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How do I explain to my child about going to see a therapist?

Child Therapy is really about providing support, problem solving skills and enhanced coping strategies.  A child may experience these normal stages as they progress through therapy:

  1. Feeling anxious about going to the therapy (afraid of being rejected, talking to a stranger etc.), but curious about the interaction during the appointment.

  2. Experiencing understanding and acceptance when presenting the issues in his/her life.       

  3. Feeling stress and anxiety when facing difficult issues, but relieved and empowered by working with the specialist.

  4.  Applying the positive skills he/she has developed from therapy to his/her real life. Developing a new identity through therapy.

  5. Facing challenges with his/her new skills in life, and continuing to receive positive support from therapy and parents.

  6. Developing a stable relationship with his/her environment.

Some children take months to go through the process, some take years. It is important that they feel supported by their parents. You can explain to your kids that therapy is a safe place for them to talk and to learn to understand themselves with an experienced person.  The use of encouragement and sometimes a little treat after the appointment can be helpful. It is also important to be committed to the therapy sessions.  As a parent, it shows the child that you believe the therapy sessions are helpful and important to both of you.

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