"Approximately 85% of the brain's core structures are formed by age three."
NC Infant Mental Health Association
What is Pediatric Counseling?
Pediatric Counseling involves working with children and families from birth-5 years old. It focuses on the social and emotional development of a child's ability to:
- Experience emotions
- Regulate emotions
- Express emotions
- Form close, secure, and loving interpersonal relationships
- Manage their own behaviors
- Explore their environment
What do mental health concerns look like in young children?
- Toddlers being removed from multiple foster homes due to uncontrollable tantrums
- Children being expelled from multiple pre-schools and/or child care centers due to disruptive or dangerous behaviors
- Consistent patterns of being unable to get along with other children
- Children who have witnessed domestic violence or been victims of violence
- Infants who's growth is stunted due to lack of attachment or nurturing care
- Social delays (isolating self)
How does the therapy process work with young children?
During each session, at least one parent joins the therapeutic activity. The therapist utilizes such therapy techniques as;
- Play Therapy
- Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Art Therapy
- Sandtray Therapy
- Positive Parenting
The therapy process moves in three stages throughout the duration of therapy.
Level 1: Learning Stage: Therapist leads the activities and demonstrates techniques for child to use as well as ways parent can support and assist child. Therapist models for parent healthy responses to the child. Therapists discusses with parent how specific techniques can be helpful, etc. Level 1 typically last several weeks or months.
Level 2: Practice Stage: Parent and Therapist work together side by side in session to practice the techniques learned and assist the child in utilizing the techniques and strategies. Parents ask questions along the way and discusses what techniques are effective for their family and what needs to be revised.
Level 3: Implementation Stage: Parent and child implement the skills and techniques learned while therapist steps back as an observer. In this stage, therapist supports the parent and client as they implement the skills on their own. Therapist provides assistance, support, and feedback.