Many adolescents and young people experience a profound sense of loss as they develop into adults. This time in life is often associated with feelings of confusion that relate to the loss of childhood and a changing sense of self as well as changing relationship dynamics with both friends and family. Adolescents are prone to feeling very lonely in this experience with a profound belief they do not belong or fit in and many feel they have lost control over their lives and their identity.
Psychotherapy may be helpful for children or adolescents who are experiencing difficulties regulating and understanding their emotions or behaviour. The psychotherapeutic process may involve playing, drawing, even role playing and pretending, as well as talking; each can be an important ways of sharing feelings and resolving problems.
As always, the relationship that develops between the therapist and the patient is very important. The child or adolescent must feel comfortable, safe and understood. This type of trusting environment makes it much easier for the child to express his or her thoughts and feelings and to use the therapy in a helpful way.
Psychotherapy helps children and adolescents in a variety of ways. They receive emotional support, resolve conflicts with people, understand feelings and problems, and try out new solutions to old problems. Christian’s goal is to find and reinforce personal strengths within each individual. Clients will grow to become empowered to be emotionally self-sufficient. Children and adolescents with the right psychotherapy will learn to better self-manage and regulate their emotions in an age-appropriate way. Ultimately as a result of these changes self-esteem will improve and flourish.
Parents should ask the following questions about psychotherapy:
- Will my child/adolescent benefit from psychotherapy?
- Is this the best psychotherapist for my child/adolescent?
- Does my child/adolescent feel positive about and willing to go ahead with psychotherapy?
- What results can I expect?
- How long will my child/adolescent be involved in therapy?
- Will the therapist be meeting with just my child/adolescent or with the entire family?
- How will we (the parents) be informed about our child/adolescent’s progress and how can we help?