Understanding The Benefits Of Therapy For Children

Benefits of therapy for children

Disclaimer: This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

As mental health awareness has grown, more and more people have recognized the power of therapy in improving physical and mental wellness. Just as adults may find it helpful to speak with a therapist, children can also draw benefits from attending therapy. 

If you’re a parent, you may already take the time and effort to teach your children about topics related to their mental health. For example, you might encourage them to openly discuss their feelings, empower them to feel confident and self-assured, and teach them critical emotional regulation skills. All of these moments and lessons can be crucial for a child, as they impress upon them the importance of maintaining their mental well-being.

While kids may be able to learn a lot about mental health from their parents at home, therapy can be instrumental in covering areas that parents are either not familiar with or that they’re struggling with alongside their child. Keep reading to learn more about some of the potential benefits of therapy for children.

Therapy For Children: The Benefits

Children don’t necessarily need to have a specific reason for attending therapy, but some concerns may be more common among those who do meet with a therapist. For example, managing a mental or neurodevelopmental disorder, working through trauma, learning how to openly talk about their feelings, dealing with grief, and addressing behavioral issues are all typical reasons kids might go to therapy. Some of the benefits children may experience when they start therapy include: 

  • Improved emotional regulation: Therapy can help children improve how they respond to life’s stressors by teaching them the skills they need to cope and communicate more effectively. Instead of leading with impulsiveness, kids can learn how to slow down and think logically before speaking or acting. The therapeutic setting can act as a safe space, giving children the chance to open up about their feelings without feeling judged.
  • Strengthened communication skills: Therapy can be instrumental in teaching kids how to express their feelings healthily. The therapist can act as a guide, helping the child find the right words for their feelings, validating them, and then teaching them how to express themselves productively. Kids who have difficulty opening up may benefit from play therapy, in which they use toys to express their experiences and feelings. You can learn more about this approach by visiting the following link: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/play-therapy-for-children-17-benefits/
  • Fewer behavioral problems: Children who are acting out at school, at home, or elsewhere can often improve their behavior in therapy. A therapist can help the child develop greater self-control and help them modify their thoughts to choose healthier responses. Therapy is often effective in reducing impulsivity and teaching children how to healthily express their feelings instead of acting on them in the heat of the moment. 
  • Enhanced performance in school: When children are experiencing behavioral or emotional concerns in their lives, it can make it challenging for them to focus on and excel in school. Therapy can improve their self-esteem, relationships with peers, confidence in their abilities, and self-awareness, all of which can help them pay better attention in class and feel more capable of doing well academically.  
  • Stronger coping strategies: Kids who are experiencing behavioral concerns or having trouble regulating their emotions could be lacking healthy coping strategies. A therapist can equip them with a variety of methods and skills to calm themselves down, think more rationally, and respond instead of reacting. Effective coping strategies for kids can include positive self-talk, breathing exercises, journaling, and more.

The benefits a child experiences in therapy can vary depending on the severity of their concerns, the amount of support they have at home and school, and how consistent they are in attending sessions. Upon meeting with a therapist, a treatment plan will be developed to meet the child’s unique needs and track their progress. 

The Road To A Happy, Healthy Life

Part of helping your child with their mental health involves understanding the signs that they may be struggling in this area. Although you might feel most equipped to help them as their parent, getting your child professional support when it’s needed can promote timely and effective healing. 

Being open about mental health and involving a therapist can also teach your child that there’s never any shame in asking for help, and support is always available should they need it. Every child’s path to a healthy, happy life looks different, and therapy may play a significant role in ensuring your child’s success and well-being.