Counseling for Children in Santa Monica

Using Christian Counseling to Help Children Thrive and Heal

Children are one of the best gifts from God. It is our duty to protect and guide them, but that is often not easy in today’s world. Children can go through emotional and physical troubles as well as spiritual struggles. Much like adults, children are affected by life changes such as a divorce, loss, abuse, and traumatic experiences.

Children learn from the environment around them as they take in knowledge from everyone they are surrounded by. Children form patterns emotionally and mentally that impact the type of person they are going to become.

If you notice that your child is having emotional, physical, or mental struggles, Christian counseling often has the ability to help. At Santa Monica Christian Counseling, the team consists of compassionate and trained counselors who strive to help children thrive in the midst of adversity.

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It is difficult for parents to realize their child is in need and may need counseling. They can be unsure whether or not it is necessary and whether it can be useful in their individual situation. Unfortunately, many people do not know what kind of impact stress and trauma can have on a child, so many parents choose to avoid counseling. If you are unsure about seeking counseling for your own child, the counselors at Santa Monica Christian Counseling are glad to discuss your situation with you.

Some reasons children attend Christian counseling include:

  • Transition within the family.
  • Divorce.
  • Issues with health.
  • Problems in school.
  • ADHD.
  • Forms of autism.
  • Behavioral issues.
  • Parenting issues as well as disciplinary problems.
  • Abuse and traumatizing events.

Children can be impacted by their surroundings very easily. Even if the issue is not very complex from an adult’s viewpoint, the child may interpret the situation as very painful. At Santa Monica Christian Counseling, we encourage parents to listen to their children and to realize that professional counseling can work with even small issues. If you are experiencing family problems that may be affecting your child, Christian counseling may be able to assist you in building a stronger and healthier family unit.

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In Christian counseling, the goal is for children and their parents to join together and heal. An environment with trust and honesty must be built based on core values that the parents hold. A Christian counselor will create a safe and nurturing environment so that children can express themselves without being uncomfortable. Children are encouraged to discuss faith and how Jesus Christ can help them find hope and security.

Things children can gain from Christian counseling:

  • How to understand behaviors and make changes for the better.
  • Ways to express themselves and handle negative emotions.
  • Methods to develop social skills.
  • A place where self-expression is safe and they can learn more about themselves.
  • Techniques to overcome past trauma with guidance and strong support.

Things to expect when you take your child for Christian counseling

You may have many questions when deciding to take your child to Christian counseling. A common question is exactly what happens during sessions and what role you play in the process.

Methods of Christian counseling for children in Santa Monica

Every child has unique experiences and necessities. Santa Monica Christian Counseling therapists are trained to know the best interaction method that can help your child get the most from the sessions. Many things can affect the approach that may be taken to your child’s counseling. These include age, parental concerns, and the symptoms that the child is exhibiting.

Prominent methods of counseling for children include:

  • Play therapy: This uses children’s toys and fun games to engage the child and help him or her connect with the counselor. Talking and playing together can create a feeling of safety where the child can express him- or herself. Things like deep feelings and inner thoughts can be expressed through play therapy because there are themes that the child may play out. Children engaged in play therapy have a safe outlet to express themselves and any negative emotions they may be feeling.
  • Therapy focused on trauma: Counselors may use Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to help children who have been through an abusive event or some form of trauma. Through this method, the counselor strives to provide the child with methods he or she can use to refocus and manage any negative feelings and thoughts that have been a result of the trauma. Things like art, self-soothing methods, and verbal processing skills are incorporated when a child remembers the trauma.

The counselors at Santa Monica Christian Counseling have experience with children who have a vast range of issues. Effective communication is key for helping children regardless of their ages, and our counselors know how to encourage open communication so that they can understand the perspectives of children. They are trained to know how to proceed in a way that will promote healing and help future happiness and strong relationships.

