DOES MY CHILD NEED A THERAPIST?

You have observed that your child is not behaving like before. He or she might be a little “down” or irritated. Or you’ve observed more angry-like behaviors or withdrawn in your child/teen.
At times, you might get feedback from your child’s teacher, who has observed anxious or depressive behaviors, and you wonder – “What’s going on with my child?”

ANXIETY IN CHILDREN AND TEENS

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An anxious child may feel “scared” of performing activities where they may be “judged” somehow. Sometimes he or she may complain “My belly hurts” before going to school.
You might learn that the lower grade you child got was due to nervousness and he/she wanting to rush out of the classroom and not because they did not know the subject well.

DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN AND TEENS

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A child with depressive symptoms may demonstrate low energy, more sleep, lower grades, less appetite, poor concentration, self-harming, preoccupation with death, and /or isolation. They might also lose interest in activities they liked doing before.
If you have observed some of these symptoms, then YES, you need to bring your child to therapy.
HOW TO CHOOSE A THERAPIST 

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Most importantly, before you decide which therapist you will bring your child to, try to call around, find the ones that are accepting new patients, then choose 2 or 3 of them to bring your child to.
In your search for a therapist, make sure you review their website, their credentials, and take a look at their pictures – it tells a lot – Is the therapist’s face friendly? Is the office a place you and your child would like to be in for an hour?
Tell your child you will both try to see if you both like the first therapist – if you both do not like the therapist, make sure you take her/him to another one. It is imperative that you trust that the therapist will help your child, and that your child like the therapist, so that the treatment goes well.

THINGS FOR PARENTS TO DISCUSS WITH THE THERAPIST

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When you come to talk to the therapist, she will like to know certain things about the child’s concerns, such as:
  • When did you first started observing those behaviors?
  • Did anything different happened back then?
  • What have you tried doing to help your child?
  • How disruptive are those behaviors for your child to function daily? (ie. can they wake up on time, eat, shower, etc.?)
  • Is this issue a problem in his social life, family life, or at school?
  • Have you seen a decrease on his/her academic performance?
Always remember that the therapist will work with the parents along with the child. You will help the therapist help your child and the therapist will help you help your child.
For more information about child therapy, contact

Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove, PsyD

DrMarzulloDove@gmail.com or call/text (813) 613-8587
More information also at https://marzullodove.com

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