Everything you need to know about Child Counseling
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?
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 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 child 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.