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8 Indications That Your Child May Need Counseling

child counseling

8 Indications That Your Child May Need Counseling


Like adults, children also experience emotional ups and downs as they adjust to the world around them. Children are as prone to the same behavioral and emotional health issues that confront adults. Young as they are, they can become moody, withdrawn, anxious, or may misbehave at home and in school. Often these “bumps in the road” are common developmental challenges that tend to be short-lived and do not significantly affect a child’s daily functioning.

There are, however, cases when children’s lives are affected by stressful events or pressures, such as the death of a loved one, bullying, or family conflict, which they may not be able to respond to appropriately. These complexities may lead to the development of disorders. In fact, as many as one in five American children struggle with an identifiable behavioral or emotional health disorder that requires treatment. While parents are usually the first source of support when their children need help to work through their difficulties, early professional intervention can make a big difference in improving a child’s well-being.


The Signs to Watch Out For

As a parent, you know your child best. If you feel something is not quite right with your child, trust your instinct. Do not wait too long before seeking help if you notice any of these red flags that indicate your child may need therapy.


  1. Significant Changes in Behavior and Mood Swings. A child who exhibits disruptive, explosive or dangerous behavior is struggling with their emotions. There is likely an underlying problem that needs to be diagnosed and treated. If your child’s behavior or mood swings cause chronic trouble in various settings, he or she may benefit from counseling to address issues that may include anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or trauma.


  1. Withdrawal and Isolation from friends. Children and teenagers usually enjoy large peer groups and relish the company of their friends. While friendships may change over time, it is a red flag if your child suddenly avoids social interaction or prefers to be isolated. It is time to seek help if your son or daughter often thinks about being a loser or that nobody likes them.


  1. Regression. Young people tend to regress when experiencing a major change in their lives, such as relocation, parent’s separation or the birth of a new family member. When your child’s regressive behavior includes bedwetting, clinginess, excessive anxiety, and tantrums which are not related to any change at all or if the behavior persists long after a big change, professional attention may be warranted.


  1. Irrational Intense Feelings. It is common for children to feel afraid or worried about certain things, such as ghosts, school exams, or rules. These are healthy reactions that your child may or may not outgrow. If you notice these feelings are too excessive and overwhelming that they interfere with your child’s functioning at home, school and in the community, this signals an issue that may need to be addressed with the help of a therapist.


  1. Change in Sleeping and Eating Patterns. A significant change your child’s sleeping and eating habits may be an indication that there is a need for counseling. The red flags may include difficulty in falling or staying asleep, frequent nightmares, binge eating or lack of appetite, weight loss or gain, migraines and indigestion. These are signs that your child may have depression.


  1. Self-destructive Behavior.Although self-harming behavior is not an intention to end life, your child’s repeated actions to hurt himself can be dangerous. The attempts at self-injury, such as cutting, head banging or engaging in risky activities can endanger, disable or interfere with your child’s daily routines, not to mention its unhealthy nature and how it can affect others. This dangerous behavior is an emergency issue that merits immediate attention from a professional.


  1. Obsession with Death. The concept of death is a subject that children and teenagers often view as “unknown” and they tend to wonder about it. If, however, your child is preoccupied with death by talking or thinking about it over and over again, it may be a red flag for larger issues. Fixation or any talk or statements about self-harm, bringing harm to another person and other behaviors that involve life-threatening acts are serious indications that your child needs counseling.


  1. Substance Abuse.For some youngsters, experimentation with drugs or alcohol may be a way to belong. For others, using substances may be an effort to numb their difficult feelings or escape from their perceived problems in life. If your child is habitually drunk or high, a serious problem may be taking root. It is easy to spot the physical, emotional and behavioral changes, such as poor hygiene, mood changes or emotional instability. The only way to figure out the underlying reason may be to seek professional assessment.


Addressing the Health Crisis

Children face a myriad of issues in today’s world, ranging from family issues, relationships, academics and beyond. Unlike adults, children need more skills and tools to enable them to face what life throws their way. In many cases, they do not easily tell what “stresses them out.” Whether they lack the ability to express their feelings, worry about being misunderstood, or fear about rejection, it is important for children experiencing behavioral and emotional disorders to receive help.

It may seem a little frightening for parents and children alike if the warning signals are present. Even the most supportive of parents, the stigma of seeking counseling may not be easy to overcome. The good news is that counseling really works. It does not only provide a private, safe and objective third-party intervention to help your child better understand his or her feelings, but it is also a great venue in developing skills which can become their lifelong advantages in living healthily.

If you are seeking counseling for your child, it is common to feel overwhelmed by the subsequent actions, such as assessing the costs and determining the fees and overviews of insurance coverage. You may also feel unequipped in choosing your therapist. You do not have to face the situation all alone. Help is available for you and your child. All you need to do is to connect your child with the right kind of counseling service he or she needs.


Where to Take Your Child for Therapy

Wanting help for your child is not a sign of weakness or failure. Minimizing or ignoring unusual signs can have very serious repercussions. If treatment is warranted, it is best to take the step now. It is a parental act of compassion that should not trigger shame or guilt. The red flags may be your child’s desperate cry for help, which ultimately will lead you to decide on finding the best help for him or her.

Taking your child to therapy may be a little difficult because it may be misinterpreted as prying into their personal life. Your child may be reluctant or mad at you for wanting them to undergo treatment. Trust the right fit professional independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC, to work with your child.

Rest assured, the emotional and behavioral concerns that led you to find CCS – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC can be significantly alleviated and resolved with appropriate treatment. At the end of the day, you will be thankful for trusting your instinct and finding timely help for your child. Make that first phone call now to request an appointment.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Fayetteville, NC (North)

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC

Areas:Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Sliver City NC, Linden NC, Autryville NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Rex NC,and Wade, NC

Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-636-0011 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: 910-308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
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  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri
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  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Other Contact Info

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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC