Summertime is great for many reasons. The kids are out of school. The weather is great. There is more freedom on our time and less extracurricular obligations. It is a great time to get outside, to reconnect with yourself, and to get your child the therapy he/she/they needs.
Therapy tends to be thought of as a school-year thing. Parents see their kids struggle with stress over class assignments and drama with their peers while school is in session. But, often times busy schedules get in the way of scheduling counseling appointments and mental health falls to the bottom of the list so that children can focus on sports, theatre, band, etc. As the school year draws to a close there may be some feelings of relief as stress is lifted off our children’s shoulders. Many of the problems your child might be faced with during the school year might dissipate during the summer months, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still there.
Your child is momentarily separated from the situations that caused them stress during the school year, but those same problems will likely reemerge once they return to class. By getting ahead of problem situations before they arise, your child will be prepared to handle them before they become a real issue. Not to mention, you will be setting him/her/they up for a successful adulthood.
Time to focus
This is why summer is a great time to begin therapy. Your child will finally have the time to focus on making healthy choices and gaining the skills they need to get through stressful situations. Attending counseling sessions during the summer months won’t feel like a burden the way it often can during the school year. It won’t be another thing to add to your overflowing schedule.
Children and teens can use therapy to reflect on the past school year—what worked, what didn’t, where were the problems, the successes, etc. A licensed counselor can help to teach your child healthy coping mechanisms, skills, and routines that they can use in the upcoming school year. It is almost like getting new clothes and notebooks before that first day—your child can also stock up on healthy brain tools.
A healthy step for a promising future
There is nothing wrong with turning to a professional for help. Your child, and yourself, do not need to feel ashamed for needing some extra advice and/or tips. Often times it takes a therapist or one-on-one counseling session in a safe place to allow your child to feel comfortable opening up about stressors.
If you have concerns or questions about getting your child started in therapy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed professional. He/she/they can answer your questions, ease your worries, and help you determine the best path for your child.
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.