counseling with your child

darkeyedgirlAugust 28, 2002

Has anyone ever taken their child to counseling, for behavior related issues or whatever?

I've been thru counseling on my own so I know it helps, but I'm just wondering how much kids "open up" to a total stranger - I'd like for her to talk without me around. She has said some things recently that make me wonder what is going on.

She's very well behaved so that is not the issue. She's only 5 and the things she said recently have really disturbed me (lots of sadness). It could be from trauma of my past relationships or just the general weirdness of her life (I'm a single parent) but I'm just curious to hear from other parents who have had to take their kids to a counselor.


- darkeyedgirl

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Dear Darkeye,

My kids (now 12 and 17) have both been in and out of counseling for years. One has ADD and depressive tendancies (genetic, I'm sure), the other has ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, and a rage-seizure disorder (his seizures look remarkably like "behavior" and were (I don't know whether to say mis- or) un-diagnosed for years). So much for the background.

The key is to finding someone who has treated the problem before AND relates to your child. At her age it is mostly play therapy, and looks suspiciously like they aren't doing anything useful, sometimes for a long time. Go in knowing what you want the goals to be, and have a session or two with the therapist yourself (if you can) before you let him or her meet with your child. We had one highly recommended shrink who saw our problem child for over two years. When we took him for a consult at a major university medical school, the guy looked at their assessment and said "I'm not surprised". That was the end of him. The next shrink actually helped our son.
Good luck -- as you may know if you've been in therapy, you don't always get the right one the first or second time. Hang in there and you'll find help.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2002 at 9:06PM
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