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Academic Concerns 

Anxiety Disorders 

(generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, school anxiety)


Behavior Problems

Bullying Issues


Divorce Issues 

Emotional Regulation 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) 


Social Skills 


Children may feel afraid to confide in an adult they do not know. These tips may help parents and caregivers talk to children about therapy.


-Let them know they are not in trouble.

- Practice active listening.
- Take them seriously.
- Stay open, authentic, and relaxed.
- Normalize the issue they are experiencing.
- Explain that the therapist is there for help and support.
- Explain confidentiality. Let children know therapy gives them a safe and private space to share. 


What is Play Therapy ?

Play Therapy involves the use of toys, blocks, dolls, puppets, drawings, and games to help the child recognize, identify, and verbalize feelings. The therapist observes how the child uses play materials and identifies themes or patterns to understand the child's problems. Through a combination of therapeutic approaches, the child has an opportunity to better understand and manage their conflicts, feelings, and behavior.


Selected games and activities help a child learn self-management strategies. For instance, a therapist may blow bubbles with a child. While the child is having fun with the bubbles, the therapist demonstrates how to blow bigger bubbles by taking deep breaths and blowing slowly. The therapist then explains how "Bubble Breaths" can help relieve anxiety. Strategy games such as checkers and Battleship help children learn impulse control by thinking about consequences. Memory games, such as card matching, help a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder increase his attention span and improve memory.


For diagnostic purposes, counselors may give a child an assignment, such as copying, picture completion or instructions to draw a particular thing, such as an animal or the child's family. At other times, free choice of art media and subject matter provide a child the opportunity to freely express inner thoughts and feelings. Therapists interpret a child's art by looking for themes and by asking the child to discuss his project. An unstructured approach to art therapy can help a therapist learn what concerns a child and how the child is dealing with those concerns internally.


Talk therapy is beneficial for children who have experienced trauma, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse or the death of a loved one. Using narrative therapy, a therapist encourages a child to describe the traumatic event. By asking about the child's actions, the therapist helps a child discover his strengths. Using this strengths-based approach, a child can externalize his/her feelings thus internally processing the trauma; by recognizing his/her strengths (positive self-talk) and resiliency builds healthy self-esteem. In addition, the therapist fosters healthy self-esteem, while implementing healthy coping skills.


Therapists also incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approaches. CBT can help children to reframe how they identify, interpret and evaluate their emotional and behavioral reactions to negative experiences.

Realizing that emotions and behaviors can be regulated and managed is empowering and can lead to improvements in self-control, emotion regulation, coping skills, and emotional awareness during this critical developmental stage.

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