Therapy can be very beneficial for children dealing with physical challenges and emotional issues. This is certainly the case for kids who have been forced to deal with situations that cause distress like abuse, bullying or the death of a loved one.
There are a number of different types of therapy that can help children. There is animal-assisted therapy, art therapy, and music therapy. There is also one-on-one therapy and group therapy. Your child will be assessed and their needs will be met with the type of therapy that they respond best to.
When it comes to enlisting the help of a therapist, there are some things that you, as the parent, should consider. Like any type of mental health service, children’s therapy comes with its own list of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each thoroughly.
Pros of Therapy
Like many adults, some children benefit from therapy. This is certainly the case for developmentally or behaviorally challenged children who respond to the extra care. That’s why art and music therapy programs are part of special education curriculums around the country.
The pros of children’s therapy include:
- Many children are better equipped to deal with life. Because they are exposed to therapy at an early age, they know that choices exist to help them with their struggles. They don’t have to go the long road alone. They can reach out to someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in the field of mental health services and get the help that they need to thrive no matter what age they are.
- Communication skills improve. Children get used to speaking to adults. They become better communicators because a therapist will prompt them to talk about their feelings and challenges.
- A healthy outlet for expression is provided. Art, music, and animal-assisted therapy encourage children to see a different side of themselves. It gives them something to look forward to and something they can pursue outside of therapy.
- Tough issues are talked about and dealt with. Many adults have problems speaking about their own feelings. That’s why they have trouble adjusting to new situations and dealing with difficult subjects. Rather than cope the same way that their parents do, children learn how to communicate their feelings. They know how to deal with stress in a positive way.
Cons of Therapy
With anything, there are risks involved. The disadvantages of therapy are certainly less apparent than the advantages. Most parents can see a real difference in their children after attending a few sessions with a psychiatrist or therapist.
The cons of children’s therapy include:
- Cost. Therapy can be very expensive for some people especially parents with children with developmental delays or no insurance. Some therapists offer payment plans and other options to assist low-income families and their children.
- Time consuming. Driving a child back and forth to therapy can take its toll on some parents who have extremely full schedules to contend with. It may be hard to find free time outside of work to take the child to a therapy session.
- Some children do not respond well to therapy. Some children do well with therapy. Others do not. If your child is extremely introverted or suffers from some form of social phobia or anxiety, they may not be the best candidate for therapy. Placing them in a room with a stranger can make their symptoms heighten which is not good for you or the child.
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages of children’s therapy as demonstrated in this article. Each individual boy or girl will need to be evaluated to determine what type of therapy will work best for them and their unique circumstances. It’s up to you as the child’s parent to weigh out the pros and cons in order to give your child the best mental health care options available to them. The author personally has had a family member treated at Baton Rouge Counseling, which lead to improved mental healthcare(therapy was aimed at helping the child’s low self esteem and lack of positive relationships with peers).