Parents, you are the experts.
You are with your children more often than we are. As therapists, we only see them for an hour each week, so we need your help to make therapy as successful as possible. Here are a few things you can do to help:
Be open to the process: Feel free to be open and honest about what is going on with your child. Our job is not to judge you, but to help you. Since you are the experts on your child it helps if you can tell us as much information as possible in order for therapy to be successful
Come without siblings when possible: Unless the problem involves their siblings, find someone else to watch your other children. Daily life can get hectic sometimes and therapy is a great time for a parent and child to bond. Use the car trip to talk about the child’s
feelings and current circumstances. When a child gets that one on one attention
for just one hour a week, it can really make a difference.
Join in the therapy: We encourage you to attend every session and ask questions and learn from your child. Take advice from your child’s therapist about any techniques that might be helpful. We are not here to blame you, but to encourage change in you and your child by working as a team.
Ask your child about their therapy: Don’t be afraid to ask your child what went on in session. As therapist we generally do not tell you exactly what was said in session due to confidentiality, but children are able to talk about whatever they would like. Ask your child, “Is there anything you want to share with me about your session today?” Your job is not to fix it, but just to listen and encourage the child.
Do therapy homework with your child: Children are often assigned a task to complete before their next session. Feel fee to ask if you can help or do it with them. This is also a good chance for kids to teach parents what they are learning in therapy.
See your own therapist: In some situations, it can be a benefit for the child to see their parents are in counseling as well. It sets a good example and shows your child that “it is not just me who is having a hard time.” Having your own therapist also gives you an outlet for yourself, to process stressful triggers and difficult parenting moments, rather than trying to do this with another family member or friend- it’s good to have someone Just for YOU. Therapy with children is often most effective when parents are involved as much as possible.