Children like grown-ups, sometimes struggle effectively communicating their needs and emotions. As they grow children are often dealing with many big changes not only physically but with academic demands, as well as social and family challenges. While learning to express emotions is a normal part of growing up, sometimes children are unable to develop healthy coping strategies on their own. As a result parents often see their child become easily frustrated, throw tantrums or emotional outbursts. This often leads to significant distress for the child and family that may ultimately require the help of a professional counselor.
Counseling is a great way for kids to learn and practice healthy ways to communicate and manage big emotions when dealing with unexpected and constant changes experienced at school, home and social settings.
How To Know If My Child Needs Counseling
All children experience emotional ups and downs here and there. But sometimes what appear to be typical growing pains gradually evolve into more serious problems that require intervention from a counseling professional. If your child is experiencing persistent symptoms of anger, sadness, isolation, excessive worry or fear, it might be time to speak with one of our counselors. We offer convenient and free phone consultations to determine whether counseling will be appropriate for your child and family. You can read our blog if you are still unsure.
We have locations in Orland Park, Plainfield – Naperville , Joliet – Shorewood, Frankfort, Wheaton, and a headquarters office in Mokena. We also offer teletherapy services for counseling.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is counseling?
Counseling involves a series of discussions between the client and counselor about personal, emotional, or social problems that lead to distress and impair one’s functioning. Counseling helps clients identify and change behaviors and ways of thinking that have not worked well in the past.
The counseling process is in many ways, an educational experience as well as a collaborative effort between the client and counselor. The client not only learns more about him/herself, but also acquires new skills and learns to use those skills in day-to-day settings. Sometimes, counseling entails learning more about a particular condition such as depression or anxiety, by which the client is affected, so that he/she can better understand and choose the most appropriate treatment options.
Is counseling confidential?
Yes, information you share in counseling sessions will be treated with strict confidentiality and is protected by state and federal laws. Information will not be disclosed to anyone outside Westside Children’s Therapy without your written permission, except in instances when such disclosure is necessary to protect you or someone else from imminent danger.
How do I explain what counseling is to my child?
The start of a counseling relationship, like any new relationship, can feel scary, especially for a child entering a new and unfamiliar environment.
Before the first session it may be beneficial to explain that a counselor is a person who the child will play with and talk about problems they may want help solving. It’s best to keep the conversation simple and straightforward. Depending on the child’s age, parents can share more specifics such as: “You know how you’ve been having a hard time getting along with your family?”
A counselor will be able to help you get along better with others and help you work out your problems.” Having a few questions about the process answered before the first session may help ease some worries for your kiddo.
Are parents involved in the counseling process?
Our counselors utilize a strengths-based family approach to empower parents with effective techniques that will best help their child manage stress and big emotions. Our family-centered approach keeps parents in the loop every step of the way while supporting their child with absolute empathy and encouragement.
Westside clinicians consistently inform parents about techniques and skills learned in sessions. Most importantly, our counselors encourage and guide parents in practicing new skills at home to ensure carryover takes place in environments outside the counseling room.
Does counseling work?
Counseling therapy has been proven to be highly effective. Numerous scientific studies continue to show that behavioral and emotional interventions work as well if not better than medication to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. However it requires commitment and collaboration between the client and counselor. Clients must be willing to actively participate and follow through with utilizing new skills outside of counseling in order to make meaningful and long-term change.
How long does counseling take?
Ideally, counseling is terminated when the problem that the client pursued counseling for becomes more manageable or is resolved. However, it requires that clients are consistent in attending sessions and most importantly that they are committed to exercising new skills in real-life settings.
Additionally the time frame will depend on the reason clients seek out counseling in the first place. Some clients enter therapy with a specific concern or area of focus. In these cases the timeline may be rapid.
In contrast, a client may seek out therapy for deeper problems such as bereavement or abuse, that can’t be resolved quickly. In these cases therapy might take months or even years to work through and move forward.
In many circumstances our clinicians utilize a cognitive-behavioral approach to counseling. This is a solution-focused method. In these cases clients may be seen once per week for 45-50 minutes over the course of three to six months.
What are the costs of child counseling?
Check our current insurance list to see if your plan is in network. If your plan is in network, we will bill directly to your insurance.
Based on your plan, we can predict what your weekly costs will be before your start. If your plan is not in network, we do have self-pay rates available (please call 815 469-1500).
Why is Westside considered the best provider?
Above all, the main reason is our family feedback.
Every family is sent a survey at the beginning, middle, and end of their services. It asks: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to refer Westside to your friends and family?” Here are the results after over 800 responses to date:
Average Beginning Score: 9.71/10
Average Middle Score: 9.83/10
Average End Score: 9.89/10
This is why Westside is the best. And we’re never going to stop fighting to get those to 10/10.
What does getting started look like?
The experience begins with a consultation between the parents of the adolescent and the therapist. The goal is simple: to listen and understand needs. This informs the therapists on whether or not therapy will be effective. If it is agreed that therapy will be beneficial, this meeting becomes the starting point for developing an individualized treatment plan.
Want to Speak to our Child Counseling Team?
If you’re interested in child counseling services, please submit an inquiry. If you are still unsure, you can:
- Submit a request for our Intake Coordinator to talk to you about a free, 30-minute screening
- View our developmental checklist
- Ask a question using the “Leave a Message” feature in the bottom-right corner of your screen
- Call us at (815) 469-1500