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My Child In Therapy

It can be very difficult for parents watching their child struggle with difficult feelings, especially when they might also be unsure of how to help them. It can stir up a range of complex feelings when parents make a decision to seek specialist help. It can be a very generous act for a parent to allow their child to find their own voice and understanding of their emotional life. However, this can also lead parents to feeling that they have let their child down or that they are to blame for their child's difficulties. This is usually not the case. Prior to beginning any individual work with a child, a few appointments may be arranged for parents to explore some of these concerns. It is often found that children who begin to make sense of their own emotional life in turn establish better relationships with those they are close to. 

How To Support Your Children

Children and young people can often be anxious before therapy and may also be emotionally affected by the session in a way which means that afterwards, they may need quiet time to assimilate. It is most helpful for parents to support a young person by being 'available' for them, but not to enquire too much about what was said or done in therapy. Often a simple question such as, 'How did it go?' can be enough. Some children may want to tell parents more information; others may choose to keep things private. It is important to give your child the message that it is fine for them to be private. 

Every individual responds uniquely and variably to therapeutic help. Some seem to respond positively almost immediately, and others can take longer to engage initially before improvements are noticed. As psychotherapy is a dynamic and developmental process, there are often challenges along the way. During the process of therapy, there may be periods which are harder and children may not want to attend. Or, a young person may feel that they are suddenly 'better' before adequate integration has occurred. It is important then for parents to support them in continuing to come, to talk through their anxieties (or wishes to prematurely and suddenly end) with their therapist. 

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