What is Child Therapy and What to Expect

Separation anxiety, tantrums, moodiness and defiant behaviors are all typical developmental challenges that nearly all children experience at certain points during childhood and adolescence.  These same behaviors can also be indicative that your child is struggling with a behavioral and/or emotional difficulty. 

So how do you know if your child may benefit from counseling?  

Children and adolescents most often come to counseling due to experiencing emotional and behavioral issues which are negatively impacting their functioning in some way.  These emotional and behavioral issues may be the result of a traumatic event, chronic stressors (such as bullying, poverty, community violence, high parental conflict, academic struggles, etc.), as well as grief and loss issues.  

So what does therapy with children look like?  

This depends on the age and developmental level of your child as well as the difficulties your child may be experiencing. 

Infant Mental Health/Early Childhood Mental Health Services often focus on providing services to both the parent and child.  Because very young children rely so much on caregivers for exploring and making sense of their world, parental involvement in nearly all sessions.  Child Parent Psychotherapy is an evidenced based treatment modality which supports young children and their caregivers in working towards resolving shared trauma experiences, traumas experienced by the child, resolving challenging behaviors, and improving the parent-child relationship.  

School aged children and adolescents often benefit from a combination of individual counseling and family counseling services to support both the child and the family unit in learning skills to improve functioning.  For children who have experienced a traumatic event, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may be appropriate in working towards resolving traumatic stress symptoms.  Additionally, for all age groups Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment can be helpful in addressing a wide range of difficulties including anxiety issues, past traumatic and attachment issues.

At Chenal Family Therapy, we are here to help you and your child as you navigate life’s various challenges with caring, compassion and understanding.   Our West Little Rock office serves families in the greater Little Rock area as well as surrounding communities.  Additionally, we can provide online counseling services for some families in rural communities.

For scheduling with Chenal Family Therapy please reach out to our scheduling team 501-781-2230.