Psychotherapy is available for children and adolescents who are having difficulties with their behavior or emotions. Different types of therapy exist for various conditions or reasons, but overall psychotherapy uses communication as the basis for beginning to change a person’s feelings or behaviors.
The relationship between a therapist and patient is essential, and individuals should feel like they are in a safe, comfortable, and understanding environment. The safer children feel, the easier it is for them to express themselves and get the most out of therapy. Psychotherapy for children more often explores other ways of sharing feelings and problems through drawing, playing, and pretending in addition to talking.
The first step in beginning psychotherapy is determining the need based on whatever a child is having trouble with currently. Topics may include problems with adjusting after divorce, stress, grief and bereavement, depression, anxiety, school performance, behavioral problems, or other focuses. All this is taken into consideration with the child’s history, development, and ability to participate with treatment in deciding the goals for therapy. For children and adolescents, the sessions may be individual, with groups of children, or among family members, depending on the circumstances.
Psychotherapy can help children and adolescents understand problems better, find new solutions, improve relationships, promote positive self-esteem, get emotional support, learn conflict resolution, and work on any problems such as anxiety or depression. The length of therapy depends upon the goals of therapy, and how complex or severe any problems are. Psychotherapy may also help children or adolescents work with their schools to get assistance with learning disabilities from teachers or staff, or help them understand or accommodate for any unique challenges their students might have.
To learn more, call Marsha Schechtman, LCSW at 770.753.4911 or Howard Drutman, Ph.D. at 678.867.7020 at the Atlanta Behavioral Consultants.