a part of your child’s life.

To schedule a child counseling session with Hope and Thrive Counseling, call 360-383-8682

If you are having an emergency, please call 9-1-1, go to the local ER, and/or call the crisis line at 800-584-3578.

 

Therapists that specialize:  Amanda Shannon (10years old and up), Marian Kelsey (10 years old and up) , Jill Karber (12 years old and up).