How to know if your child needs a therapist

It can be hard enough to know when you need to take yourself to a therapist, let alone knowing when you should take your child. Young minds are so vulnerable and perceptive, it can be hard to determine whether your child is experiencing normal growth pains or if something deeper is going on. Here are five of the top signs that you may to seek therapy for your child.

Major Life Change Has Occurred
One of the easier signs that you might want to seek counseling for your child is if a traumatic life change has happened. Events like these include death, divorce, abuse, moving, or loss of anything significant in their life. Even if they act just as they did before the event, you could nip any emotional trauma in the bud by having your child speak with an objective third party to help them internalize and understand their feelings. Especially with younger children, they don’t know the correct way to deal with feelings about certain events. Having someone to talk them through it, and more importantly listen to them, can help them move on from traumatic life events and return to their sense of normalcy.

Social Withdrawal
When a child withdraws from social situations, it can be sign that something is wrong. Especially if your child is normally very social and outgoing, withdrawal is a huge sign that something is going and they could benefit from therapy. This can be a tricky sign to notice if your child is naturally a shy introvert but you would notice that they withdraw from the family even when something is wrong.

Developmental Delays
If your child is behind in learning anything, from potty training to speaking, it could be a sign that they need professional help. Emotional trauma at a young age will stunt the development of child. Even if they haven’t experienced an emotional trauma development delays should be addressed by a professional who can help you figure out if further therapy is necessary to help your child overcome the delay. Speech therapists, language therapists, and behavior therapists help children with a variety of different delays.

Sudden Bouts of Extreme Emotions
If your child is suddenly becoming extremely angry, sad, happy, depressed, or frustrated, it could be sign that something happened that they can’t deal with on their own. Their way of letting these unknown emotions out is by channeling emotions they do understand and letting them out in extreme ways. Jumps in from happy to sad could also be a sign of a mental disorder and definitely needs to be checked out by a professional.

Loss of Interest
When people of all ages start losing interest it’s an indication that they’re unhappy. Loss of interest is actually one of the top signs of depression. Especially for a child to experience a loss of interest in life means something is going on and they may need professional help to work through it. Whether your child has lost interest in a favorite toy, playing his favorite game, or a favorite book it all can mean he’s dealing with something he might need help with beyond what you and your spouse can offer.

It doesn’t take someone with a master’s in counseling degree to recognize warning signs in a child. You know your child better than anyone and if you’ve noticed changes in their behavior or your family has experienced a traumatic life event, you’ll know when you need to seek therapy for your kids.

 

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