Therapy for Children and the Adults in their Lives
There is no doubt that therapy takes a commitment of time and money. Effective therapy can repay the investment many times over in regained joy of life, productivity, and healthy relationships now and later in life.
In the past there has been the belief that children, and especially toddlers, are too young to benefit from therapy. While young children may not have sophisticated language skills, they are exquisitely attuned to their emotional environment. Therapy can help them process feelings and resolve conflicts. I have seen significant behavior changes in even very young children with appropriate, and often fairly brief, intervention.
Childhood seems to slip by so quickly. The obvious benefit of therapy is solving an immediate behavioral problem which is alarming enough to motivate the parents to bring the child into therapy. Beyond crisis intervention, therapy can have long-term benefits. Prevention is always a better way. What may seem like small problems now can lead to years of frustration and low performance that are really not necessary. It’s always better to solve problems before there is a crisis.
Handling childhood emotional issues early in life does have a real payback. We all want our children to be happy and productive adults. Growing up in today’s world isn’t easy. Heading off problems early can save family turmoil in the teen years and beyond. For example, boosting a child’s self esteem after a difficult divorce can change the whole course of that child’s future life, including better school performance, happier home life, and less risk from the dangers ahead in the teen years.
There’s no doubt that the teen years can be both exciting and turbulent. For many parents this can be a rough ride. For some teens the bumps are bigger than for others. According to the National Institutes of Health, almost 10% of teens will have a major depressive episode in any given year (nimh.nih.gov). Depression is associated with greater use of cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, suicide attempts and problems later in life. While often the first step is medication, and it may be appropriate, I have been able to help many teens through these difficult times and seen them blossom.
My goal is to help teens get and stay on track to a successful life. This means helping them avoid the landmines of the teen years – drugs and alcohol, destructive relationships, low self esteem, poor academic performance, problems with the law, self harm and other dangerous behaviors. Getting them in for therapy can not only spare them, and you, enormous suffering, but can avoid the huge expenses that can unfortunately follow.
Solving emotional problems will not only help you enjoy life, but much more. Emotional baggage can sabotage your work life, contribute to poor life decisions and even contribute to many diseases. Medical science has identified stress as one of the major factors in every known chronic disease including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
For adults, staying emotionally stuck can affect your income and your health. Effective therapy can not only relieve stress but can actually help you move ahead in life. For many clients this means moving ahead in relationships and also in their careers. As a former business consultant I have seen how this works and can testify that, in most cases, effective therapy is an investment in yourself and/or your relationship that pays off in many ways, including financially.
We now have effective tools to creatively resolve these life issues. The payback can be enormous in the level of your happiness, and in your peace of mind, and also in your pocketbook.
In 1995, Consumer Reports published an article concluding that patients “…benefited very substantially from psychotherapy, that long-term treatment did considerably better than short-term treatment, and that psychotherapy alone did not differ in effectiveness from medication plus psychotherapy. Patients whose length of therapy or choice of therapist was limited by insurance or managed care did worse.”
Conflict is part of relationship, but it’s time to get help when that conflict becomes too painful to sustain a healthy relationship. Many couples have reached the point of contemplating divorce or separation. I am always available to help create a healthy, loving connection. Sometimes it is apparent that the time has come to separate, and therapy can help make that transition less painful. But healing the relationship is usually a much better solution.
The average cost of a divorce with two working parents and children is $50,000 and can be much higher*.
While finances should not be the main concern, it is definitely a factor. Couples therapy can be an effective path to reconciliation and renewal. Marriage and partner relationships can get stuck and stale. Couples often need help learning how to reconnect, how to heal the wounds, and how to resolve conflicts in the future.
At the other end of the spectrum, therapy can help transform a relationship that has become boring and lifeless into a rich and rewarding life experience. Therapy can help you develop new relationship skills which can not only save your relationship but help you create the kind of amazing bond that spills into all areas of your personal, work, and social life.