How To Get A Child To Talk In Therapy
Choose the right therapist
It’s important to choose the right therapist for your child. A therapist should be trained and qualified to help children with their emotional development, plus they need experience working with young patients.
There are several ways to find a therapist you like. The most obvious is asking around people you know who have worked with kids before. There are also organizations that offer information sessions about therapy for teens, as well as access to counselors.
Finally, there are sites that list therapists near you. Even if your family can't afford private treatment, this can often be done at a reduced rate.
Therapists vary in what types of treatments they use, so look for ones that take your individual needs into account. People tend to fall into one of two categories of therapies: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy.
Some therapists specialize in both, while others rotate through them.
What sets these therapies apart is how a therapist helps you focus on specific things that you want to change about yourself. These techniques can be very effective when used together.
In addition to choosing a therapist who you feel comfortable with, make sure they're licensed and carry insurance that covers mental health issues.
Make a list of things you value
It is important for children to feel that their thoughts and feelings are valued by you. If they sense that you don’t care about them, then they will not trust what they tell the therapist.
It can be helpful if you make a list of all the things you value. You might include spending time with your friends or family, doing activities you like, going to work or school, playing sports or music, reading, whatever interests you.
Next, try making a list of things you value more than money. From this list, you can determine how much child therapy costs you.
If you cannot afford therapy, you may have to reduce some of your expenses to pay for it. Or you can ask your employer if they offer any health benefits plans that cover therapy.
Finally, make a list of things that you value less. This could be friendship, fun, a good sleep schedule, etc.
You should also consider which values are most important to you. While many people value happiness, success, independence, excellence, etc., only you know what matters to you and when you need to address an issue.
Tell your child about the therapist
It is important for children to understand what therapy is, so they can ask questions or even accept that treatment is needed.
You can tell them exactly how it works (most of the time), but there are other times when you should simply let them know that people talk with each other inside and explain how it helps you.
It also helps if they see you are interested in their health and well-being. This shows them that their parents care about them and help them feel good.
If they ask any questions, be honest and direct, without running away from the question. For example, say, “ some kids go to therapy because they like playing games” and then briefly describe gaming as someone who talks to her doctor once a week.
Then just leave it at that and move onto something else!
Don’t worry about covering everything again – you have already talked about this stuff before, only now do they really get it.
Also, don’t worry about being perfect. No one thing makes sense; plus, therapists aren’t always very good at their jobs.
What matters is that you are willing to work on yourself and learn these things.
Keep the lines of communication open
It’s important to keep the lines of communication between you and your child open during therapy sessions. This way, they can explain what is going on with their life and how it affects them.
You should also let them talk about things that happen at home or at school. If you think there are problems at these places, then bring it up.
If you do not, then you risk damaging the relationship you have with your child. Also, if you don’t know who to trust, then people will find out which could be harmful for your child.
Let them tell their story
It’s hard to understand someone else’s perspective when you haven’t lived their life. By letting your child take the lead in telling their story, they will show you something about themselves.
They will also help you understand them better by explaining why they have been acting the way they have.
One of the most important things you can do is be very, very consistent. When you talk about therapy, what you teach kids will be how much they value your time and expertise.
If you are always late or forgetful then children may not see the value in going. But if you show them from the beginning that it’s important to you, they will feel like it’s also important to them.
That way they won’t worry as much when they come to school night events asking why they can’t go. They will understand that even though everything seems hectic, there really is a reason for it and it’s helping the people who need it.
Consistency isn’t something we usually think about but it’s an important part of life. Life has a certain structure and being able to stick with things is a sign of maturity.
It helps us more easily move between places and times. People don’t have a hard time making contact with us because of this.
Being able to take care of your child every day needs consistency. Being able to put away laundry without help takes confidence and stability. Both are signs of responsibility.
Take your child to therapy
It is hard for children to talk about things that matter to them. For example, if their problem is that they are angry or feel hurt, then it can be difficult for them to express this fact as well as explain why they are unhappy or how they have been behaving, etc.
However, going to therapy while still young may help keep your child’s mental health issues under control by giving them tools and skills to deal with situations. Also, having one-on-one time with the therapist helps the child focus their attention on something other than life’s difficulties.
In addition, therapies help the child develop trust so that they can open up and discuss what is bothering them. By the way, most therapists are also psychologists who specialise in psychology, such as addictionologists, counselors, psychometrists and social workers.
If necessary, you can ask the therapist which treatment program they recommend to best address your child’s issue. Keep in mind that different programs are focused on dealing with different problems.
Furthermore, make sure that the therapist you choose has a background in childhood development and education. This will help ensure that the experiences your child makes during therapy are age appropriate and relevant.
Also, find out whether there is a cost associated with attending sessions. Not all clinics charge a fee.
Encourage your child to talk
It is important that they know how talking works and how it can help them. Most kids will understand this concept because of television (which often shows people talking) or friends their age who also like to listen and discuss topics such as politics, religion, and music.
However, some children are not very socialized and do not consider conversation part of being sociable. They may be hesitant to speak in public due to fear or past experiences.
If you make speaking in public difficult for your child, he or she will more likely rely on writing or typing stories instead of speaking.
It is your job to encourage your child to communicate his or her feelings through speech. If necessary, you should put aside time once a week to practice speaking with others.
You can turn conversations into games to see if your kid remembers what been said and does not repeat things. You can have chats while doing chores so that your child understands the topic before going to bed.
Listen and be silent
It is important to realize that when a child is talking about problems or struggles, it is not just you listening to them.
The role of the listener is very important. You are seeing more and more how emotions and conversations spread from person to person.
It is now understood that 80% of what people say after they talk is because of their emotional state. And 20% of what they say is due to facts.
You should avoid trying to tell someone what to think or feel at any cost. That’s no way to parent. The goal is to help them get back into their own skin by doing so.
It can sometimes seem like nothing comes out of your mouth these days but wisdom. People really pay attention to what you have to say because you show such understanding.
And yes, you will often hear things that make you laugh. Laugh with your kids as much as you can. Laughter is one of the most healthful things you can do.
To learn more about the importance of laughter, see my article on why you should watch comedy movies.
Practice relaxation techniques
In addition to telling the child what he or she is going to do, you also need to teach the child how to relax themselves. You can say things like, " tell me something that makes you feel good ” or “ take yourself back to bed”.
These are great ways to help your child connect body and mind. But they should be repeated day after day, often on request.
Practice by having the child repeat these phrases as well as breathing methods (such as breaths). Having them perform their own version of this will make it more familiar and easier to use in the future.
Also, try to have the child practice mental exercises such as focusing on thoughts or words instead of actions such as throwing a ball. This helps build concentration skills which we know are important for emotional health.
Above all else, keep communicating with your child. Make sure that they understand what is happening both mentally and physically so there are no hard feelings coming from either direction.