Posts tagged counseling
How Do I Talk to My Child's Other Parent About Therapy?

You’ve noticed the signs. Your child seems different to you: more worried about things that didn’t use to bother him, more angry at times she used to be calm. Or maybe, your child has asked you directly to see a therapist. He wants someone to talk to about what’s next after graduation. She feels different than everyone else at school. You’ve searched around the internet, found some prospective therapists, and even made some calls.

Now is the time to talk to their other parent (your spouse or a co-parent) about getting them in for an appointment. You’re not sure how they will respond. They may be open and willing, or they may have questions or even concerns about the process. Either way, you know you have to have the conversation.

Try these suggestions to ease the discomfort of beginning to talk with them:

  1. Is this a good time to talk? It may seem hard to wait until there is a special time to talk. The days are busy, and sometimes you and your spouse may not get time alone until the evening. If you are co-parenting, you may never have one-on-one time unless you plan it. Either way, conversations about the wellbeing of your child are not the best to be had if attention is low or time is sparse. When you’re ready to talk with your child’s other parent about therapy for your child, make sure that there is enough time for the conversation, that it is in a space where you can share all your feelings without worries about privacy or your child overhearing. It is also important that other parent is in a place where they can actually hear what you have to share. The importance of therapy disappears on the sidelines of games, over texts at work, or while dropping the children off for the weekend. How do you know when the right time is? Rather than assume, ask the direct question. If the answer is yes, great. If the answer is no, ask for a specific time during the next day or week to sit down together and talk about your concerns about your child.

  2. I’ve noticed some changes with [child] including…and I’m concerned. What do you see? When you speak from a place of “I” you disarm defenses and open doors to more effective and neutral communication. Speak from your own perspective about the changes you have seen with your child. If your child has specifically asked for counseling, include their request to you in this observance, and share about the conversation if you feel comfortable. Then, allow the other parent to share their observations. Remember that the other parent may or may not see what you see, and they may not interpret the symptoms you’ve noticed the same way that you do. We interpret based on our own beliefs and experiences, so consider where your partner or co-parent may be coming from, and use empathy when listening to their opinion.

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Why you should speak about suicide, even when it feels uncomfortable, and how to start the conversation when you don't know where to begin.

The statistics about suicide are very shocking, and very real. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in people ages 15-29, surpassed only by automobile accidents. 121 Americans die by suicide each day. 121 a day. And 93 of those people are men. Women are not without risk of suicide, though. Research tells us that the suicide rate for girls doubled between 2007 and 2015. The rate of suicide is four times greater for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, and two times greater for questioning youth compared to straight youth. 20 veterans commit suicide each day.

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5 Tips for Effective, Connection Building Play With Your Child

As a counselor, I often talk with parents about the importance of play with their child. The (easier said than done) task of playing with a child, and truly playing with them on their level, how they want, can increase the bond between parent and child in ways that conversation simply cannot. Play is a child's natural medium for connection and communication, and I often recommend that play is increased at home. Parents are very open but often confused: "She does play," they respond or "How do I play with him?" They ask. Below are five simple but effective tips for play with your child…

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