Boston Child Therapy: Professional Therapy for Children, Adolescents, and Parents
Dr. Archibald Hart, dean emeritus of Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Psychology, wrote that children today experience more change in their first year of life than people experienced throughout their entire lives only a few generations ago.
Many young people struggle with a variety of challenges today—in relating to their parents or guardian, forming self-identity and sexuality, and/or experiencing behavioral problems. In addition, as a parent or guardian, you may find yourself dealing with one of the following situations.
- You are struggling with parenting your child or children.
- You notice some things about your child that worry you and find yourself questioning if your child is okay or if something is wrong.
- A challenging situation happened recently, and you want to ensure your child is able to cope and fully recover.
- Something difficult will happen—a move, a divorce, death—and you want to make sure your child is prepared.
Child Therapy: Understanding Human Development
With child therapy, a clear understanding of human development is crucial. A therapist must be able to identify normal from abnormal developmental behavior. Working with a two-year-old child, a school-aged child, and a teen are all drastically different processes from one another. As a parent, you may be concerned or wonder if your child/adolescent is experiencing a normal or abnormal part of growth and development.
Many times, kids, just like adults, can benefit from therapy. Therapy can help children develop problem-solving skills and teach them the value of seeking the help they need. Therapists can work with kids and their families to cope with stress and numerous emotional and behavioral issues.
Some children need help dealing with the stresses of school, such as homework, test anxiety, bullying, and peer pressure. Others may need help talking about their feelings in regard to family issues when there is a major transition like a divorce, move, or serious illness. Significant life events can cause stress that might lead to problems with behavior, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning. Such events may include the death of a family member, friend or pet, abuse, trauma, a parent leaving on military deployment, or a major illness in the family.
Sometimes, it is not as clear what has caused a child to become withdrawn, worried, stressed, or sulky. But, if you feel your child may have an emotional or behavioral problem or could use assistance in coping with a difficult life event, it is always wise to trust your instincts. Often, parents see the first signs of a potential difficulty, and seeking help sooner rather than later may mean a better outcome for your child.
Should My Child See a Therapist?
The following are signs that a child may benefit from seeing a therapist.
- A developmental delay in speech, language, or toilet training.
- Learning or attention problems, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
- Behavioral problems like excessive anger, acting out, bedwetting, or eating disorders.
- Grades in school dropping significantly, especially if the child usually maintains high grades.
- Episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or depression.
- Becoming socially withdrawn or isolated.
- Being the victim of bullying or bullying other children.
- Has a decreased interest in activities that were previously enjoyable.
- Showing aggressive behavior, such as biting, kicking, or hitting.
- A sudden change in appetite, especially in adolescents.
- Insomnia or increased sleepiness.
- School absenteeism or tardiness becomes excessive.
- Mood swings that range from being happy one moment and upset the next.
- Developing or increasing physical complaints, such as headaches, stomachaches or not feeling well in general, even with a normal physical exam by the doctor.
- Managing a serious, acute, or chronic illness.
- Signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use (prescription drugs).
- Experiencing problems in transitions following a separation, divorce, or relocation.
- Bereavement issues.
- Custody evaluations.
- Therapy that follows sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or other traumatic events.
Boston Child Therapy: An Authority on Child Therapy
Thrive Boston Counseling is a leading private counseling practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The experienced therapists are dedicated to the philosophy that everyone can and should have the opportunity to thrive in life. The counselors at Thrive Boston Counseling have been quoted or highlighted in some of Boston’s and the nation’s premier publications, including:
- Boston Magazine
- The Boston Globe
- The Boston Business Journal
- The Boston Herald
- Parents & Kids, a popular Boston magazine, featured Thrive Boston in numerous articles.
- WickedLocalParents.com published a story written by Thrive Boston Counseling titled “Parenting During Difficult Economic Times” on its home page.
Dedicated Child Therapy Space and Child Therapy Toys
Parents learn to understand their children by watching them and can usually tell when they are experiencing problems by how they act. When things are not going well, children will often behave in ways that cause problems—they may “act out” by not doing what they are told or become anxious or withdrawn.
There are ways that children’s behaviors show they are struggling and not able to cope with things that have gone on in their lives. When this happens, parents often worry that their child’s behavior will get worse. Sometimes they will hear negative comments or complaints about their child from teachers, daycare workers, coaches, or other parents. When this occurs, parents can be very upset, and it can lead to feelings of discouragement. Many parents bring their children to a child therapist for help in addressing these concerns.
One of the best ways to help children with behavioral and emotional problems is through play therapy, a psychotherapeutic treatment approach specifically developed to help children between the ages of three to 12 years old. A therapist works with the child to explore and resolve problems through the therapeutic use of play. The child and therapist work together in a counseling space called a playroom, which is equipped with specially chosen toys that encourages the safe expression of feelings and support the development of healthier behaviors.
Playrooms can contain a variety of items, including a small sandbox with miniature items like people, animals, and cars; a dollhouse with furniture; make-believe clothing and props; and art materials for drawing and painting.
How is play therapeutic for children? How does it work to help them feel better and improve their behavior? What are the benefits of play therapy?
Play therapy is helpful to children in numerous ways, including:
- Helping to heal from past stressful and traumatic experiences.
- Allowing for the expression of feelings.
- Encouraging creative thoughts and new ideas.
- Allowing the development of healthy decision-making skills.
- Enabling the communication of problems and concerns to others.
- Supporting the learning of new ways of thinking and behaving.
Children often enjoy meeting their therapists at Thrive, because the counselors are well-trained and possess a talent in helping kids. Thrive has a dedicated space for children, as well as toys for play therapy sessions.
At Boston Child Therapy, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality child counseling therapy service in Boston. If you would like to meet with a professional therapist at Boston Child Therapy, call us today at (617) 395-5806.
We know that life can be stressful, so we make the process of learning about and scheduling child therapy services as easy as possible by offering morning, day, evening, and weekend appointments. The experienced therapists at Boston Child Therapy have worked with hundreds of children, adolescents, and parents to help them identify their challenges, learn how to communicate better and set goals to achieve a fulfilling, happy life.