How to Promote Trust in Your Child’s Therapy

When children struggle with complicated feelings, negative behaviors, or traumatic experiences, child counseling can help. It can be helpful to involve parents in sessions as well.

Child's Therapy

Some therapists may meet with you alone at the start of treatment to check in and provide you with helpful information and skills, from education about your child’s disorder to parenting and stress management skills. Visit to learn more.

The effectiveness of therapy varies widely depending on a number of factors, including the type of counseling, how often sessions are held, and whether or not a child can develop a good relationship with their therapist. However, there is one thing that almost all experts agree on: For children and teens to gain the most benefit from treatment, they must feel comfortable and safe with their therapist.

To help kids feel at ease, many therapists use techniques that are designed to build trust and provide a supportive environment for kids to open up about their feelings. These activities vary based on the age of the child, but might include drawing, playing games, and talking about emotions. Some therapists also use more structured techniques, like asking kids to tell a story or read books about characters who have similar experiences.

In addition to working with kids directly, some therapists will also work with a child’s parents or caregivers. This can be helpful, as it provides an opportunity for a parent or caregiver to learn more about the disorder and how to support their child. It can also be a way for the therapist to get more insight into the underlying issues that might be contributing to a child’s behavior or mood problems.

During the initial session, a therapist will focus on making a connection with the child and establishing a safe and trusting environment. They will also discuss the underlying issues that are contributing to the child’s mental health struggles and work with them to develop a treatment plan.

After the first session, a therapist will typically meet with the child on a regular basis to discuss their progress. This will usually happen weekly, but can be more or less frequent depending on the needs of the child. The therapist will usually be present for each session, but will also use technology to facilitate the meeting, such as an online platform that is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant. This will ensure that your child’s information is kept confidential and secure. They will also be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the therapy process.

Therapy With Children

Often, the biggest challenges in life are encountered during childhood and adolescence. A low self-image or traumatic experiences can have long-lasting impacts. Counseling helps kids cope with difficult feelings and develop coping skills to navigate through stressful times in their lives. It also gives them a safe outlet to talk about their problems, whether it is anxiety or depression.

During therapy, children and teenagers learn healthy ways to deal with their emotions so they can become strong, confident adults. The goal is to help them become independent and not need their parents as much. In addition, they build helpful thinking patterns and healthy behavioral habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.

A trained child therapist is a professional who works with kids to understand and deal with emotional issues like anger, anxiety, sadness, and self-esteem. They can use tools like play, psychodynamics, cognitive behavioural therapy and parent-child therapy to help kids through tough times in their lives.

When seeking a child therapist, it is important to look for one who is licensed and certified by the state where you live or work. A therapist with these credentials has gone through rigorous training and testing to gain the proper knowledge, skill and experience to provide effective therapy. You can find a qualified therapist through an online search, recommendation from a friend or family member, or your pediatrician can make a referral.

Before the first session, it is a good idea to gather as much information as possible about your child’s situation. This might include school records, report cards, medical records, family history, and any other documents you think will provide the therapist with context to understand your child’s needs.

During the intake session, the therapist will ask about your child’s past and current situation. They will also discuss your goals and what you hope to get out of treatment. The therapist will then go over the details of their approach and schedule the next appointments, which will depend on your child’s age and situation.

In the meantime, you will be asked to observe your child at home and report back to the therapist. You will also be given tips and suggestions on how to help your child practice the skills they are learning in the office.

Therapy With Teens

A high degree of confidentiality between a child and their therapist is important for effective treatment. Parents can help promote this trust by explaining the process in an age-appropriate way. For example, a younger child might be told that their therapist will be helping them make sense of their emotions in a safe and supportive environment. In some cases, this may involve describing their therapist as a “feelings doctor.” For older children, it may be helpful to explain that the goals of therapy are to identify unhelpful behaviors, learn how to cope with negative emotions, and develop healthy self-esteem.

Adolescents have unique needs that aren’t always met by traditional counseling. They may be struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, or they might be having trouble coping with life changes, like losing a friend or dealing with the death of someone close to them. They may also be struggling to find identity as a homosexual, bisexual, or transgender person in a non-accepting culture.

For teens, a therapist can offer support and guidance in finding ways to manage difficult feelings, develop self-esteem, cope with conflict, and understand their role in the family structure. A therapist might use CBT, EMDR, or DBT to help teens gain insight into their experiences and learn to tolerate distressing emotions. They might also teach strategies for managing anxiety, such as pacing, deep breathing, and grounding techniques.

Teens are often more willing to open up than adults are about the struggles they’re facing. They might be hesitant to bring up their issues at first, but once they feel comfortable sharing, they’ll likely open up and share more. If they have a good relationship with their therapist, they might even consider them a confidante.

It’s important to let teenagers know that their mental health is just as important as their physical well-being. Some adolescents might be hesitant to begin therapy, but it’s worth broaching the subject in a less-threatening framework. For example, instead of implying that they’re having difficulty because there is something wrong with them, you could frame the issue as a way for them to improve their ability to navigate life’s challenges.

Therapy With Adults

When children experience emotional traumas or go through periods of high stress, they can develop mental health disorders that may impact their adult lives. Children and teens can benefit from therapy just as adults do, giving them a safe place to talk about their struggles and build skills to cope.

In child therapy, the therapist uses a variety of tools to help kids learn healthy coping mechanisms and improve their mood. Depending on the age of your child, the therapist may use therapeutic play, expressive arts therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other approaches.

Some therapists, especially those trained in PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy), will use group therapy or family therapy with your child and other members of the household. They might also use individual therapy to help your child address specific issues, such as anxiety, depression, attention and hyperactivity disorders, or relationship problems.

A common approach is narrative therapy, in which the therapist tells a story about their own childhood experiences to encourage kids to talk about their own. This can help kids feel safe enough to share their own struggles, which can improve self-esteem and confidence.

Other techniques include bibliotherapy, in which the therapist uses books or articles to help kids learn more about their feelings. This can teach them about the different emotions they might experience, and how to recognize these feelings in themselves or in others. The therapist can then help the child develop positive self-talk and healthy coping mechanisms, helping them overcome challenges.

Most parents will be asked to attend sessions with their child at the beginning of treatment, especially when addressing issues like parenting or behavior problems. This is because a parent’s involvement in the child’s life can have an effect on the effectiveness of therapy. The therapist might ask you to participate in the session or check in with you before and after the session, or by phone, as needed.

Whether your child needs a single therapy session or is in need of long-term care, it’s important to find a therapist who works for you. Zencare makes it easy to filter for a New York therapist by insurance, specialization, and availability, so you can find someone who’s the right fit. You can also check to see if they’re in-network with your insurance company, which will save you money on each session after you meet your annual deductible.