How to Support Your Child While They are in Counselling
A Guide For Parents
Many parents have questions about the counselling process and the work that their children are doing with their therapist. The following is information about the counselling process and will provide some guidelines of how to support your child(ren) while they are engaged in a therapeutic process.
Information About Counselling
The counselling process is individual and unique for each child. One of the most important aspects of the counsellor’s role is to respect the child’s need to progress at their own pace while providing a safe therapeutic environment. Children express their feelings in a number of ways; talking, art, play, writing, etc. Counselling may incorporate any or all of these methods.
While the child’s therapeutic process is individual, children do not generally heal in isolation. The role of parents and caregivers is vital to the counselling process. Therefore, parents’ support and involvement in their child’s counselling process is extremely important and regular meetings with the counsellor are necessary to explore parenting issues and other issues that may be affecting the child.
What is Confidentiality
Confidentiality means that what a child talks about and shares in their counselling sessions is private between the counsellor and child. This is one of the most important aspects of counselling because it facilitates the building of trust in the therapeutic relationship and gives the child a choice of whom they share information with. Exceptions to confidentiality include when a child discloses abuse or is in physical danger.
Guidelines for Supporting Your Child’s Counselling Process
- Please bring your child regularly. Consistency in attendance is of primary importance in order for the child and counsellor to develop a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship.
- Although it may feel difficult, please do not question your child about his/her sessions. It is likely that they will share what they feel comfortable with when they feel the time is right for them.
- During their sessions, your child will address issues as they feel safe and comfortable to do so or they may do so in creative ways such as through art, or play, etc. It is not helpful to prompt children to discuss particular issues in their counselling and pressure to do so may be unhelpful to the counselling process.
- Continue to support your child as they courageously face their issues.
- It may be helpful to be open to participating in counselling yourself.
These are general guidelines only. You and your counsellor can discuss these and other relevant issues in-depth and develop a plan regarding how you can best support your child in the counselling process.