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Signs Your Child Can Benefit from a Child Psychologist

The first question most parents ask is, "Does my child need a child psychologist?" Really, a therapist's services can benefit anyone at any age. But there are specific signs that your child needs psychological counseling at this time in their life. Some of these signs include:
Child Psychologist
• Struggles with anxiety
• Difficulty coping with life changes
• Frequent complaints of headaches, stomach aches or other pains without identified medical cause
• Dramatic responses or "meltdowns" over slight disappointments or plan changes
• Recent major changes in the family dynamics, such as through moving, divorce, new siblings, death in the family or chronic illness
• Extreme worry over small issues
• Difficulty focusing in class or getting along with other children
• Problems switching between activities or making other transitions
• Problems sleeping, maintaining a bedtime routine or sleeping alone
If your loved one experiences any of the problems above, visits with a child therapist at Greene Psychology Group can help. While it is a big decision to seek the support of a child psychologist or other provider, you can rest easy in making this choice. Psychologists specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents can help you find answers to your child's problem behaviors. Our child therapists can also help you restore your child's happiness, daily performance and general well-being.

Deciding to Visit a Child Therapist

Most parents have a gut feeling that their child is facing difficulties in daily life or within the school environment. For those who have occasional thoughts or even more frequent consideration of sending their loved one to a child therapist, these instincts are typically correct. Therapy can help with small or temporary problems. It can also help with bigger, long term issues. So there is no real drawback in deciding when to send your child to therapy or that they need this support.

If you still feel unsure about visiting a child psychologist or other therapist, consider the questions below:

• Is your child acting out in ways that seem out of character?
• Does your child seem to struggle more than other kids his or her age?
• Is your loved one's problem affecting their schooling, friendships or home life?
• Has the problem lasted beyond a couple of weeks?

Answering yes to any of these questions means your loved one could benefit from seeing a child therapist. This mental health provider can help them with the problems they face by finding their root causes. They also help your child develop coping skills.

Conditions Helped by a Child Therapist

Just like adults, children can suffer a wide variety of mental health issues. These range from mild or temporary conditions treated through lifestyle changes and coping skills to those requiring more comprehensive, long-term treatment. A significant part of any child therapist's time is spent simply lending children with an ear that hears what they have to say. These professionals provide emotional support and help young people put their feelings into productive words.

Below is a list of issues treated by a child psychologist:

• Sleep problems
• Mild behavioral problems
• Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
• Conduct Disorder (CD)
• Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
• Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Learning difficulties
• Behavioral problems
• Learning and developmental disabilities
• Autism spectrum disorders
• Substance abuse, self harm and other risk factors

Therapy Is a Safe Space to Learn and Grow

A child psychologist provides your young person with a calming, safe space in which to work through their problems and feelings. These child therapists work as a neutral person not involved in family or social struggles. This makes it easier for a child to develop a trusting relationship with a psychologist. Through their counselor, they see a person able to discuss problems without risk of hurting anyone's feelings, causing disapproval or burdening someone else with their stress.

Part of working with a child in this manner is eventually helping them feel safe in sharing how they feel with key adults in their life. This comes after the child psychologist builds trust and mutual understanding with them. The child therapist also helps them put their feelings and concerns into productive and empowering words. From their counselor, a child learns new coping skills to manage strong emotions in a healthier manner.

At the same time, your child psychologist helps you -- the parent -- understand your child better. They provide you with support to help your child practice new skills in the home environment and throughout their daily experiences.

How Therapy Feels to Your Child

To your child, a visit with their child psychologist feels much like a calm conversation in a neutral space. They do not feel threatened, punished or like they must change. Instead, through play therapy, role play, conversation or other methods, your child feels productive in discussing their problems and learning new ways to cope with them.

It is critical to understand that visits with a child psychologist do not mean something is wrong with your child. Instead, these visits help your child deal better with everyday problems. Along the same thread, these are skills they will use for the rest of their life to enjoy a healthy, happy and balanced future.

Some children visiting a child psychologist suffer serious mental health problems. But most simply need someone able to discuss the difficulties in their life from a neutral and helpful perspective. In fact, everyone could benefit from this help at some time in their lives. At one point or another, we all experience problems with which we do not want to burden our loved ones. We also struggle in youth to put many of our feelings into words.

Imagine being small again, feeling unable to communicate what is really bothering you. To a child, seeing a child psychologist broadens their voice and language. This occurs to a point that better communicates the day-to-day problems they experience. By better understanding the things that make them anxious or sad, then being able to communicate them to the adults in their lives, kids feel more empowered. This is particularly true when they build coping skills and have new tools for moving beyond their struggles.

How Child Psychologists Differ from General Counselors

Child psychologists have a doctoral degree. This degree requires additional education beyond a typical counselor. Overall, their education takes about five to six years to start, then continuing education in their field for license upkeep. Your child's psychologist learns about childhood behavior and how to help their young clients. They also focus on research within their training.

Licensed psychologists can conduct tests that other therapists cannot. These tests include those that lead to mental health or learning disability diagnoses. This is important, as many children struggle throughout their daily lives because of root causes that require diagnosis and specialized treatment. However, child psychologists do not prescribe medication. If your child requires medication, this involves referral to a medical doctor, such as a pediatrician or a psychiatrist.

Therapy for Your Child in the Raleigh, North Carolina Area

Greene Psychology Group provides the services of a child psychologist and child therapists along with an array of mental health services for adults, couples and families. If your child suffers behavioral problems, emotional issues or other struggles associated with daily life, Greene Psychology Group can help. We provide a warm and pleasant atmosphere for your child's mental health and behavioral improvement, whether through in-person visits or teletherapy. Call us today at 919-205-5339 to schedule a first visit.
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