6 Signs Your Child Needs to See a Therapist

6 Signs Your Child Needs to See a Therapist

Every child experiences emotional reactions to life’s ups and downs, but when these feelings become more than just a fleeting occurrence, it becomes a different issue. Unfortunately, because expressing their feelings can be scary or embarrassing, it can be difficult to tell whether or not your child could benefit from sessions with a child behavioral therapist. These common signs indicate help may be needed.

1. Debilitating Worry

As your child gets older, they may express concern about world events or local crime. This is all a part of growing up—but if they’ve started worrying to the point that they’re thinking about all of the things that could go awry, and that worry is preventing them from engaging in their normal school or extracurricular activities, it’s time to get in touch with a child therapist.

2. Regression

A child whose behavior has seemed to regress to their earlier years would very likely benefit from help. Examples of regressive behavior include meltdowns that have increased in frequency and intensity, clingy behavior, and separation issues, which are all red flags that your child is dealing with excessive fear or worry.

3. Repetitive Self-Destructive Behavior

If you’ve observed your child engaging in self-destructive behavior such as cutting or digging their nails into their skin, these are definitely both signs that they are experiencing unusually high levels of stress and need help. Older children who are struggling with chronic stress may engage in the above behaviors, as well as possibly begin abusing alcohol or drugs.

4. Changes in Eating or Sleeping

Every child and teen has had trouble with sleeping or eating certain foods, but if your child isn’t sleeping at all or is sleeping too much, sessions with a teen therapist can prevent greater issues like depression from developing. A child whose eating habits have drastically changed may indicate a developing eating disorder or physical illness, and both need to be addressed as soon as possible.

5. Widespread Problems

Regardless of their age, if a child seems to be experiencing problems in several places, such as at school, with friends, and at home, this is a red flag that they may be struggling. If your child is acting out, fighting with friends, or talking back to their teachers, it’s important to contact a therapist about possible solutions.

6. Major Life Changes

a sad girl on an armchair with her hands cover of face

Divorce, moving, a death in the family, or other major life changes can have a profound and devastating impact on a child’s mental and emotional health and trigger sadness, confusion, and frustration, which are all common reactions to these changes. When it becomes so difficult to cope that they are exhibiting one or more of the above symptoms, it’s time to seek family counseling in San Diego.

Matthew Bruhin & Associates use creative approaches like coping skills training, play and talk therapy, and sibling and family sessions to help children deal with their emotions in healthy and positive ways. Call 619-683-3774 to speak with a therapist today.