Therapy is good stuff. Kids usually like going, and parents love the progress they see. You want your kid to get what they need and their health (physical and mental) is a top priority. But, money doesn’t grow on trees and you want to make sure that you’re maximizing your time, money and energy.
So, here are a few tips from a therapist on how to get the most out of your child’s therapy.
- Have a “grown-ups only” meeting with your child’s therapist every month or two.
- The more you and the therapist talk, the better you’ll both be able to help the child.
- Have both parents participate/attend if possible and recommended by the therapist.
- Ask for homework. (Homework is like getting an extra session per week, for free!)
- Do the homework. ;^)
- Show up early. Use the 5 minutes you’re sitting there to talk with your kid about your week, your goals, your feelings, the homework. It helps transition to “therapy-time.” Plus, Murphy’s law guarantees that the one time you show up late for a session, will be the time when something deep, meaningful, and difficult will come up. Those few minutes make a difference!
And my best tip:
Do your own work. Children are deeply affected by their parents.
- The single most effective thing that you can do to get your child to change is to let them see you changing.
- You are probably the most motivated ‘client.’ Children, whether due to age or inexperience or something else, don’t usually know that their world/emotions/interactions/relationships can be changed. YOU do, though, so start doing as much work on yourself (personal therapy, couples’ therapy, parent coaching, family therapy) as you possibly can.
There are many more (whole books have been written, in fact) but this is short list will get us started!
Updated 2021. Originally posted 2008.