The truth is, a child could have the best, most idyllic childhood ever, and still experience trauma.
From having to watch parents go through divorce, and feel as though their life is being ripped apart, to being bullied in school. Children don’t come into this world with all the wisdom and tools necessary to comprehend what’s going on, and are likely to internalize a lot of these experiences. Taking them to mean, “I’m no good.” “I’m unlovable.” “There’s something wrong with me.” “It’s all my fault.”
How utterly heartbreaking, especially because many parents may not even realize this is happening.
If you’ve been in therapy, you’re probably well aware – and were probably very surprised – to find that a lot of what you’d been holding on to stemmed from things that happened in your childhood; your interpretation of events, or someone being unkind.
A child does not understand much of the world, and the unchecked belief and assumption that things are their fault gets filed away.
These distorted views and interpretations get comfortable, spread and grow throughout the subconscious.
By the time children reach adulthood, the choices they make, their self-esteem – much of their life – is influenced and tainted by these long-ago childhood experiences (which they may not even fully consciously remember), and what they took them to mean.
It’s easy to see when therapy is indicated after a traumatic life-changing event. Sometimes people can point to a very clear line in the sand and say, “here’s where everything changed, and I had to do a lot of work to reclaim my life.”
But those smaller infractions; all those little things can be damaging as well. Because they are less visible, the resulting damage is harder to detect.
So, it goes without saying that therapy is an excellent resource.
When a child attends therapy, the therapist meets them where they are. Depending on the child’s age, this can be through art, play, or story. The therapist’s main objective is to gain the child’s trust, so they open up and help the therapist see how they interpret things, and what their inner landscape looks like.
If a child has been bullied, for instance, the therapist strives to help the child unpack and process the experience appropriately. By doing so, they relieve them of the sometimes life-long burden these experiences can leave.
If a child has behavioral issues or difficulties expressing themselves, a therapist helps guide and inform them of better, more effective ways of expressing their needs.
A child spends 12-plus years learning about the world. But much of that is the external world. Things that exist outside of themselves.
Far too little attention is placed upon getting to know and understand oneself. Developing a relationship to oneself, learning about boundaries and what is and isn’t appropriate.
Take a moment to reflect on your own life. How much heartache could you have been spared, if you had been given the tools to set out into the world knowing that you are worthy of love exactly as you are? If you had learned at a young age not to internalize the voice of a critical teacher, or a trio of bullies. Imagine if you had been taught to articulate your needs, or even that it’s ok to have needs.
Thinking about your child, if there’s anything they may be struggling with, even if it seems manageable, giving them the tools now, while they’re young can pay off tenfold later.
If you’re curious to learn more, we’d love to chat with you. At the Relationship Therapy Center, our belief is, the foundation of any incredible relationship begins with the relationship we have to ourselves. The younger we are when we learn and begin to cultivate that, the better.
Begin Play Therapy or Therapy for Children in Roseville or Fair Oaks, CA today!
If your child is struggling one of the best things you can do is be proactive in getting your child help from a trained play therapist. With the help and support your child can overcome the things that are troubling them and move forward in their life with more confidence and peace. Our counseling practice offers specialized play therapy and child counseling services by certified play therapists at both of our locations. Your child, and your family, can get to a better place. Our child therapists are here to help.
To begin counseling in Fair Oaks, CA, Roseville, CA, or online, follow these steps
Contact the Relationship Therapy Center and schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to learn more about in-person or online child or teen therapy
Make an appointment for your teen to meet with one of our compassionate child therapists
Get the support your child or teen needs to navigate adolescent challenges with confidence!
Other Counseling Services at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
In addition to teen therapy, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.