Many parents ask us how best to introduce the idea of therapy to their child. I like to tell kids that I am a “Feelings Coach”. I help kids explore, talk about and play with their feelings, to get to know their feelings better and to help get the feelings out – especially if there are any feelings that are kind of stuck inside! It can be helpful to share that with your child. It’s best to avoid “threatening” your child with therapy, as we have seen that backfire.
For instance, it can be helpful to refrain from saying, “If you keep this up, I’m going to take you to talk to someone so they can teach you how to handle yourself!” This kind of message, although well intended, tends to cause children to feel badly about themselves, and resist the idea of therapy.
I use a variety of gentle and child-centered interventions when I work with children, such as:
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy