Where Do I Even Start?
Child counseling can be difficult to begin. You have to work up the courage to start counseling, but you also have to take extra steps to make sure it’s a safe environment for your child. Your kiddo means a lot to you, so you want to make sure he or she will be protected and cared for in a counselor’s office.
It can also be challenging to know where to go. Do you look for a child psychologist? Social worker? Counselor? Psychiatrist? Most people are unsure of the differences between all these titles, so it can be a confusing process from the beginning. We want to help make it easy for you!
Figuring out if there is something wrong with your child or if you’re doing something wrong as a parent can also be confusing and scary. You love your child but you just can’t figure out what’s going on or what to do about it. And that feels awful! We understand these dynamics and want you to know this is normal. We won’t shame you or make you feel bad about yourself – you have enough of that inside your own head! We will come alongside you to help you understand, encourage you, and challenge you with love so you can become the parent you want to be and your child needs you to be.
Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Psychotherapist
A psychologist is someone with a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) who typically does assessments and evaluations. A Psychiatrist went to medical school and will typically only prescribe medications (a psychologist cannot prescribe). Social Workers can do counseling with children, but often provide outside services or referrals for families, helping them get connected to the right resources.
A Licensed Counselor (LPC or LMFT), however, has a master’s degree in counseling and is the most common place for your child to get the counseling services you’re looking for. A child counselor has specialized training – and a passion – in working with kids, and has a variety of tools they can use depending on the child and their age. For example, a child counselor might use sand tray therapy or play therapy with younger kids because they respond better to acting things out through play than through words, whereas the counselor might play Jenga or toss a ball back-and-forth with a 14-year-old as an interactive way of engaging while talking about various topics.
If you’re looking for someone to connect with your child and help them with whatever they’ve been struggling with, a child counselor is probably what you’re looking for. Not only that, though, a good child counselor will also work with you, the parent, along with the child because you’re an important part of the solution!
Whatever your concerns are – behavioral, emotional, or relationship – about your child or children, our counselors can help. We can help you understand what’s going on, what the underlying issues are, and how to bring healing to your child and your family.
Support For Parents
Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook so most of us are figuring it out as we go along. That can work okay until you run into problems where you realize you need some specialized help. If you’re struggling with your child because of medical problems, mental health issues, or behavioral concerns, you probably need support as well.
As your child makes adjustments, you will also need to adjust along with them in order to stay connected and effective as a parent. Getting help understanding what your child is going through and how to support that process is an important role for you to play as the parent.
Sometimes it also means you need to make some adjustments yourself. We want you to be the best parent you can be for your child! It takes a lot of support, trial-and-error, and patience to be a good parent. We will be there for you to guide you and keep you going strong even when it’s hard.
When you have that light bulb moment, you will feel so much more calm and confident as a parent. You will have a roadmap of how to navigate your child and your situation. Even if it’s still a challenge, you’ll have strength and endurance to handle it with skill and love. You’ll be able to do all of this because you care about your child and are committed to working this out. That’s why you’re here!
Our counselors in Clackamas and Hillsboro are excited to work with you. We also work with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, marriage problems, and provide online counseling (telehealth). Contact us today to talk with one of our counselors, or schedule an appointment if you’re ready to get started right now.