Does your child seem especially irritable, withdrawn, frightened, sad, anxious, or angry?
Is your child having tantrums or refusing to do what they need to do at school and at home?
Are teachers reporting that your child is having trouble concentrating, paying attention, or completing assignments and activities in class?
Has your child been complaining about headaches, stomachaches, and you know they’re not sleeping well?
If you responded yes to any of these questions, then your child may benefit from therapy. It is very common for children to experience problems from time to time that can affect how they feel, behave, or learn. Challenges that they and their families find they cannot deal with on their own. We at Milestones Counseling are here to help your child achieve emotional wellbeing and support your family in the process.
Childhood and adolescence are unique times in life, therefore we use creative treatment approaches to engage with them towards their growth and development including the use of art, play therapy, games, books and videos. These sessions are designed to meet the client at their development stage, keeping in mind their strengths and interests.
Therapy helps children to cope better with the difficulties they are experiencing, to communicate better with parents, caregivers, and teachers about what they’re feeling. Child therapy can also help your child do better in school.
What is Child Therapy and How is it Different From Adult Therapy?
In child therapy, the goal is to create a child-friendly space and provide child-friendly materials so that they feel comfortable and safe enough to share and receive.
Child therapy differs from adult therapy in that play therapy techniques are used vs traditional talk therapy. While adults are generally able to discuss their feelings, talk through their issues, and verbally process what’s troubling them, children -- depending upon their age and development -- don’t have the ability to verbalize how they feel. Using expressive and creative therapies taps into their subconscious, shows the therapist what issues are coming up, and can reveal how a child is feeling. Through play, the therapist can help guide the child by offering behavior choices that they may not have the experience or skills to access, help them to name and identify feelings they’re experiencing, and help them learn new coping skills.
During therapy, the therapist will meet with you and your child to learn more about the problems and situations causing concern. The therapist might meet with your child alone or meet with the child and parent together. The therapist will also meet with parents and caregivers to provide suggestions and ideas for how to better support their child at home and at school.
Child therapy techniques may include the use of:
- Directive and Nondirective Play Therapy using various toys including dolls, action figures, constructions toys
- Game play
- Creative Therapies (Arts, Music, Dance and Drama)
- Puppet play
Why use creative and play therapy techniques? Play is how children come to understand the world and their place in it. Play enables them to freely act out their emotions and inner feelings. At first glance, play therapy can just look like playtime, but it is actually very revealing. Trained therapists know what to look for as a child is playing with toys, games, or engaging in creative expression. Through this process, children play and communicate in whatever way is comfortable for them and their therapist meets them where they are at without pressure or expectations.
What Issues Are Addressed in Child Therapy?
- changes in behavior or mood, changes in their physical health, and cognition
- family problems
- school problems
- chronic health issues
Feelings such as:
- stress and worry
- low self-esteem
Conditions such as:
Child Therapy at Milestones
The therapists at Milestones are skilled at working with and diagnosing children with attention issues, mood issues including depression and bipolar disorder as well as anxiety, trauma and trauma-related issues. We also have experience working with clients with Autism Spectrum disorders as well other Special Needs populations.
Collectively, we have worked with hundreds of children who have a variety of needs and concerns for over 20 years. With help and support, hope can return. Our therapists can help your child feel more confident and capable about managing their day-to-day lives. Whether your child is experiencing separation anxiety, having trouble completing school tasks, or has developmental or behavioral challenges, we can help them and your family gain new skills and get the support you need.
Our therapists are all master’s level clinicians and licensed in the state of Maryland to provide mental health services. In addition, our therapists are all experienced with working in the school system. In fact, two of our therapists were previously teachers. We have communicated with teachers and school administrators and can help you advocate for your child and help you get your child the support they need in the classroom.We have experience in Special Education including how IEPs and 504s support clients at school.
As always, we believe the best treatment involves parents in the treatment process, either through family therapy, parent education, or parent training. We join you and your family on your journey, providing a safe place where you can be vulnerable and feel supported. We tailor child therapy to the client rather than trying to make the client fit the treatment. We meet you where you are at and help you to grow. Regardless of the methods used, you will gain a better understanding of how specific behaviors and conditions are impacting your child and you will learn how to better respond to the symptoms.
At Milestones, we have a growing practice of various therapists and expertises and we’d love to help you get connected to the right one. Let us partner with you in managing the issues that your child or your family are facing. Please call Milestones Counseling at (443) 574-4295 if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our talented and compassionate counselors today!