Updated: Sep 13
Let me start by saying that although a personal bias exists because I am a therapist, this information is objective and based on what I have researched and observed in clients. I am a huge advocate for therapy, and as a mother, I have and will continue to encourage my children to give therapy a try.
Research on psychotherapy for children and adolescents has advanced considerably within the last few years. Current research indicates that psychotherapy is effective and surpasses the changes that occur over time in the absence of treatment (Kazdin, A. E. 1991).
When children have the opportunity to participate in therapeutic services, it often positively impacts their lives. Here are five reasons therapy is excellent for kids.
Helps to increase emotional intelligence (EQ): Often, children learn how to use logic to solve problems and communicate complex ideas, but historically, we have not done as well with teaching children to not only recognize emotions in themselves but also recognize the emotions of others. Increasing EQ can help young people express, communicate, and manage complex emotions, which impacts how we relate to others.
Therapy provides a safe and neutral space to talk through feelings and solve problems.
It allows an opportunity for young people to "get in their feelings" in healthy ways.
It helps to increase self-esteem and confidence in themselves and others as they receive additional support and praise.
Therapy can support children with building helpful thinking patterns and healthy behavioral habits.
While therapy is often seen as a strategy to fix or reduce problems, I'd like to recommend therapy as a preventative strategy as well.
Riley (2021) stated that the focus on prevention is needed, especially for children who may already be in a higher category for behavioral health risk factors, as well as increased attention should be put on the therapeutic side of prevention. Children should have the option to communicate their behavioral health needs when they are ready, and have at least a few sessions covered where they can work out and explore their feelings so that they can learn to manage their emotions in an effective way.
Kazdin, A. E. (1991). Effectiveness of psychotherapy with children and adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59(6), 785–798.
Riley, Kimberly (2021). Narrative therapy-based preventative therapy for children living in poverty.