First, it can be helpful for you and the therapist to meet without your child before the child comes to the therapist’s office. You can discuss the issues that brought you to the conclusion that your child could use some therapeutic support. It will help the therapist if you provide information about the child’s interests, your hopes, and the goals you wish to work on with your child and the therapist’s help. You can also discuss how the therapy might be structured. Some children need to have their parent present for a period of time. Others prefer to have a parent sit in the waiting area while the child works with the therapist.
Your child they may be unfamiliar with the idea of therapy. If getting in touch with a Vermont family therapy center like ours is a good option, introduce the idea when a conversation can follow. Some children want to ask questions about how therapy works, why they are going and what they should get out of the experience. Other children may simply wait to see what happens. Either response is fine.
If your child does have questions, you don’t have to have all the answers.
You might begin by telling the child you have talked with someone who is good at listening and you would like to have them go with you next time. The therapist can determine how much explanation a child needs about what happens in therapy sessions. The therapist is trained to help kids who are going through a tough time. If your child has questions for you, answer them as simply and clearly as you can. As mentioned above, you don’t have to have all the answers. If you are unsure how to answer a question, simply let your child know the two of you can ask the therapist.
If you like, you can talk a little about privacy what what a safe space is. Therapy is designed to be a safe, relaxed setting and what the child chooses to talk about is up to them. They can talk, play games or draw pictures in the session. Many children are more comfortable talking if they can play or draw while doing so. It’s up to the child and the therapist how they use the time.
If your child seems to want to talk more about what to expect, you could also let them know that their therapist is good at understanding problems. In the beginning, they’ll mostly get to know one another, but if the child wants to discuss a problem, the therapist will be ready to help them find a good solution.
As a parent, you will want to know what progress your child is making in therapy. Although you might be tempted to ask your child how things go or what they talked about, check in with the therapist instead. They may not share the details of each session but they’ll be ready to talk to you about progress and steps to take outside of sessions.
Heading into therapy can be new and sometimes uncomfortable experience for both parents and kids, but helping your child through a difficult time is the goal. The therapists at Vermont Talk Therapy are ready to work in partnership with parents who want to enlist support for their children.