Child Counseling and Therapy Options

By Mary Elizabeth Dean|Updated July 29, 2022

If you’re considering child counseling for your son or daughter, you’ve probably researched the question, and a quick Google search will give you a long list of child counseling and mental health professional options in your area, ranging from psychologists to social workers and more. However, going through a long list can be daunting. 

child counseling with a father and a daughter learning about child counseling and info on child counseling

Have More Questions About Child Counselors?

Life changes and ups and downs are a normal part of every child's journey. Like adults who need a marriage, career, or family counselor, children have mental health needs and may benefit from child counseling with family drama, school problems, self-esteem issues, and stress in general. Learn more about when child counseling can be beneficial, especially when searching “child counselors near me” or “find a child therapist near me.”

Exploring Issues That Matter: Learning When To Take Action

So, when should a parent try to find a child counselor or other help from a mental health professional? Everyday situations and mental health concerns with which child counseling can help include:

  • Signs of Depression or Anxiety | It is estimated that 60% of kids with depression are not getting help, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association (ADAA). The number of kids with untreated anxiety is close to 80%. Many parents mistake these issues as a “phase.” Issues relating to health may demand the attention of a counselor or other mental health professional(s), such as psychologists.
  • Emotional Challenges I Kids experience issues that are much deeper than normal sadness or mood swings. If your child has outbursts that can’t be controlled, acts out of anger in destructive ways, or exhibits emotional responses that seem abnormal, consider scheduling a session with a health professional.
  • Behavioral Issues | Just like emotional issues, inappropriate behavior is a normal part of growing up. Parents may learn it can be a little hard to connect with a healthcare provider. If your child has been diagnosed with a behavioral disorder or struggles with a condition (ADHD, Autism, etc.), child therapy can be a great option.
  • Self-Esteem Struggles | A major battle of parents today is figuring out how to help kids feel good about themselves. Self-esteem proves to be a major issue even for adults, causing them to turn to a marriage and family counselor. School and online bullying can chip away at self-esteem and lead to other mental health issues, such as depression and chronic feelings of worthlessness. Self-esteem matters a lot when talking about your kids’ health. If you’ve tried helping them strengthen his or her self-image with minimal success, a counselor specializing in adolescent issues might be the best person to help build a solid core and fortify your kid’s health.
  • Abuse or Trauma | One out of every five girls and one out of every twenty boys in the U.S. is a survivor of sexual abuse, according to the National Center for Victims of Crimes. Finding out that your son or daughter has experienced a trauma can be traumatizing for parents and cause feelings of guilt. Health professionals, be they therapists or psychologists, can be a powerful tool for healing.
  • Changes With Sleep or Eating | Disordered eating and sleep problems can suggest other mental health issues or life troubles. They should always be addressed, first by a health professional, and secondly by a person who understands recovery.
  • Self-Destructive Behavior or Threats of Self-Harm | Threats or talk of self-harm should be treated seriously.  Children who think or talk about these acts need professional care and assistance to return to healthy, happy lives.
  • Struggles in Life | Counseling may be the answer for kids who don’t have any of the issues above but are struggling to succeed. Some common reasons this could occur could including feeling plagued by troubles in the house, having trouble fitting in at school, or having difficultly with feeling happiness no matter how hard they try. If anything just ‘feels wrong,’ reach out to a counselor.

How Exactly Does It Work?

learn how child counseling can be helpful to your family and more child counseling

Every session with a therapist is tailored to the individual needs of the client, and a child therapist should be no different. Most sessions will consist of a mixture of four things: talking, doing activities, solving problems, and practicing new skills to help improve daily mental health and wellbeing. How long these sessions last and the duration of sessions depends on their needs and goals, the particular type or therapy and therapy practice, and more.

How Can I Help My Kid?

  • Choose a counselor/mental health professional(s) who is qualified, experienced, and can make your child feel comfortable.
  • You will also need to see the counselor one on one to discuss your needs and what you hope to accomplish through your sessions.
  • Research "children’s therapist near me"
  • Encourage practicing skills learned during counseling.
  • Be patient and available. Instead of acting out of anger or irritation, be supportive and encouraging. A positive attitude can help them better deal with their emotions.

Options for Finding Help for Your Child

There are several different options:

School resources: Many schools offer mental health help and support free of charge for students in need. School psychologists and mental health professionals are usually well-trained in the needs of pre-teens and adolescents.

Local counseling centers: If they are covered by insurance that will fully cover the cost of your sessions, then this could be a good option for your family.

Online counseling: Studies show that online counseling from license professionals is a useful alternative to face-to-face therapy when helping manage symptoms of common mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Online counseling services work by connecting parents with a counselor or other professionals who can guide them through the counseling process, while providing access to helpful resources.

Online child counseling can help them grow and cope with the world around them. BetterHelp has devoted the online counseling platform Teen Counseling to serve kids ages 13-18 years old. Unlike face-to-face therapy, which may not be readily available (especially in schools with no counselor or rural areas that do not have counselors close by), online counseling through Teen Counseling is easily accessible with thousands of teen and child therapists to choose from. You can set them up with a tablet, laptop, or smartphone and enable your child to speak with a counselor while sitting on their bed. This can be particularly helpful to their mental health, as it can allow them to feel more comfortable opening up to a therapist and receiving feedback.

The licensed counselors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals at Teen Counseling can give your child the tools to cope with whatever they’re going through. Read below for reviews of teen and child therapists, from those whose kids have received guidance in the past.

BetterHelp Reviews – A Helping Hand

“Karen has done an amazing job with my daughter. I was hesitant if virtual counseling would work, especially since my daughter only preferred the chat option, but Karen has exceeded all of my expectations. My daughter has made drastic improvement and others have even noticed the change! My favorite thing is that Karen cares about my daughter as a person (not just a client) because she always asks how my daughters pets are, which really means a lot to her.” Learn more about Karen Lindsay

“I sought counseling for my almost 17 yo son to help with anger mgmt/emotional control and overall complicated family & life issues. I noticed a change within a week. My son is not someone who opens up easily but he has responded very well to Ryan and his advice. He now schedules his own sessions without prompting and is even starting to talk to me about some of the behavioral methods he’s learning. Of note, we’ve had an in-person family counselor for 5 years but I’ve seen more progress in the one month with Ryan. Well worth it and one of the best decisions I’ve made.” Learn more about Ryan Bullard

Finding Help For Your Kid

Regardless of the route you choose, keep in mind that you have the responsibility of helping your child realize their best selves and better understand their mental health and how to manage it. For these reasons, you might go through the process of hiring a marriage and family counselor. By opting to connect with a counselor to assist your child with their challenges, you are offering the best for your child.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
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