Child Counseling provides children and teens with opportunities to:
- Improve communication skills and self-expression
- Build social skills
- Build emotional regulation skills
- Make sense of challenges
- Make sense of life changes
- Find relief from difficult feelings
- Enhance personal relationships
The benefits of child counseling often impact others in the family, including parents and siblings. For example, child counseling can reduce family stress by enhancing family communication, providing new perspectives on a child’s behavior or ideas about how to handle difficult child behaviors. Taking your child to a Child Counselor can help you feel more supported as a parent as well.
At Tender Hearts Child Therapy Center, parents are a vital part of child counseling. At minimum, we will ask for an update at the beginning of each session and then brief you at the end of the session on what skills we are working on with your child. We will also frequently conduct family therapy sessions with you and your child, specifically aimed at helping you to reinforce the new skills in the home. We can also help you learn more effective parenting and discipline skills when needed to help you feel more confident as a parent.
Typically, the younger the child, the more often we will have family therapy sessions. For children 2-3 years old, we will only have family therapy sessions. Due to the developmental level of 2 and 3 year olds, we feel that parents must be involved in these child counseling sessions and will play a vital role in implementing the new skills in the home.
For middle school-aged children and teens, issues of privacy change. “Tweens” and teens typically have greater concerns regarding their privacy than younger children. Respect for their privacy is important to our counselors. If your child is in middle school or older, we will discuss the issue of confidentiality with you in the initial session. If you have additional questions, feel free to ask the Child Counselor.
We do not consider the child counseling we provide to be pure play therapy. Often Play Therapy is not covered by insurance companies anyway. With young children, we do often use play-based techniques. Play is an important, healthy and natural part of life for children. Each child is unique, but until age 12 or so child counseling often takes place while involved in some kind of therapeutic activity. We will often use play-based activities, puppets, therapeutic board games, art, writing, or something else in our child counseling sessions to address various treatment needs. We feel that your child needs to enjoy coming to sessions for real progress to happen!
We are happy support your child in any way we can. With your permission, we can consult with your child’s teacher, principal, school counselor, or other school staff. However, we will not go to your child’s school to observe during class. In general, our presence in your child’s classroom will change their behaviors and we would not get a clear picture of his/her behaviors anyway.
Yes. We frequently work with teachers, school counselors, principals, and other school staff to assist the children and families we work with. With your permission, we would be happy to consult with your child’s teacher to make sure that everyone involved with your child’s care is on the same page.
We do not prescribe medication. We often work with children and teens who are taking psychiatric or other medications. In these cases, we work very closely with your child’s pediatrician, family practitioner, and/or psychiatrist to assist in any way we can. If your child is not currently under the care of a psychiatrist, and you wish to explore medication options, we can provide a referral to a psychiatrist or pediatrician.
We are in the process of establishing psychological testing at our office. As of today, we do not offer psychological testing. We hope to offer this service soon. If a current client needs a psychological evaluation, we have a list of referrals to provide in the meantime.
No, we do not. It is the Policy of Tender Hearts Child Therapy Center to not make custody recommendations. We will not recommend visitation schedules or custody arrangements, even if we are subpoenaed to court. We strongly believe that this is beyond the scope of Child Counseling and we feel it only damages our therapeutic relationship with your child.
The child counseling we offer takes place in person. Currently we do not provide child counseling via Skype, video conferencing, email or chat.
Please check out our general Counseling FAQ page for information regarding the costs of Child Counseling services.
For other general Frequently Asked Questions about Child Counseling, please visit our Counseling FAQ page.