Anxiety Therapy For Children
Is Anxiety Holding Your Child Back In Life?
Is constant stress affecting your child’s ability to enjoy life? Maybe every Sunday night, they start to panic in anticipation of the new school week. They feel pressure from their teachers, they have trouble connecting with other kids and they don’t have the self-esteem to face tomorrow confidently. You try to calm them down, to remind them little mistakes aren’t the end of the world, but nothing seems to help. They’re terrified of messing up, whether academically or socially.
When children struggle with anxiety, the symptoms are often as physical as they are emotional. Your little one may complain of stomach aches, headaches, sweatiness or lack of appetite. Oftentimes, they don’t realize they’re suffering from anxiety. And because they can’t communicate their needs effectively, it can be hard to understand their troubles on your own.
Deep down, you probably wish your child could just de-stress, relax and stop thinking every little misstep is the end of the world. You want them to stop worrying about how they’ll perform in school or what other kids will think of them. If this is the case, I encourage you to reach out to me. Together, we can devise a plan that will let your child thrive, help them feel good about themselves and enrich their relationship with you.
Anxiety Doesn’t Need To Control Your Child’s Life
Imagine it’s a Sunday night. Your little one is enjoying themselves and doing what they love—whether it’s drawing, reading, dancing or playing with toys. They are excited to go to school. They can’t wait to see their teachers, try new activities and spend time with friends. They aren’t stressed about upcoming tests, nor are they worried about whether they’ll fit in with their peers.
This life may seem unrealistic to you now, but I encourage you to take heart. Many children struggle with anxiety; and the condition is highly treatable. Oftentimes, anxiety in children comes about regardless of their academic success or social skills. Plenty of children who do well in school and have lots of friends suffer from acute stress and panic attacks. Their anxiety may stem from traumatic events in their past or pressures from the culture at large, such as peer pressure or social media.
On your own, it’s hard to tell what’s at the root of your child’s worries. No one can parent in a vacuum; sometimes, you need a helping hand from someone who can provide insight into your little one’s life and teach them coping skills for managing stressors.
Anxiety Therapy Can Help Your Child Be The Best Possible Version Of Themselves
First and foremost, I want you to know I am not here to “fix” your child. There is nothing “wrong” with them. Anxiety therapy seeks to help your little one play to their strengths, discover what brings them joy and grow into the best possible version of themselves. With me, they can relax, have fun and express their frustrations without any fear of being judged or told what to do. Kids face enough pressure from school and our culture in general. Here, I want them to know they don’t have to be perfect. They can play with toys, draw or color, use puppets and build with Lego’s. To facilitate a connection of playfulness and trust, kids are free to use anything they like to express their thoughts and feelings.
Along the way, I will ensure you play an active role in your child’s healing process. I’ll you give you a heads-up on important updates in their life and teach you practical ways to help them at home. If transitions cause them anxiety, for instance, I will help you develop a plan to keep them relaxed and focused during changes in their day. Additionally, you and I can work with the school to make sure they feel supported by their teachers by making them aware of any specific needs or difficulties your child may have. This way, your youngster’s support system stretches beyond the bounds of the home and my office.
In sessions with your child, I will explore what they like to do for fun and what helps them relax. In therapy, they can act out what’s going on in their lives without any stress. If they’re scared of going to school, for instance, we can make-believe that a doll or puppet they’re playing with is afraid of going somewhere. This will help your child make playful connections to real-life scenarios in a way that doesn’t make them sad or anxious.
Additionally, I will teach your child deep-breathing exercises, visualization techniques and ways to reach out for help when they’re stressed. A huge focus of mine is helping them identify their “happy place.” Essentially, their happy place doesn’t have to be a place at all—it’s whatever brings them comfort, joy and satisfaction. I will ask them to describe this happy place and explain why it helps them. This way, when they’re feeling anxious, they can go to the “happy place” in their head and find momentary relief from their struggles.
No matter how hopeless things look right now, it is possible for children with anxiety to thrive. Your dream scenario of seeing your child get excited to go to school and make new friends doesn’t have to be a fantasy. By teaching your child skills to combat stress and equipping you with the tools and resources to help them, we can make your dream a reality.
You may have some concerns about Anxiety Therapy…..
I Don’t Want My Child To Think Something Is Wrong With Them.
I am not here to put a label or diagnosis on your child. Though I take a problem-solving approach to therapy, that does not mean you and I are trying to “correct” your child. Anxiety treatment is about helping your youngster find happiness. Put simply, I want to identify what brings them happiness and what prevents them from attaining it. Whether or not your child is diagnosed with anxiety is irrelevant to the actual healing process.
How Will Play Therapy Help?
In Play Therapy, kids have the opportunity to act out whatever they’re working through internally with toys and games—essentially finding solutions for their troubles through play. This approach allows them to indirectly deal with tough issues without being overwhelmed. Many kids find talking about their troubles scary. Child-centered Play Therapy gives them a chance to address real-life struggles in a way that is playful, imaginative and unintimidating.
What If My Child Doesn’t Want To Come To Therapy?
Most kids have trouble sitting still. The good news is that in sessions with me, they don’t have to. They can use their hands and be active. Art supplies, games, puppets, dollhouses and other sensory toys help them talk about difficulties without using actual words. Helping kids grow requires meeting them on their own level, and that’s what my approach to counseling does. I don’t want to be an authority figure telling them how to act; they have enough of that in school. I want to be someone they can laugh with, cry with and be themselves around.
Equip Your Child WithThe Strength To Live Joyfully And Abundantly
If you want your child to de-stress, relax and feel happy again, I would be honored to help. Together, we can ensure they live joyfully and abundantly for years to come. You can call me at 631-289-8765 for a free 20-minute phone consultation or fill out the contact form.
Right now, because of COVID-19, all my anxiety counseling sessions for children are online. The platform I utilize is secure, free and HIPAA-compliant. See my online counseling page for kids for more information.