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Does my child need therapy?


How do I know if my child needs therapy?

As parents and therapists we observe the child's "level of functioning: (description below) to determine of therapy is indicated.

A satisfactory or "good enough" level of functioning happens when the child is doing well most of the time, is able to manage daily challenges, routines, transitions and separations and, very importantly, is having a good time at the playground.


Playing, having fun, making friends, exploring the world, and expressing themselves in age-appropriate manner are strong indicators of a good level of functioning and a heathy development. If your child is functioning well enough therapy might not be needed.

However, you might consider therapy if your child's level of distress hinders family's activities and daily routines, if the child is constantly having difficulty regulating emotions (despite their developmental level and the parent's effort to understand the child and engage in the co-regulation of emotions), if your child's worries and fears are high in intensity and frequency and prevent the child from having fun, engaging with others or doing enjoyable things. In addition to it consider the length of time of the difficulties you child is having. When there is high level of distress and the difficulties last for an extended period of time therapy might be recommended. 

Consider therapy if your child is frequently

- having relationship problems

- having behavioral issues at school or at home such as: over activity, poor regulation of impulses, noncompliance, defiance or physical aggression

- having a hard time expressing his/her needs

- having a hard time dealing with frustration

- having excessive outbursts of anger, fussiness, or temper tantrums

- having difficulty making friends

- having increased fears and worries

- having uncontrollable crying, screaming and eating disturbances

- having irritability, sadness or lack of interest in activities and in play

- having insomnia or sleeping a lot

- having nightmares or night walking

- presenting with feelings of worthlessness and guilt

- having difficulty separating from parents during day activities or at bedtime

- having difficulty adjusting to what is expected at the current stage of development

- being consistently "moody"

- displaying aggressive behaviors or inflicting any kind of self-harm 

Some children experience loss

Loss includes death of a loved one, but also includes other losses such as is experienced when parents divorce, when a parent goes to jail, or when the family relocates to another community. Those are experiences that can deeply affect the family as a whole and the child's sense of safety, identity and their capacity to deal with daily life.


Sometimes children experience traumatic situations

Examples of traumatic situations are: emotional, sexual or physical abuse, domestic violence, exposure to a natural disaster, accidents and medical procedures. Traumatic experiences are stored in our bodies and brain and are extremely difficult to understand and process. Children who need to heal any kind of trauma will benefit from therapy.

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