Child therapy can help children and young people to make sense of complicated, confusing or unbearable feelings. These could be due to trauma within the family or having experienced a traumatic event. But it may also be used to work through more general anxieties or low self-esteem, bullying or finding friendships and school life challenging. We can also support young people experiencing difficulties with eating or anger issues.
The work carried out with their therapist will usually positively impact behaviour at home and school due to the Child feeling calmer and less anxious, reducing the need to ‘act out’ these difficult feelings on the relationships and environments surrounding them. This can have an impact on their ability to learn and make use of help and support.
Our child therapists and psychologists will make sense of how they feel no matter what those feelings or experiences may be. Our therapists can work with children 1- 18 years old. For younger children, it can be impossible to put words to these feelings or to talk about them out loud. In which case, these feelings and experiences can be explored through play therapy or drawings. Their therapist will explore your Child’s emotional difficulties using talking therapy, more grown-up activities and storytelling for older children.
Depending on the reason for therapy and the Child’s age, parents may be included in the treatment or may do some work with the therapist alongside the Child’s therapy. Usually, your Child’s therapist will meet with the parents to gather more information about what’s going on with the Child and the family situation. Your therapists will then, depending on the age of the Child the therapists are likely to meet with them for some individual sessions before you are brought back together as a family.
Family therapy aims to find ways for family members to communicate more helpfully and avoid repeating dysfunctional dynamics that might get in the way of connecting with each other. This approach can prove particularly useful for supporting families when a family member is struggling with alcohol or substance misuse or mental health crisis. Family therapy can be helpful if there is a problem with the whole family system or when the family is affected by an individual family member or generational trauma. It can also be helpful as a source of support for one member of the family who is experiencing difficulties and finding it hard to be understood by the family.
Issues family therapy can help with lots of issues.
child and family Therapy
Child & Family Therapy can help with a range of issues including:
- Someone in the family suffering from alcohol or substance misuse issues.
- Divorce, Separations, Affairs
- Blended families
- Adult Mental Health Crisis – For the family around the patient.
- Death in the family
- Traumatic events
- Changes in family life
- Generational abuse and neglect
- Destructive family dynamics
You may have one or a team of therapists involved with your care. Your team will explore your concerns and go over an extensive family history to gather an understanding of the difficulties experienced within the family. We will explore a detailed family history from everyone’s perspective. We will explore family beliefs and relational patterns. You may then be seen individually or remain as a family group.
The therapy team will talk with the family and among each other in the room. All discussions will be completely open, with everyone involved invited to participate. You will usually be seen fortnightly or weekly; the sessions will be between 1 and 1.5 hours.
Our therapists working with children have completed degrees specifically to work with children rather than being general counsellors that sometimes work with children. Our child therapists are all qualified to Masters or doctorate level and hold enhanced DBS certificates.
Evidence has strongly supported that family therapy (systemic) therapy is exceptionally effective in treating issues in both children and adults, such as:
- Substance abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Eating disorders
- Relationship difficulties
- Mood disorders
- Emotional problems
- Childhood neglect and Abuse
Because family therapy is thinking about the whole family in a broader and historical context, it can feel very impactful and can bring up lots of complicated feelings for all the family members involved. Sometimes this can feel like it’s getting worse before it gets better. We will work very closely with you to manage these strong emotional feelings.
Why It’s Important
Mental health disorder rates rose among children aged 7 to 16 years, from 1 in 9 in 2017, to 1 in 6 in 2020.
of those with lifetime mental health problems first experience symptoms by the age of 14.