Children and adolescents come to therapy for differing reasons. For the most part, therapy for children and adolescents focuses on how the child/adolescent is relating with their family members, teachers, and peers.
Benefits of Child or Adolescent Counseling
• encourages self-expression
• develops confidence
• cultivates problem-solving skills
• develops social skills
• restores appropriate behaviors
• promotes open communication
Many children under the age of 12 will engage in something called “play therapy” with their therapist. While there are a few different types of play therapy, the philosophy rests in the notion that the child will process their inner tension/conflicts through creatively playing with the therapist. While an adult might sit on a couch to talk about what ails them, this is not the prescribed approach for working with a child. Play therapy (in its varying forms) is a dynamic, creative, evidenced based approach towards working with children.
Adolescents enter therapy for a range of concerns, from anxiety and depression to feelings of worthlessness to problems communicating effectively with parents and teachers. Therapists often integrate a combination of play therapy and traditional talk therapy with adolescents, depending on their level of emotional maturity. Often, just having an empathic, caring presence in their lives can be extremely beneficial for adolescents and teenagers.