Many of the mainstream media outlets portray childhood counseling in a very poor light. In fact, many of these media sources have led to some significant misconceptions about what childhood counseling is about and how it can and cannot help. As a result of these misconceptions, many parents are hesitant to get their children the help that they may need. If you have been wondering about the benefits of counseling for your child but are struggling with some of the things you've been hearing, it's time to find out the plain truth. Here's a look at a few common misconceptions about childhood counseling and the truth behind them.
Myth: Only Kids with Serious Problems Need Counseling
Children don't have to be diagnosed with a serious mental health condition to benefit from counseling. In fact, children may seek counseling for many reasons, from dealing with divorce to learning how to handle emotions during puberty. Some counselors even focus on helping children with learning disorders and social interaction problems.
If your child is struggling with bullies, life changes or any other emotional or environmental problems, counseling may be a great way for him or her to get support. A counselor serves as an independent third party who can provide guidance and coping tools that will help your child manage whatever the problem is.
Myth: The Counselor Might Tell Someone My Child is Receiving Services
There are strict regulations about what a licensed counselor can and cannot reveal to third parties about patients and their treatment. Without clear permission from you, in writing, the counselor cannot contact anyone about your child's treatment – including his or her school or physician. The only exceptions to this rule are disclosures of abuse, threats of harm to others or in response to a legal subpoena.
Myth: Counseling is Nothing More than Common Sense
Counseling has developed a reputation for being simply "talk time" where your child goes in, chats with the counselor and then receives common sense recommendations and guidance. While some patients may need this, the truth is that counseling can range from the most basic of support to in-depth and detailed recommendations and therapy sessions. A therapist isn't going to tell you what you "need" to do or how to do it. Instead, he or she is going to provide you with guidance, insight and a better understanding of some of the feelings, emotions and concerns that your child is struggling with.
Myth: Counseling Costs Too Much
The cost of counseling will vary for many reasons. Every provider sets their own rates, and those rates will vary based on the condition or problem that your child is visiting for. In many cases, insurance companies will pay for counseling services, and if not, some counselors might offer discounts for cash-paying customers.
Myth: Counseling is Just an Opportunity for Someone to Judge my Parenting
The only way that your child is going to get help for whatever he or she is struggling with is if you take direct action to get that help. Counselors are there to listen to your child's struggles and provide insight and guidance. While that may sometimes mean offering some suggestions about parenting tips and techniques that might help, it doesn't mean that he or she is judging you as a parent.
In fact, in most cases, the counselor is there to work with you and to build a solid relationship to help your child succeed. If you approach the counseling with a collaborative expectation and make sure that the counselor knows that you are ready to work together to help your child, he or she will be able to help you.
Counseling can be beneficial for kids of all ages, and for children struggling with all types of problems. With the information here, you can understand the plain truth behind many of the misconceptions that you've probably heard. Reach out to a counselor for more information on children counseling today.