If your child is struggling and it seems as if they are finding it difficult to cope with the challenges at home or school, we encourage you to seek professional support. A Christian counselor can help your child understand and work through the challenges of growing up. We will also come alongside you to equip you to support your child’s needs more effectively. Counseling provides a safe and supportive environment in which children can feel heard and understood, and through the child-counselor relationship, he or she can learn tactics to deal with difficult issues.
Because each child has a unique set of needs, the methods and aims of counseling will differ from child to child. However, counseling for children usually involves play therapy, talk therapy, and parent engagement. The counselor will use their expertise to help your child feel safe and comfortable expressing any concerns or fears while also helping parents feel empowered as well. Mill Creek Christian Counseling, we seek to support the whole family. If you are in need of Christian Family counseling check out our family-counseling page.
The challenges of conflict in the home, the trauma of bullying, divorce or single-parent households, the pressure to ‘fit in’—all of these can negatively impact a child’s self-esteem and can lead to more serious concerns. In addition to such environmental and social obstacles, some children suffer from behavioral and/or mental health issues that hinder normal development. Many of us are used to hearing about children diagnosed with ADHD or Aspergers Syndrome, but a child can also suffer from depression or anxiety.
Many problems in a child’s life are short-lived and can be resolved without outside intervention. However, you may become concerned if your child’s behavior indicates a more serious or chronic issue. Some of the most common warning signs that something is wrong with a child include: social withdrawal, difficulty controlling emotion, poor impulse control, and behavioral problems. The most important thing to remember is to trust your instincts. Parents can usually tell if something is wrong with their child.
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One of the great tragedies in any life is the dissolution of what was supposed to be a lifelong journey. Divorce usually marks the death of shared hopes and dreams and is deeply disruptive to everyone involved. There is a scale of life stressors by someone named Rahe; on this list, divorce is rated second, just after the death of a spouse or child.
The pain and stress of the transition are significant, sometimes enormous, even if the people involved somehow manage to guard against despondency, avoid blame shifting, manage their anger, maintain civility and focus forward toward a more positive “new normal.”
If neither spouse is immovably spiteful or bitter to the point that they no longer have the capacity to have the children’s best interests at heart then this is a situation where a licensed counselor can make a huge difference in helping the couple manage the emotional currents present in the process. If there are children involved, even more so. If the parents are unable to agree to settle things amicably, their lawyers will end up doing it in court.
What follows is only intended for couples where there is no abuse involved. If one or both parents are abusive, the divorce probably will not be amicable, and if it is, safety measures need to be in place to protect the children, which is beyond the scope of...Read More
What is play therapy for children? Isn’t it just playing? How can that make a lasting impact on my child?
Play therapy is playing with your child, yes – but it’s not justplaying. Play therapists use play in many different forms as a tool and treatment modality when conducting therapy with children.
A child learns about, observes, and processes the world they live in through play. For children, playing through issues is the equivalent to talking through issues for adults. A child interacting with a therapist through play is the equivalent to an adult engaging with a therapist through conversation.
By using play in a therapeutic setting, a child can grow, learn, develop communication skills, develop pro-social skills, learn to regulate their emotions, and much more. Play therapy for children is an evidenced-based intervention that allows children to learn and heal in the most effective way in order to insure long-lasting effects throughout adulthood.
Philosophers and intellectuals have known the importance of play for a child since the time of Plato. It has been known that a child learns about the world around them and how to interact with their environment through play.
Play therapy was first developed into a formal practice in the early 1920’s by a woman by the name of Hermine Hug-Hellmuth. She had children play in the therapy room with the therapist as a way to allow children to express themselves. She also realized that she was able to analyze children’s thoughts and emotions through...Read More
Everyone displays problematic behavior at some point, whether it is overreacting to being cut off on the freeway or coping in not-so-healthy ways (e.g., emotional eating). This is especially true for children, since a child’s brain is continuing to grow and does not become fully mature until early adulthood.
Furthermore, although a child may be able to control his or her behavior in some situations, other times, especially when emotionally overwhelmed, the same child may actually be unable to control his or her behavior/reactions. This, although mind boggling and frustrating at times, is completely normal!
On the other hand, there are some child behavior problems that you definitely should not ignore, especially when these problems become habitual or negatively impact a child’s functioning and/or relationships. It is at this point that it is time to seek help. By intervening early, you have a chance at eliminating the behavior before the problem escalates and/or has significant consequences.
Regardless of the child behavior problems you are facing in your home, there is hope! A child’s brain has amazing capacities for growth and change. Furthermore, caregivers and other adults are vital partners in helping a child develop healthy coping skills and the ability to regulate emotions and, therefore, behavior.
As we examine specific behavior problems, keep in mind what the behavior could represent for the child in question. I like what Daniel Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. write in their book, No Drama Discipline (2014). These authors...Read More