Sometimes our children need support from outside sources. Whether it’s struggling with school, behavior, or other concerns, counseling is a helpful option. Counseling for children offers help so that your child can work through whatever he or she is struggling with and learn skills to help him or her now and in the future.

While it can feel hard to know if counseling is the right choice for your child, understanding what it is and what you can expect will help you and your child get started.

Get connected with a Christian Counselor
Please contact our reception team at
(469) 333-6163

Counseling for children offers a safe, trusted space where children can work with a trained professional to find support and help to work through struggles they may be facing.

Similar to counseling for adults, there is a licensed counselor that will utilize talk therapy as one of the tools to help your child. One unique aspect is some of the other strategies used that are specific to kids. It is important to work with a counselor who has training and experience treating children. This will ensure your child is getting help that is specific to the needs of a child.

The goal of counseling for children is to address the current or past issues with which the child struggles and discover support, understanding, and skills to help them make changes that benefit them as they grow up.

Child counseling covers many topics, but one thing is central: it is about the child. The ultimate goal is for the child to feel supported and equipped to understand, process, and move through his or her struggles.

This can involve different things, some very specific and some more general. Some examples include:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Behavior issues
  • Divorce of parents
  • Sexuality
  • Self-harm
  • Loss of a loved one
  • School struggles
  • Special needs
  • Mental health diagnosis
  • Depression
  • Food/eating issues
  • Social concerns
  • Trauma/traumatic events
  • Blended family struggles
  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Anger/aggression issues
  • General disinterest or lack of engagement
  • Bullying
  • Suicidal thoughts/ideation
  • Substance abuse
  • Substance abuse or addiction in the family
  • Disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Relocation issues

Whatever struggle your child is facing, he or she can talk about it in the trusted environment of counseling. The counselor is there to help your child with his or her unique needs.

Every child is unique in his or her personality and needs. As a parent, you know your child, but it can be difficult when there are issues that you can’t resolve on your own. That is where counseling is helpful. Not only does it help you love and support your child, but it gives your child another person he or she can trust to help.

It isn’t always easy to know that your child needs counseling. He or she may not be able to identify it, but there are behaviors you can look for that may indicate support would be beneficial. Some examples include:

  • Withdrawing from things he or she used to enjoy
  • A sullen attitude that lasts more than a day or two
  • Sudden academic changes
  • New behavior issues at school
  • New onset of bed wetting or accidents
  • Separation anxiety
  • Reverting to “baby talk”
  • Drastic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Frequent talk about death
  • New repeated illness or physical complaints, frequent visits to the school nurse
  • Unexplained scars or cuts

These are just a few things to look for that indicate your child could be struggling. Consider any changes in behavior or mood as well as any life events or changes your child may be experiencing. Remember, every child is unique. Think about your child and consider what you see in his or her behavior and personality.

If you decide to pursue counseling, not every child understands counseling or is eager to start. Sometimes children don’t even recognize they need help with something. A counselor approaches the situation as a trusted ally that the child can come to depend on for listening, help, and advice. This approach will help most children come to appreciate having someone in their life they can trust. It doesn’t negate the role of the parent; it gives children a bigger support system.

The best way to know if it’s right for your child is to try it for some time. Connect with a counselor and commit to three to five sessions to let the child and counselor get to know one another. If there is an obvious personality conflict, choose someone else early on. Otherwise, giving it a few sessions allows both the child and counselor to connect so the child can begin to trust the counselor. If you find that it isn’t working out, trying a different counselor is better than dismissing all future counseling.

Most children don’t want to just sit down and talk about their problems. That is why a counselor trained to work with children is essential. Child counselors utilize many different forms of therapy to help children feel comfortable and express themselves. Sometimes this is with talk therapy. Other times they use different strategies, including the following.

Play therapy

The counselor uses play with various toys and games to help the child express themselves. It allows the child to guide the process while the counselor uses the actions to help guide the conversation.

Art therapy

Great for kids who struggle to talk about themselves or their problems, art therapy allows them to express their ideas creatively. This guides the conversation as the counselor can ask questions related to what the child is creating.

Music therapy

Music offers similar expressive qualities to art therapy. It can also foster calm, helping the child feel more at ease, especially when talking about hard topics.

Parent-child therapy

Primarily for young children with behavior issues, this type of therapy guides the parent in their interactions with the child. It can help in managing difficult behaviors and fostering a closer bond between the parent and child.

There are many different approaches to child therapy. The counselor will help determine the best approach for your child’s individual needs and use a combination of the therapies that are best for the child.

The parent’s role in their child’s counseling can vary depending on the needs of the child. With young children, there is often a more active role for parents, with regular conversations with the counselor. Sometimes parents will even be asked to observe counseling sessions.

Other times, the therapy is primarily between the child and counselor. While the counselor does have a legal obligation to discuss certain concerns, the majority of what is addressed will remain between the child and the counselor. Often, the counselor will encourage the child to express his or her thoughts to their parents, sometimes in a session. Ultimately, it is about the trusted relationship between the counselor and the child. This is especially true with older children and teens.

The best thing you can do no matter what approach is taken is to be supportive. Don’t talk about counseling as a punishment, but as a helpful tool. Some parents benefit from going to individual counseling for themselves. This can help model a positive attitude toward counseling for your child.

The next step is to reach out. Our counselors are ready to help you find the best counselor for your child. When you set up an appointment, we may meet with you for something called an intake appointment. This helps us get to know you and understand the concerns you have for your child.

After that, we will set up a time to begin meeting with your child and give him or her the support he or she needs to overcome struggles.

We look forward to helping your family.

Wylie Christian Counseling

Get connected with a Christian Counselor
Please contact our reception team at
(469) 333-6163