It is common for children to experience occasional problems as they grow and mature. They encounter problems with parents and peers as they attempt to establish a personal identity and practice relating to others. They experience conflict with teachers as academic and behavioral demands increase. As a child is faced with new situations, demands and expectations, it is common for the child to experience emotional ups and downs characterized by feelings of sadness, fear and anger. These reactions tend to be short-lived, however, and usually do not significantly interfere with the child’s life. However, occasionally a child’s response to life’s pressures may become severe. At times such as these, professional assistance may be warranted:
Parents need to evaluate the level of training and expertise of the therapist they are considering. An effective child therapist must be trained to work with children through graduate programs, workshops, and specific training. Ask for a free phone consultation to ask about the therapeutic approach of the therapist. Learn how he or she works with clients and ask what to expect from therapy.
All of our therapists have the education, training, experience, and caring heart needed to provide an effective therapy experience. We have traveled throughout North America to participate in additional specialized training in the unique practice of treating children and their families. Additionally, our therapists’ genuine caring for people lends to a therapeutic relationship where you can feel safe, comfortable, and not judged.
Back on Track provides therapy to children and teens ages 3-25. Our clinicians are trained in multiple treatment methods including play therapy, EMDR, TF-CBT, and others. All clients be invited to experience interactive therapeutic activities designed specifically for their age and therapeutic needs.
Back on Track also provides therapy, parenting, and co-parenting services to adults.
The first session is usually with the parents/caregivers and the therapist without the child present. This will allow you to express your concerns freely and allow the therapist to ask necessary questions. Please plan on spending an hour on your first visit, which will include the time to complete the initial paperwork and consent forms. Be prepared to talk about what has prompted you, your child or your family to seek treatment. Assessments frequently are completed in the first session, however, there are occasional situations where additional information is needed to complete a thorough assessment. If treatment is recommended, initial goals for treatment will be discussed in order to establish a working understanding of the treatment focus.
The therapist will meet with the child in the second session and explore their concerns and goals and use all the gathered information to create a comprehensive plan to meet these goals.
What you tell your child about seeing a counselor for the first time will differ depending on the age and maturity of your child. Be honest about the fact that your family is going to see a counselor. Do not mislead your child in thinking they are going somewhere else. Talk to your child in a positive and upbeat manner about the idea of going to counseling. Let your child know that they are not in trouble and they are not going to see a counselor because there is something “wrong” with them that needs to be “fixed.” Help your child know that we all need a little extra help sometimes to deal with things that are challenging. If your child has previously expressed a challenge with something then, you may explain that they are going to see the counselor for help with that challenge.
Your information is covered by the therapist-client privilege, which is protected by state law. Georgia state law specifies that the individual in treatment holds privilege regarding the release of their information. State law permits confidentiality to be broken in rare situations such as to report a reasonable suspicion of child or elder abuse, or an intention to harm one’s self or another person. Additionally, private health insurance has access to information in order to process financial claims.
It is important to not pressure your child to talk about their sessions. Let your child decide what they want to tell you about their sessions. The therapist will share with parents anything that arises in session relating to the child’s safety or any other vital information. It is important to remember your child is granted privacy during his or her sessions in order to allow for self-expression. Allowing your child to keep their sessions private will help them benefit from the therapeutic process. Remember progress will take time and children will be allowed to work at their pace in order to build and maintain a trusting therapeutic relationship.