Published on May 3rd, 2019 | by admin0
How Counseling Can Help with a Child’s Anxiety, Trauma, Grief, and Adjustment to Major Life Changes
Counseling has helped a lot of individuals cope with grief, trauma, difficult changes and transitions, and other complex life situations. But we can all agree that counseling and therapy are not just for adults. Children, too, can definitely benefit from proper counseling and therapy, even more so than adults. There are many complexities facing children, adolescents, and teens today, and this includes bullying, low self-esteem, and conduct issues as well.
For most of these children, it can be difficult trying to understand – much less cope with the issues they are facing. Fortunately for them, counseling is readily available and licensed and qualified counselors and therapists are more than willing to give them the help they need. If you have a child who is going through a difficult phase or period, is exhibiting certain behavioral issues or depression, showing signs of trauma or going through grief, here’s how counseling can help.
The most common issues treated by counseling and therapy
There are many issues which counseling and therapy can treat, including grief due to the death of a family member or pet and trauma due to being witness to a particular event. It can also treat conditions with mental health such as depression and anxiety; bullying, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; issues with change or relocation (such as changing homes, schools, and families), and addiction or substance abuse in the family.
- Treating anxiety
More children today are suffering from anxiety, and it is one of the most common reasons why children need to have counseling and therapy. With counseling, children can learn how to manage their anxiety and emotional distress; more than this, a child can learn how to prevent such a panic attack from happening as well. Treatment for anxiety can include breathing exercises as well as techniques for relaxation and stress management, and it also includes learning how to control their muscles. Other forms of treatment for anxiety include positive talk, where the child is encouraged to talk to someone when they are feeling depressed, anxious, distressed, overwhelmed, or confused.
- Treating trauma
Some children may be faced with disturbing situations, and these situations can result in trauma. Trauma’s effects can range from shock to detachment, disbelief, numbness (both social and emotional), anxiety, depression, and fear. In some cases, trauma can even lead to PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms of PTSD can be different as well, and it may include the child wanting to avoid places or people related to the trauma, intense memories, nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, and anger or agitation. But with counseling, a child can have an outlet for sharing their fears, concerns, and feelings. With counseling, children can talk about the situation and how it has affected their feelings.
The death of a family member such as a parent, a pet, or even a school or home can result in a lot of grief for a child. And children don’t have the same coping mechanisms adults have, as they don’t have the maturity or the life experiences to help them deal with the situation. Children going through grief may be confused and conflicted, and they may also go through different feelings including numbness, loss, despair, sadness, anger, and denial. When it comes to grief, a child counselor can help a child understand the process of grief while at the same time letting them know that it is normal or okay to have confusing or conflicting emotions. With grief counseling, a child can learn to talk about their loss until they can process it in the proper way. Counselors can also help in the grief process by encouraging children to channel their grief into various pursuits such as art, journaling or writing, sports, or music, and sharing good memories of the loved one or place which they have lost.
Join the discussion on this topic with Brookes News by visiting our contact page.