How do I know if My Child Needs Therapy?


Deciding to bring your child in for therapy can be confusing. Understanding what is normal for your child’s developmental stage may become a determining factor. What is normal for one stage of development may be quite concerning for another developmental stage. Feel free to call me and we can briefly discuss difference. Also of importance is whether your child’s behavior is interfering with daily routines or family life. It is very important to initially speak to your child’s pediatrician to rule out any physical issues that may be the cause of any behavior prior to considering your child for therapy.

The following list of behaviors that may indicate that therapy for your child may be beneficial.


If persistent or lasting 2 or more weeks:

-Stomachaches or headaches

-Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed

-Preoccupation with death or dying, suicidal wishes or threats

-Change in personality especially from cooperative to irritable or sullen

-Change in sleep and or eating patterns

-Social withdrawal

-Mood swings or a dramatic change in mood

-Bullying or being bullied

-Decline in school grades

-School refusal

-Unacceptable classroom behavior

-Sustained angry mood

-Aggressive behavior

-Stealing, lying, rule breaking

-Inability to speak to peers or adults other than the family

-Excessive anxiety when separating from parent

-Repetitive behavior; for example a child becomes overly upset if prevented from performing these rituals, such as excessive hand-washing

-Avoidance of normal activities in response to fearfulness

Preparing your child for therapy:

Depending on the child’s level of understanding, present any potential counseling experience in a positive way. Help your child understand that therapy is a way to help them and the whole family feel better. Avoid telling the child, or implying that something is wrong with them. It is likely that they already feel believes something is wrong with them which only complicates and potentially exacerbates the problem.

Ways Parents can attempt to solve less severe symptoms or problems:

You may find some information applicable to parenting or to some of the less severe of a child’s issues among documents, books, or Web links etc. under this link on this site. Client Resources