What is psychotherapy and counseling?
Although human beings have an innate ability to self-heal, when difficult situations arise, people often become overwhelmed and unable to access their coping skills and strengths. In addition, people sometimes simply do not have the information to understand what is happening with their feelings. Talking to family members can pose difficulty as they may be part of the problem and turning to them may only make matters seem worse. Turning only to friends may take too much of a toll on the relationship, causing you to feel more isolated. While self-help books are interesting and can help map out the nature of your feelings, for the most part, they do not relieve the distress. If you decide to talk to a psychotherapist, you will get the assistance you need with the objectivity that neither family nor friends can offer.
Psychotherapy and counseling is：
- An interpersonal relationship which enables you to develop understanding about yourself and to make changes in your life.
- A commitment to and an investment in yourself.
- A place where you talk, openly and honestly, to a professional who has been extensively trained in human behavior and change.
- A process that helps you to understand your feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and relationships.
- A safe, confidential, non-judgmental environment where you can identify and come to terms with emotions and needs.
Psychotherapy may involve work with current problems, immediate crisis, or long-term difficulties. Depending on the nature of the difficulties, the work may be short-term or long-term, and may involve working with an individual, a couple, a family or a group.
Your child's psychotherapy and counseling.
It is common for children to experience occasional problems as they grow and mature. They experience conflicts at home over such issues as toilet training, bedtime and homework. They encounter problems with parents and peers as they attempt to establish a personal identity and practice relating to others. They experience conflict with teachers as academic and behavioral demands increase. As a child is faced with new situations, demands and expectations, it is common for the child to experience emotional ups and downs characterized by feelings of sadness, fear and anger. These reactions tend to be short-lived, and usually do not significantly interfere with the child's life. However, occasionally a child's response to life's pressures may become severe, and the parents' attempts to help their child may be unsuccessful. At times such as these, professional assistance may be warranted. Parents often recognize when their child may need or benefit from psychological treatment and understand that such intervention is not in any way a sign of parental failure. Psychotherapy offers children the opportunity to identify, discuss and understand problems and to develop necessary coping skills. It is important to recognize that without appropriate and timely treatment, a child's problems may become severe and lead to more serious, long-lasting difficulties. Child psychologists possess specialized knowledge and skills that enable them to identify problem behaviors and formulate appropriate interventions. A psychologist trained to work with children and families can develop individualized treatment plans appropriate to each child's specific needs.
What about parents' involvement in treatment?
Parents usually want to do the right thing for their children. Unfortunately, they do not always have the knowledge of effective parenting skills. Parents also may have their own emotional difficulties and that will make it very difficult for them to fulfill the needs of their children. When I see children, I also include the parents in the treatment. They have a need to be involved and informed, and they have the right and responsibility to participate in their children's growth and healing. Parental involvement is a crucial component of every child's treatment. From the first session, parents are relied upon for information concerning their child's development, behavior, relationships, and habits and they are closely consulted regarding the goals of treatment. Parents are partners in the treatment process and provide critical feedback regarding the effectiveness of interventions as they are developed and implemented. Psychotherapy also provides the opportunity to address parental concerns, educate parents regarding their child's unique needs, and assist them in meeting these needs in an appropriate, effective fashion.