CHILDREN'S SERVICES

Play Therapy Works!

Should My Child See A Therapist?

Our services for children most often focus on Play Therapy for the child along with providing Parenting Skills Training and feedback to the parents. When indicated we might also provide Family Therapy services to the entire family.

 

Our therapists and counselors have received specialized training in Play Therapy, and along with other mental health professionals we have observed that play is an effective and engaging modality that specifically meets the mental health needs of children.

 

Why Play?

In recent years a growing number of noted mental health professionals have observed that play is as important to human happiness and well being as love and work (Schaefer, 1993). Some of the greatest thinkers of all time, including Aristotle and Plato, have reflected on why play is so fundamental in our lives. The following are some of the many benefits of play that have been described by play theorists.

Finding the Right Therapist

How do you find a qualified clinician who has experience working with kids and teens? While experience and education are important, it's also important to find a counselor your child feels comfortable talking to. Look for one who not only has the right experience, but also the best approach to help your child in the current circumstances. Our staff of seven practice a variety of therapeutic methods to best meet the treatment needs of children and teens. And several of our counselors are trained in Play Therapy treatment modalities which have proven engaging and effective with both children and teens.

 

Consider a number of factors when searching for the right therapist for your child. A good first step is to ask if the therapist is willing to meet with you for a consultation to help you decide whether further therapy could be beneficial for your child or teen.

 

One of the unique aspects of Puckett Counseling Services approach to therapy is the strong emphasis on individually customized treatments. During the initial consultation, you and the therapist will discuss your concerns for your child or teen, treatment goals for your child, your and your child’s schedule availability, and your financial resources. At the end of the consultation, you and the therapist agree on the best treatment plan, which may consist of one or more of the counseling formats. Before deciding on the best approach to therapy, Puckett Counseling Services also carefully considers your child's needs, strengths, and resources.

 

Significant life events — such as the death of a family member, friend, or pet; entering foster or kinship care, divorce or a move; abuse; trauma; a parent leaving on military deployment; or a major illness in the family — can cause stress that might lead to problems with behavior, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning. In some cases, it's not as clear what's caused a child to suddenly seem withdrawn, worried, stress, sulky, or tearful. But if you feel your child might have an emotional or behavioral problem or needs help coping with a difficult life event, trust your instincts.

Here are common signs that your child may need to see a therapist:

  • developmental delay in speech, language, or toilet training
  • learning or attention problems (such as ADHD)
  •  episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or depression
  • social withdrawal or isolation, victim of bullying
  • being the victim of bullying or bullying other children
  • decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • overly aggressive behavior (such as biting, kicking, or hitting)
  •  sudden changes in appetite (particularly in adolescents)
  • insomnia or increased sleepiness
  • excessive school absenteeism or tardiness
  • mood swings (e.g., happy one minute, upset the next)
  • management of a serious, acute, or chronic illness
  • bereavement issues
  • excessive worry, anxiety or fear
  • signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use
  • excessive anger, acting out, or disruptive behavior
  • excessive bedwetting
  • eating disorders
  • a significant drop in grades
  • therapy following sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or other traumatic events
  • development of or an increase in excessive physical complaints (such as headache, stomachache, or not feeling well)
  • problems in transitions (following separation, divorce, or relocation)