Supporting Your Child Through Therapy
When your child is in therapy, you can sometimes feel unsure of how best to support them. Therapy can help your child to get in touch with emotions that were tucked away, and that rational part of their brain where they can talk to you about what's going on for them might not be accessible.
It means that you might need to be able to read some of the very messy stuff that's happening and coming up for your child. They probably will not come out of their therapy session and say, “hey, that was a really tough session”, or “I'm upset”, or “I feel really angry after that session”, or “you know that was really draining emotionally and I'm just really quite tired” because they may not have the words to express that right now.
So instead, what sometimes happens as children go through therapy is that their behaviour changes. They might need a cuddle, they might need some comfort, they might want some quiet time, they might show anger or frustration in another way like being rude or shouting, or the behaviours that probably drove you to want them to go to therapy in the first place might actually be more intense in that first period!
It's part of the healing process and finding your role within that process can be quite a challenge.
I help parents whose children are in therapy to understand what's likely to come up, how they can nurture and hold a protective space around their child while they are doing the hard work of processing all the things that they need to. For some parents, that might mean stepping back a little bit which could be really difficult. For others, it may be stepping in a little bit, and again that might bring up uncomfortable emotions. Either way, I want to make sure that parents feel confident about supporting their children's therapy.