Parents will often find that raising a child will be a constant learning process as the needs of a child can be seemingly endless. Unfortunately, some parents will unintentionally fail to meet some of these needs due to having bad information. Mental health is a healthcare topic that is often poorly understood.
Myth: Only Children With Severe Mental Illness Require Therapy
There is an assumption that a child will only need to undergo therapy if a clear mental illness is present or been diagnosed. However, there can be many instances in a child's life that can be fairly traumatic. For example, children that have been through divorcing parents, major natural disasters, or been victims of crime may all benefit from undergoing therapy due to the coping mechanisms that they can learn.
Myth: A Child's Therapy Needs Are The Same As An Adult's
It is important for a parent to understand that a child's mental health and therapy needs will be vastly different from those of an adult. When considering possible therapists for your child, weight should be given to those that specialize in treating children. These individuals will be familiar with the unique demands and challenges that providing therapy to a child can pose.
Myth: Therapy Will Negatively Impact Your Child's Self-Esteem
There are many parents that may have a negative opinion or stigma associated with therapy. Unfortunately, these parents can project this stigma onto their child and worry that the child will be embarrassed by speaking with a therapist. However, children are unlikely to have these preconceptions about this type of care, and showing support can help them to feel confident as they interact with the therapist. For those that are concerned about the child's privacy, any medical excuses that need to be provided to the school will not have to mention that the child was absent due to therapy.
Myth: Child Therapists Will Overly Medicate Your Child
Parents are often worried about the medical community's tendency to prescribe seemingly unnecessary medication to children. This can cause some concern about seeing a therapist due to the belief that these professionals will always issue medication. However, most therapists are not licensed to provide prescriptions for medications. Furthermore, those that are will often only use this as a last resort. Rather, the goal of the therapy is to help the child develop the skills to cope with their issue without the need for these substances. In extreme cases, there may be no other alternative, but most therapists will exhaust all other options before resorting to these treatments.
For additional information, reach out to professionals like those at The Center for Family Counseling, Inc.