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TIPS FOR PARENTS TO PREPARE THEIR CHILD FOR BEGINNING THERAPY
As a parent, you want your child to be happy, healthy, and able to navigate life's ups and downs with ease. Sometimes, however, circumstances can arise that disrupt the peace in your child's world, such as a major family change, trauma, or emotional difficulties. In such cases, seeking therapy is one of the best steps a parent can take to ensure their child receives tailored support. If you're considering therapy for your child, there are a few things you can do beforehand to help them feel more comfortable and ready for their first session.
1. TALK OPENLY AND HONESTLY WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT THE THERAPY PROCESS
Take time to explain what the therapy process entails, including the different techniques used to help your child express their feelings and work through challenges. It's important to reassure your child that therapy is a safe place to share thoughts and feelings they might find difficult to discuss with others.
2. ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO VOICE ANY CONCERNS
Your child may have concerns or reservations about therapy that they may not feel comfortable sharing with you. Let them know it's okay to express these thoughts and feelings to the therapist, who will help address any worries or concerns.
3. PROVIDE CONTEXT FOR WHY THERAPY IS NEEDED
Be honest with your child about why therapy is being pursued. Providing context is important because it helps your child understand why coming to therapy might be beneficial.
4. CREATE A SENSE OF ROUTINE AROUND THERAPY SESSIONS
Establish a consistent schedule for your child's therapy sessions, so they can develop a sense of familiarity and structure around attending appointments. This can help promote a sense of predictability and comfort.
5. REMIND YOUR CHILD OF THEIR STRENGTHS
Emphasizing your child's strengths helps build confidence and self-esteem, which can foster resilience and an openness to therapy.
6. MODEL HEALTHY EMOTIONAL LANGUAGE
Encourage your child to identify their feelings openly and model healthy ways of expressing emotions, such as deep breathing, relaxation techniques, or other coping mechanisms.
With these tips in mind, you can help prepare your child for their first therapy session, enabling them to receive the support they need to face life's challenges with confidence and resilience.