Hi, I'm Nicole Myers, Licensed Professional Counselor. If you would like to know more about me or my colleagues, please check out our introductions available in video, audio or text.
Today I'm going to be discussing how to determine if counseling is beneficial for your children; especially when they won't or don't want to talk about the sessions with you.
Some ways I think about this question include thinking about other things you may try as a parent. How do you know that your punishment was successful with your children? How do you know a reward that you gave your child was successful? The same thing can be brought to mind by looking at how counseling is being successful for your children. If you see behavioral change after they see a therapist: if you see them sleeping better, eating better or if you see them getting along better with their friends, yourself, or other relatives, then yes! counseling is being effective. It is important to recognize that the effects of divorce can be quite long-term and may have begun before the divorce itself began.
So, be aware that for your children, making changes is not likely to happen overnight, at least not perfectly. Much like when you attempted to make a change in your children's other behaviors from other events and things. You may see a change initially and they may go back to an old behavior for a while before they truly cement in the new change. So, that is one definite way you can treat it as much like any other parenting choice.
Another way that you can check to see how counseling is going for your children is by asking to come into the beginning or end of a session with your child's therapist, with your child in the room, and ask how are things going. Have an open discussion about how therapy is going for your child with the therapist and the child there and make sure that the child is aware that you are talking about them because you are concerned that they are gaining something, that you care about them. Giving loving messages to your children is always a positive thing to do. Your therapist should then be willing to share with you what they see as progress for your child. It is a good venue to do it in because if the child is there they know what you are hearing so that they do not feel like they are being reported on either.
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