A time of transition
Childhood is a period of rapid development and intense change. Young people are confronted with a bewildering array of physical, emotional and psychological developmental changes – growing up is a tricky business! For some kids, this can be a relatively smooth, or even exciting process of transitions on their journey to adulthood. Yet for others, the challenges encountered can seem overwhelming.
Life Supports offers child counselling for:
- Behavioural problems
- Blended family issues
- Bullying at daycare and school
- Coping with separation and divorce
- Grief and loss
- School refusal
- Separation anxiety
- Sibling conflict
- Sleep issues
The common bond that links all children is their need for loving adult guidance as they develop, learn and grow. Yet even when parents and carers provide a nurturing home environment, sometimes children still need extra support. The great news is that these very common behavioural and emotional issues affecting children of all ages frequently resolve with specialist child counselling. Life Supports can help your son or daughter to successfully overcome childhood challenges by developing their resilience, self-esteem and psychosocial skills.
Child counselling (3 to 12+ years)
The childhood years present a unique set of challenges, for children and parents alike.
Young children frequently find it difficult to regulate their emotions and articulate the complexity of what they are feeling. From temper tantrums to social withdrawal, and concerning behavioural issues such as biting and bedwetting, young children regularly express their distress in worrying ways.
As older children develop, they may struggle with interpersonal conflicts such as sibling rivalry, or social problems as a result of being bullied. Isolation, anger, anxiety and depression are commonly reported issues that pre-teens face as they navigate their way into adolescence amongst their peer group.
Frequently asked questions
As a parent or carer, what can I do to help my child?
Every parent/carer wants their children to feel safe, happy and secure. So what can you do to help when your child is struggling to cope with life’s challenges?
Firstly, know that by talking openly with your child about whatever is concerning them, you’re already equipping your child with skills of communication and resilience that will serve them throughout their adult life.
Secondly, if your child’s mood or behaviour has deteriorated to a point that has you concerned, consider specialist counselling as an effective means of external support. Counselling gives children an opportunity to explore what’s happening in a safe, confidential space. Counselling will help your child develop healthy behaviours, coping skills, and emotional intelligence.
Am I allowed to attend my child’s counselling session?
Rest assured that Life Supports child counsellors and psychologists will wish to speak with both you and your child (before or) during the first appointment. Some parents/carers prefer to negotiate an initial adults-only session to discuss any concerns with their child’s counsellor – these sessions are arranged at the discretion of your Life Supports practitioner.
Ongoing, child counselling is most effective as a combination of child-only and joint parent-child sessions. Your Life Supports counsellor will assess your family’s circumstances during the initial session, and recommend a course of counselling to best meet your child’s needs.
What happens in my child’s counselling sessions?
Your child’s Life Supports counsellor or psychologist may use a combination of talk, art and play therapy in each session, depending on the age and individual needs of your child.
Child counselling is practical and solutions-focused. Your Life Supports counsellor will:
- Speak with both you and your child to gain a clear, balanced understanding of the situation
- Establish achievable outcome/s that both you and your child are motivated to achieve (more peace at home, being able to catch the bus to school, attending school most of the time)
- Help you and your child define a shared understanding of what needs to happen for everyone to have their needs met
- Co-ordinate counselling sessions involving only your child, only yourself, and joint sessions
- Make recommendations of steps you can take to support your child
- Review progress with everyone
- Celebrate breakthroughs and successes
- Be clear about barriers and address them
- Review the plan, and maintain the improvements achieved
Will the counsellor keep me updated?
Absolutely! Your Life Supports counsellor will be available to answer any questions you may have, and keep you up to date with regards to your child’s progress. Life Supports child counsellors and psychologists will help your child to feel happy, secure and confident within themselves and your family dynamic.
Life Supports also provides parenting counselling to support you in developing effective parenting strategies. Essential skills include modelling (and encouraging!) desirable social behaviours for your child, and adopting appropriate verbal and physical responses whenever your child is exhibiting unsafe or disrespectful behaviour.