Children

 

Counseling for Children

 

Does my child need counseling?

Every child has the potential to be successful and happy. If your child needs a helping hand to get there, counseling can help them on their journey. Examples of children who may benefit from Aspire Counseling services include:

  • A child who’s behavior has changed or seems to be struggling to adjust after a major life change or trauma. This may include a divorce, a significant move, witnessing violence, a serious car accident or a house fire.
  • A child who has experienced significant loss including the death of a family members.
  • A child who is has anxiety that keeps them awake or keeps them from doing things.
  • A pre-teen who has extreme shifts in their emotions and has difficulty coping with big feelings. These youth may cry easily, yell at their parents, or otherwise show that they are overwhelmed.
  • Any child or pre-teen who has mentioned suicide or wanting to die. While not common, kids as young as 8 or 9 have attempted suicide so these suicidal comments should always be discussed with a mental health professional.

What age children benefit from counseling services?

Every child is different and every family is different.  Therefore, this is a difficult question to answer on a web page.  Our play therapist can work directly with the parents of even very young children and begins to see children for play therapy as early as 3 years old.  Our therapists meet your child where they are developmentally and emotionally and will tailor treatment to the needs of your family.

What will my child do in therapy?

Every child is unique and therefore your child’s therapist knows their treatment is unique. Your child therapist will tailor your the treatment plan to their situation and personality building on their individual strengths. You will be regularly updated about your child’s counseling and progress and may be included your child’s counseling sessions. 

Art

Kids are frequently invited to express themselves through painting, coloring, or other creative interventions during counseling sessions. Examples include painting a mask, mindfully coloring, using a puzzle to illustrate different parts of their lives or creating a “shield of skills.”

Sand Tray

Your child’s therapist may invite them to use the sand tray. Kids often enjoy using sand trays and may express things in sand that are difficult to say out loud. We have a wide variety of sand tray miniatures for your child to use to explore their emotions.

Books & Games

Books and games are used to build rapport, encourage self expression and teach new skills in session. Our office has a variety of games (both homemade and store bought) for different ages and various issues.  Sometimes a game is as simple as balancing a peacock feather on the end of your finger to practice Mindfulness or playing Simon Says to practice following directions.

Mindfulness

Through learning to non judgmentally pay attention to the present moment young people gain control of their mind, emotions and life as a whole. We begin teaching Mindfulness to kids as young as 3 or 4. Jessica will be teaching clinicians around the state of Missouri the benefits of and techniques to teach kids mindfulness in the Spring 2018.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Have you ever noticed how playing with your dog or another pet can leave you feeling better?  Have you ever cuddled in bed with you cat when you felt sad?  Has there ever been a day when a dog convinced you to get out of bed because you knew you needed to care for him?  It’s no surprise to most people that animals can have an amazing impact on mental health. One of our therapists, Joni, has a certification in Animal Assisted Therapy and has taken coursework to specifically learn how to harness this innate power that animals have to help in the healing process.  She currently has one dog who is fully trained and designated as therapy dog and has a puppy she is currently training.  If you animal assisted therapy might be a good fit for your child’s mental health treatment, please feel free to discuss the pros and cons of this intervention during your initial consultation.

Talking

Your child may just like to talk things through.  In this case, we have specific techniques we’ve learned that will help your child see things in a new way, learn new skills to try or feel more confident moving forward. Depending on your child’s developmental level, we may be focusing on expressing their emotions, learning coping skills or even completing simple, age appropriate worksheets based in cognitive behavior therapy.

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Call today to find a therapist for your son or daughter

If your child is struggling with grief, anxiety, adjusting to a major life change or another mental health concern, you may be looking for a therapist for your child. If you are wondering, “Will counseling help,” contact us today.  We will talk to you about the pros and cons of bringing your child to a therapist. If you decide to start counseling, we’ll help you find the right therapist for your son or daughter. When you let us know what struggles your family is facing, what type of therapist you think your child might respond well to and any scheduling limitations we will let you know which therapist(s) might be a good fit. At the moment we have two therapists who see younger children.  Joni is a play therapist who specializes in treating children and Jessica sees children who’s primary concern is anxiety, extreme emotions or grief. As a Columbia, MO counseling center, we will go above and beyond to make sure both you and your child are as comfortable with the process of starting mental health treatment as possible.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

-Dr. Suess



Jessica@AspireCounselingMO.com
(573) 328-2288

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