Starting the conversation…
It is important to be open and honest with your child about going to therapy. Therapy is not a time for surprises, so talk to them about coming to therapy at a neutral time (not when anyone’s feelings are escalated or something related to coming to therapy happens). Tell them their therapist’s name and what they will be doing when they come here: we might talk, play, draw, color, and read books or watch a video.
Who is a therapist?
A therapist is a person whom they can talk to about their feelings and anything that is happening in their life.
Well, can’t they just talk to you? Of course, they can! Sometimes parents need help, too. Therapists help when someone has a problem, emphasizing that therapy is to help with problems, not to fix them. “Fix” can be associated with the idea that there is something wrong with them and that is not the case! Everyone needs a little help sometimes.
Take this time to talk about specific concerns you have with your child: “We see that you have a lot of big feelings and it can be confusing when you don’t know what to do with them, so we hope therapy can help when you have these feelings” or if they have brought up concerns to you, you can support them by presenting those concerns back to them: “You have told us you struggle with paying attention and listening to teachers and I’m sure that’s frustrating for you, maybe therapy can help find ways to make those things easier”.
Finally, they may have some negative feelings about coming to therapy, we encourage you to try your best to validate these feelings, “I see that you are (scared, nervous, angry, sad) about trying something new and that it is ok to feel that way”. They might have a lot of questions if you feel like you are not sure how to answer them - it is ok to say, “I don’t know, let’s ask them when we go and we can learn together”.
We look forward to learning and growing with you!
If you have any questions on how to explain your specific concerns to your child, please let us know and we can provide you with guidance.
🧡 Kids can greatly benefit from seeing a dietitian! Contact a dietitian who can help your child develop a healthy relationship to food and nourishing their body. Dietitians can specialize in improving mental health, eating disorders, acne, and more.