Where Can I Find Child Counselors Near Me?

By Mary Elizabeth Dean

Updated March 16, 2020

If you're considering having your child see a therapist, you've probably asked the question "where can I find child counselors near me?" A quick Google search will give you a long list of mental health professionals in your area, but going through a Walgreen's receipt of names can be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are other ways to find the perfect therapist for your child. But first, we will start by discussing the reasons why parents seek out a child counselor and how these professionals can help with many different issues.

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Issues That Matter: When To Take Action

Life changes and ups and downs are a part of everyday existence. Like adults, many children struggle with family drama, problems at school, and self-esteem issues. Some of this is to be expected; after all, life is full of highs and lows. However, there are some bumps in the road that might require your child to learn new coping mechanisms, take on different perspectives, or improve their communication/skills.

So when, should a parent stop riding the wave and seek help from a professional? Some everyday situations in which counseling can help include:

  • Signs Of Depression Or Anxiety. 60%-the percentage of children with depression who are not getting help according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). The number of children with untreated anxiety, a whopping 80%. Many parents mistake these issues as a "phase," not realizing that chronic worry and sadness can cause long-term problems when not handled appropriately.
  • Emotional Problems. Sometimes, children 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 therapy session with a mental health professional.
  • Behavioral Issues. Just like emotional issues, inappropriate behavior is a normal part of childhood. However, there are times when a specialist can be beneficial. If your child has been diagnosed with a behavioral disorder or struggles with a condition (ADHD, Autism, etc.) that influences their actions, learning healthy tools and coping mechanisms can be extremely beneficial.
  • Self-Esteem Struggles. A major battle of parents today is figuring out how to help children feel good about themselves. School and social media bullying can chip away at self-esteem and lead to chronic feelings of worthlessness. If you've tried to help, your child strengthens his or her self-image with minimal success, a child counselor that specializes in adolescent issues might be the best person to help build a solid core.
  • Sexual Abuse Or Trauma. One out of every six girls and 1 out of every ten in the U.S. is a victim of sexual abuse according to the National Center for Victims of Crimes. Finding out that your child has been victimized in such a way can be traumatizing for parents and cause feelings of guilt. Many cultures teach that these issues should stay within the family unit and not be discussed outside of the home. Unfortunately, this creates even more pain and suffering for the one who has been hurt. Getting help is the first step in recovery.
  • Changes With Sleep Or Eating. Often tell-tale signs of heavier issues, eating disorders and sleep problems can remain hidden for some time. They should always be addressed, first by a medical professional and secondly by someone who understands recovery.

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  • Self-Destructive Bahavior Or Threats Of Self-Harm. Threats of suicide talk of self-harm, or attempts should never be ignored or swept under the rug. Often, parents feel helpless when dealing with self-destructive behavior and don't want to reach out to a mental health professional out of embarrassment, shame, or fear. They might wonder "where can I find child counselors near me to help my child?" but remain too afraid to act. This is normal, but moving past this fear and getting help for your child right away is crucial.
  • Struggles In Life Areas. Sometimes counseling is the answer for children who don't have any of the issues above but are struggling to be successful in several different areas. They may be plagued by troubles at home, have trouble fitting in at school, or can't seem to find happiness no matter how hard they try. If something just 'feels wrong' and you have a gut feeling that your child needs help, reach out to a counselor right away.

What Will Happen During Therapy?

Fear of the unknown can cause parents and kids to avoid therapy. TV stereotypes and cultural stigma when it comes to mental health can leave us feeling like needing therapy is a bad thing or something for others, not us. One way to combat this feeling before finding a child counselor is to gain as much knowledge about the process before the first session. This way, both you and your child will be better prepared to receive help.

Although every therapy session is tailored to the needs of the client, in therapy, kids learn by doing. Your child won't be lying on a couch telling all of his or her problems to a doctor writing notes like in the movies. Most meetings will consist of a mixture of four things: talking, doing activities, solving problems, and practicing new skills. Child counselors are trained in communication and know how to help children feel comfortable.

How long these sessions last and the duration of therapy depends on your child's need as well as goals.

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How Can I Help My Child?

Once an appointment is set, there are a few different things you can do to help your child be successful in therapy.

  1. First, you'll want to choose the best counselor possible-one that is qualified, experienced, and who can put your child at ease.
  2. You will also need to meet with the therapist one on one to discuss your child's needs and what you hope to accomplish through counseling sessions.
  3. Every appointment is essential, so make sure to take your child to each and every counseling session.
  4. Make sure your son or daughter does any 'homework' that the therapist has and encourage practicing skills learned during therapy at home and school.
  5. Be patient and available. Many of the behaviors and issues that lead parents to google search "where can I find child counselors near me" are frustrating and overwhelming. Try to remember that your child likely feels the same way. Instead of acting out of anger or irritation, be supportive and encouraging. A positive attitude tends to 'rub off' on others and could help your child deal with his or her problems in a more healthy way.

Options For Finding Help For Your Child

If you're still reading, then it is likely that a child you know is dealing with one of the issues above and you want to resolve the question, "Where can I find child counselors near me?" once and for all. There are several different options as outlined below:

School resources. Many schools offer to counsel free of charge for students in need. Having your child receive services at school can be practical since they won't have to miss a whole day of class to see a counselor. Also, school therapists are usually well-trained in the needs of adolescents and have firsthand knowledge of the specific environment the child spends a majority of their day in.

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Local counseling centers. The most traditional choice for parents wanting to find child counselors is to call and set an appointment up at a local counseling center. If your child has insurance that will fully cover the cost of counseling, then this may be a good option for your family. When choosing a therapist to set up an appointment with, make sure to ask about their background and experience, you will want to make sure that you select a therapist who has a proven track record of helping children succeed.

Online child counselors. This final alternative is one that is newly available but comes with lots of perks. Going through a school counselor or a local counseling center have a few major drawbacks. They can be time-consuming, expensive, and not readily available. This is especially true of schools with no counselor or rural areas that do not have counselors close by.

To mitigate these hurdles, new online platforms like Betterhelp are offering in-home services through technology. Through their online platform, Betterhelp's certified counselors can connect with your child on your schedule and from the comfort of your own home.

Instead of having to drag your child out of school and into some cold, sterile office, you can set your child up with a tablet, laptop, or smartphone and allow him to speak with a therapist while sitting on his bed. Although this might sound 'too good to be true,' it's not. Online therapy might be cutting edge, but it is also as effective and often more affordable than traditional modes of counseling for kids.

Regardless of the route you choose, keep in mind that as parents, we have the responsibility of helping our children become their best selves. By opting to find a child counselor to assist your child with his or her problems, you will be doing just that.

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