The Child Therapy List is a global online directory of mental health professionals. Members who list their services on this directory provide expert, child competent services and support. This directory is expanding and not at all complete or final, and is designed to provide you with the best place to begin if you are looking for mental health support in your area, or for a specific issue. Please note that having a listing in this directory does not imply that the mental health provider is, in any way, endorsed by The Child Therapy List. And while The Child Therapy List does verify that all our members are credentialed, we highly recommend that you visit their websites and check with the professional licensing bodies in your state or province or region to make sure that the provider is licensed, in good standing, and eligible to practice in your state, province or region.
We’ve seen so many families who were hesitant about teletherapy be surprised about their abilities to participate in teletherapy during the Covid19 pandemic. Depending on the age, we’ve worked to adapt therapy to make it achievable and approachable using teletherapy. For example, we’ve seen that younger kids, younger than eight, have a harder time tolerating participating in the normal length of a therapy session, particularly if they are struggling for attention. So I’ve adapted to doing more work with parents and helping adapt therapy skills to things they can be actively practicing with their child during the week. That often includes helping reframe language to talk about emotions or about the status of current events. And families have been very happy during this time to get extra support in parenting as new challenges continue to arise in the current climate.
For slightly older kids, we’ve seen that working to adopt to the way we connect to children is incredibly important. Although I’ve tried doing my own research on how to adopt games to video sessions, I’ve found that letting kids lead the way has been very helpful during this time. They know far more than I do about socializing through games and it helps build trust in the therapeutic relationship for them to take the lead! By building this trust, it helps us to address other fractures in their relationships as well as skill building to handle difficult emotions.
Children self harm for different reasons. Some do it as a form of self-stimulation while others use it as a form of coping with negative emotions and still others may be doing it as a means of expressing their emotion when they don’t have the language. Self-harm can be very scary for families and also can escalate to more serious behavior. A family who is seeing self-harm should first off consult with a mental health professional who can help assess patterns of behavior, function of the self harm, and triggers to the behavior. These are the factors that can help individualize plans and interventions to help a child who is self harming.
Parents who see their child self-harm often respond first to their own fears and emotions, and we often see that their first reaction can accidentally invalidate their child’s emotions. A parent might initially say “How can you do that to yourself?” or “You don’t have to feel that way.” While these are well intentioned statements meant to protect their child, a child in enough distress to self-harm might hear these statements as criticism. It’s possible to validate the emotion, without validating the behavior. It’s important for parents to validate that their child is in emotional pain while also not wanting them to harm their bodies.