If you are reading this, you might be deciding whether or not to book that first appointment with a psychologist.
This can be a difficult decision. You might be wondering if your child or teen’s symptoms are severe enough to warrant seeking professional help. You might be thinking to yourself that it is common for teens and children to experience at least some emotional or behavioural distress. That lots of toddlers to have tantrums and many children and teens worry.
It might be helpful to know that parents, teens and children seek psychological support for a variety of reasons.
Some of these include:
- Worrying about things a lot of the time
- Feeling sad a lot of the time
- Spending more and more time alone
- Not acting like themselves or not enjoying activities they used to enjoy
- Experiencing a lot of physical symptoms (e.g., stomachaches, headaches)
- Changes in sleep (either more or less than usual)
- Changes in appetite or eating behaviour
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Experiencing significant pain (no matter what the cause)
- Experiencing difficulty adjusting to a big change in their life such as an illness, divorce, or move
- Coping with stress or feelings in unhealthy ways such as drinking or using drugs
- Skipping school or engaging in behaviours such as stealing or vandalism
- Fighting or being defiant with parents or teachers
- Expressing a desire to end their life or is hurting themself
When deciding whether to see a psychologist, we encourage families to ask themselves a few questions:
How much are the symptoms causing the parent(s) or child distress? How much are the symptoms disrupting your child or teen’s ability to participate and enjoy daily activities such as school and friendships? Have your or your child’s attempts to find solutions been unsuccessful? Do you or your child feel like you don’t know how to deal with the problem?
Are you still not sure whether seeing a psychologist would be helpful for you or a family member? If so, a member of the Cornerstone team is available to talk with you more about your unique situation and help you figure out if we are the right choice for you, your teen or child. Feel free to reach out to us.