When Parents Should Seek Therapy

Written by: Shaquanta “Shelley” Shelley, M.S.
When Parents Should Seek Therapy

Parents are likely to seek therapy for the obvious reasons of their child experiencing difficulties at home and school. Therapy is often a last resort after many ideas are applied. In the busyness of life, we all grow up thinking we must keep going. If the symptoms are NOT screaming at us, then we are fine.

Most parents think therapy is for individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, mental illness like bipolar disorder, grief, anger issues, behavioral challenges, dysregulation with emotions, self-harm, etc. These are valid reasons to come to therapy but are not the only reasons to start going to therapy. In my experience, many adults who start therapy have symptoms that began in childhood. Because symptoms are not always visible, we often neglect to consider going to therapy until things get extremely bad.

I encourage parents to seek therapy for their kids for the reasons listed and to teach their children healthy ways to identify and manage emotions. Letting kids know at a young age that they never have to face the world and problems alone. That will encourage kids to avoid hiding their problems. Kids also learn they do not have to wait until they are bleeding out to get help, and their issues do not have to go on a spectrum of being worthy or not worthy of therapy. Kids often want to feel seen, heard, and acknowledged. They do not want to feel their challenges don’t cut it for help or support.

In therapy, kids build confidence, social and emotional awareness, conflict resolution, anger management, problem-solving skills, stress management skills, self-awareness, and self-discovery. Therapy is an individualized experience where kids can acknowledge and identify their own experiences rather than hearing about someone else’s and trying to apply what someone else used. Many of us could use these skills even though our lives appear normal and healthy.

Therapy is also for parents who welcome having support and not having to have all the answers. There is no way to know what challenges a child will experience. Just because one child went through it doesn’t mean another child will. Parents attempting to give their child therapy themselves can be extremely difficult because of predispositions and biases. Therapists are trained to silence their voices to hear the client’s voice. Help your child build healthy living habits and happiness, try therapy!