Watching your child struggle emotionally, socially, or academically can be a very painful and frustrating experience. As a parent without a clear understanding of how to help your child, you may feel concerned, guilty, or helpless. Even further, if your child is moody, irritable, or disruptive, it can affect the whole family, creating imbalance and discord throughout your home.
You don’t have to struggle through this on your own.
At Pinellas Psychology Associates, we offer helpful therapy for children in St. Pete, FL and all of Tampa Bay. We can work with your child to understand their big emotions, manage their problematic behaviors, and excel in all areas of life.
Why Should You Consider Counseling for Your Child?
If you’re not sure that your child needs to visit us for therapy, consider whether you’ve had any of the following worries or similar concerns:
- Are you worried that your child suffers from heightened anxiety or depression?
- Have you noticed behavioral or emotional changes in your child, such as irritability, moodiness, or withdrawal?
- Is your child highly self-critical or preoccupied with how others view them?
- Does your child struggle with changes to routine or attempt to avoid situations they perceive as stressful?
- Do you wish you could help your child relax, have an easier time adjusting, and just be a kid?
- Do you wish you could figure out the source of your child’s behavioral difficulties and develop an effective course of action?
- Does your child have difficulty tolerating disappointment, frustration or stress? Perhaps they throw tantrums or act out in aggressive or angry ways?
- Is creating and maintaining healthy rules and boundaries for your child a constant uphill battle?
How We Plan to Help
Counseling can be very helpful for kids, and when you find the right counselor, therapy can provide immediate relief for both you and your child. Our goal is to help you determine the root cause of your child’s struggles, help you gain a clear understanding about what is going on, and provide you with practical treatment options.
Treatment is personalized to your child’s unique needs, taking into consideration their temperament, developmental stage, and personal strengths. Parents are provided with concrete tools, skills, and strategies for creating a family environment that best supports both you as a parent and your child. Your child will learn to recognize why they feel certain ways in different situations. They will learn words to label and share their feelings in a constructive manner, while also developing skills to manage frustration, stress and disappointment. This can help your child think more positively and build confidence.
Frequently Asked Questions About Therapy for Children in St. Pete
Before deciding your child should work with one of our counselors, we’re sure you’ll have a lot of questions, and one of our team members would be happy to answer them when you reach out to schedule a visit or come in for your first session. In the meantime, we’ve included the answers to some frequently asked questions about therapy for children below.
- How can I tell if my child is just going through a phase or if their behavioral problems are cause for real concern?
What your child is experiencing may be a phase – or it may not be. If your child’s behavior is causing stress to themselves and your family, it’s best to be proactive. Early intervention has been proven highly effective in treating behavioral and emotional problems in children, and taking a proactive approach can help to correct behaviors and patterns before they become entrenched. Generally, if your child seems to be struggling in more than one area (school, work, peer relationships, etc.) or is unable to function well in one specific area, getting help may be critical.
- It seems like everyone I know – including myself – is experiencing some level of anxiety. Is this really a problem for my child?
Oftentimes, anxious children are very high functioning and polite, so their anxiety can be masked behind achievements and overly accommodating behaviors. Children prone to anxiety also tend to be naturally more sensitive, making it hard for parents to determine if certain symptoms are a reflection of their child’s inherent temperament or indicative of deeper issues at play.
Although it can be difficult to determine if your child is experiencing heightened anxiety, there are a few classic, concerning symptoms to look for. If your child is experiencing an irritability that is affecting his or her ability to function well, has noticeable self-esteem issues, is overly critical of his or herself or of others, avoids specific situations, or is unable to bounce back from minor setbacks, seeking professional help may be essential. We will help you determine if your child is going through a phase, experiencing increased stress due to a particular life circumstance, or is suffering from a child anxiety disorder.