Children are very innocent and need the support and guidance of their elders at every point. It is during these early stages of one’s life, that the correct nurturing is required, to shape the person up into a good human being. Children have to face their own wars such as family and step-family relationships, bullying at school or in neighbourhood, any losses of their belongings, emotional problems or behavioural problems.
Child counselling is very different from adult counselling and varies, depending on the child’s age, specific difficulties and their development. Our expert counsellors sometimes use the means of play and art such as reading stories in order to encourage them to express their difficulties. With the help of activities, our child counsellors get an insight into the unconscious mind of the child. While the counsellors directly ask the older children to speak their heart out, the approach of a counsellor for children depends on the particular individual. By using different counselling approaches, our counsellors aim to help the children in coping up with their emotions and feelings.
Counselling children depends on a child’s age, their stage of development, whether they have any specific difficulties.
Children are not very forthcoming with their problems and issues in first few meetings and in many cases they are not in a position to share, for example in very small children, speech impaired or children with intellectual difficulties.
Hence we use many different methods like play therapy, use of drawings, toys etc to understand the child.
Patient listening and empathetic attitude also helps in developing positive relationship with the child.
When should you consult a psychologist about your child? If the child displays any one or more of the below:
• Poor school performance: falling academic grades, problems in reading, writing and understanding language and numbers
• Mental Retardation
• Problems in vision, speech, hearing and motor movements
• Problems in concentration, memory and learning
• Attention deficit and hyperactivity
• Children having increased biological risks or with established development delays, disability and deviation. For example: Prematurity, Low Birth Weight, Birth Asphyxia, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy etc.
• Rebellious behaviour
• Stubborn behaviour
• Disruptive behaviour like stealing, lying, aggressive/violent/destructive behavior, highly mischievous behavior.
• Behavior Problems: Disobedience, Obstinacy, Sibling Rivalry, School Refusal, Temper Tantrum
• Emotional problems: Exam Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Stranger Anxiety, Phobias, Adjustment Problem, being too quiet (introvert), being sad and Depressed
• Sleep walking, bed wetting, nail biting, thumb sucking, unusual body movements
• Unusual interest in sexuality- own and others
• Relationship Problems and conflict of adolescents
• Conflicts with parents
• Deviation in food and sleep patterns
• Children in special circumstances viz., Foster, Adopted, and Custodial Care.
• Children requiring Career Counselling and Guidance.
• Mental Retardation
• Learning Disability (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia)
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Down’s Syndrome.
• Cerebral Palsy.
• Anxiety- School Anxiety, Exam Anxiety, Performance Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Stranger Anxiety
• Mental Illness/ Mental Health Disorders – Psychosis/ Mania, Depression
• Speech, Hearing and Language Disorders.
• Habit Disorders – Bed Wetting, Nail Biting, Thumb Sucking.
• Childhood Trauma and Abuse.
• Asperger's Disorder
• Conduct Disordersm
• Oppositional Defiant Disorders
• Tourette's Disorder
• Personality Disorders
• Selective mutism
• Sleep problems
• Neuropsychological disorders
• Sexual Development, Deviation, Identity and Adjustment Problems