Seeking Therapeutic Help for Your Child

Originally Posted on April 4, 2013 by BJ Howell.

“Mini-Blog” follow-up to: Can You Help My Child?

At the 1st session with parents, a frequent statement that I hear, as it relates to their child, is “I’m willing to do anything”. The truth of the matter is, when it comes to life and death, I totally believe they would do anything for their child. As it relates to possibly changing the structural foundation of their family…well, now it gets a little tricky. As parents, we all have good intentions. We want the best for our child. As adults, who have lived and experience life, with its ups and downs, hurts and disappointments, we have our own “stuff” that sometimes gets in the way (at times, without us even knowing it). The foundation on which we live our lives creates a safety zone for us. Exploring a different way to handle a situation or view an experience or change in any regard, is difficult. So what I tell parents, is that for therapy to have a chance to be successful, at a bare minimum, these are some things they need to agree to…

1. Be the parent. Don’t give up your rights as parents. This is a collaborative experience and you are an important part of the process. If you have concerns, ask questions.

2. Be committed. If therapy is needed, it should be treated like a doctors appointment. Be there, on time, every time. Don’t hold back information. Healing can be hindered by holding back or hiding information. Sometimes the answer or resolution can be found in the every day situations.

3. Be part of the solution. If you are given suggestions (use a chore chart, administer the 10/20/10 technique, take a time-in with your child, etc.), do it. Excuses and promises mean nothing. Actions mean everything. If your child is given homework, encourage them to do it. Again, healing takes work. Some of the work may seem useless, but there is a end goal. Also be willing to explore the possibility that some of your unresolved experiences may be effecting how you view the situation.

4. Be persistent. Most issues do not get resolved overnight. And, as a matter of fact, sometimes things get worse before they get better. Trust the process.

5. Be Empowered. Above all else, be empowered. Seeking help, learning new skills, trying different techniques is all about being empowered and helping your child to become empowered. The more we know, the more we grow…

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