Summer is here and that means more time to focus on things other than school, such as mental health.
If you noticed changes in your child/teens demeanor during the school year, or they appear to be struggling then it might be time to bring them into counseling especially while they have the time to focus on mental health. By giving them the tools to work through emotions, and helping them to get to the core of their distress they will be better prepared come September.
How can you tell if your child is in need of therapy services?
1.) They appear depressed/anxious:
Sad or hopeless
Irritable, easily angered or hostile
withdrawing from family/friends
loss of interest in hobbies/activities
changes in eating/sleeping habits
2.) Poor grades during the school year. Was your child struggling to get work complete or having a hard time focusing?
3.)Struggles to get along with peers — have you noticed your child having frequent fights/arguments with friends, not having enough friends, or isolating his/herself socially?
Why is summer a good time to start therapy?
1.) Summer is almost three full months long and it is a great time to focus on learning new skills — whether social or emotional. Good mental health is key to having a child who is successful in school and life.
2.)The stressors of school, homework, and extracurricular activities are dramatically reduced. Your child will have the capacity to focus on taking care of themselves instead of feeling overwhelmed with academic and social responsibilities. The typical therapy session is only an hour long but requires practice outside of the office to fully develop into healthy habits.
3.)Finding time in schedules is easy. With few academic responsibilities, it is easy to fit more sessions into your schedule.
4.) Coming to therapy in the summer sets your child up for a successful school year. Rather than taking a break and forgetting about stressors and then feeling overwhelmed at the start of school they will have the tools to face any potential issues head on.
Mental health should always be a priority but we understand it can be hard to add one more thing to the to-do list. Summer is the perfect time for positive changes and a good time to start fresh. Feel free to call our office assistant, Colleen, with any questions at 717-462-7003 ext. 0 .
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.