How do I know if my child really needs therapy, or if this is "just a phase?"
It is widely accepted that all children exhibit difficult behaviors at various times in their lives - from toddlerhood through adolescence. But when do you know that it’s more than “just a phase”? Indeed, all problematic behaviors in children are normal – it is the degree of severity and frequency of occurrence, which determine whether normal problems are turning into a disorder which requires psychotherapy.
Many parents resist seeking professional help, believing that “all children go through this” and the problems will go away with time. Some parents are afraid that therapy will cause more upset by “making the child think about it more”. Others believe that these troublesome behaviors are “just part of the child’s personality”, and there is nothing that can be done to alter them.
Why do we need Family Therapy if my child is the one with the issue?
Children who feel good emotionally, behave well. Therapists are trained to be good at dealing with difficult emotions and behaviors. But we only see our young clients for about a hour a week. Parents, who see them 24/7, are the real agents of change. It's important to teach parents how to use some of the techniques that we use in the office.
One way to look at it is to imagine that the family is a baseball team, and the child is the only player who gets sent to spring training to improve his/her skills. That leaves the other family members playing the game with their old skills which they learned on the playground. But if they all go to spring training together, they will all learn new skills and learn to function better as a team. (click here to read more)
Parents appreciate this approach, because they learn a new parenting style:
I offer attachment focused family psychotherapy: parent-child counseling and parent coaching, from a mom who has been there, done that, which will help you to build a loving relationship with your child based on trust, mutual respect, and communication, which will last through the teenage years into adulthood.
183 Franklin Corner Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
e-mail: Lynne Lyon