Most parents take a very active role when it comes to helping their children grow, and confidentiality within a client-counselor relationship is often a concern. Counselors do not have to maintain full confidentiality with children up to age 13. Children of those ages usually find counseling more effective if a parent is present in the sessions because they may feel safer than they would if they were alone with the counselor. Prior to counseling, the counselor will discuss confidentiality and the recommended way to proceed so that children can move towards healing. Regardless of a child’s age or situation, counselors work to promote his or her happiness while updating the parents on progress.

Resolving a child’s behavioral issues with Christian counseling

If your child is exhibiting signs of anxiety, anger, or depression and/or having issues at school, Christian counseling may be able to help. Children who exhibit these issues are sometimes experiencing painful emotions that need to be addressed. It is very hard for parents to know the best way to handle these issues especially when they do not know why the child is behaving that way.

Understanding negative behaviors in children

Children can find it hard to express their emotions. When children are faced with a challenging situation, family conflict, or some other life stress or, they can exhibit negative behaviors including:

  • Sadness
  • Problems with sleep
  • Tantrums or rebellious behaviors
  • Anxiety
  • Fighting with family members, including parents
  • The tendency to be violent and angry
  • Issues with performance in school

Children who exhibit these signs usually have an underlying issue that should be addressed immediately. In Christian counseling for children, counselors view children as individuals who are experiencing pain and need help. Parents find it easy to focus on the bad behavior itself; however, a counselor can help them understand the behavior by teaching them what is causing the behaviors and ways to change it.

Common of behavioral issues in children include:

  • Anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Physical illness
  • Abnormal excitement
  • Family conflict
  • Changes in routines
  • Learning disabilities
  • Dealing with adults who do not have patience
  • Copying inappropriate behavior of other people
  • Emotional disconnection between children and parents
  • Lack of boundaries and poor guidance

Modifying a child’s bad behavior through Christian counseling

At Santa Monica Christian Counseling, we have compassion towards parents who want to do the best thing for their children. Parenting is one of the hardest tasks in life, so we understand you may need guidance. Once we get to know your child and the reason for his or her behavior, we work together to create a plan that will make positive changes. This could include incorporating different styles of parenting to discover what will be the best treatment for the child. This will allow children and parents to understand the causes of negative behaviors and work towards finding solutions.

FAQs for Christian counseling for children

Christian counseling can help children through the same things secular counseling offers, plus more. Based on what you are comfortable with, our counselors will help your child learn new information about faith. We make sure the child knows that Jesus will always show him or her unconditional love, and this can be extremely healing for him or her. Christian counseling for children takes the approach of healing the body, mind, and spirit together.

One issue you may wonder when sending your child to counseling is how to prepare him or her. Older children are often scared, embarrassed, or ashamed about it, whereas younger children often do not understand the reason they are there. The solution to this is to look at the issues instead of the child. Children do well when they understand that everyone experiences hard times and that being in counseling is not “bad.” Discuss our office with your child and encourage him or her to bring a game or favorite toy. Make sure your child knows that counseling is not bad and that the purpose of it is to increase happiness.

If a parent has a successful experience when sending one child to Christian counseling, he or she may want to take all of their children. Sometimes, it is effective to take children to the same counselor; however, other times it may be better for children to see different counselors. Counselors will assess every unique situation and determine what the best approach to counseling will be.

Choosing the right counselor is the first step in healing, and it is important to find a counselor who has experience with children who are in your child’s age group and have experienced some of the same issues as your child. The counselors at Santa Monica Christian Counseling are trained and experienced in different areas, so we will do our best during the intake process to choose the best counselor for your needs. Please see the counselor profiles on our website and contact us if you have any questions.

Santa Monica Christian Counselors Want To Guide Your Family

It is very difficult to know that your child is struggling because you may feel helpless and like you cannot help him or her. We know that you are wanting your child to be as happy as possible, and we have tools that we can use to assist you.

Call us at 424-361-6197 or contact us online to schedule an appointment or learn more about how Santa Monica Christian Counseling’s services for children can help you.

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