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Going to a Therapist

Medically reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD

Why Do Kids Go to a Therapist?

When you’re dealing with a problem that’s hard to cope with, talking with your parent can help a lot. Many times, that’s all you need to work out what’s bothering you.

But sometimes, you and your parent need more help. That’s when your parent might take you to a therapist. A therapist is a mental health doctor or counselor. Therapists are trained to understand the problems kids go through. They know how to help. They know how parents can help, too.

What Problems Do Therapists Help With?

Therapists help kids and their families with many kinds of problems. For example, they can help if kids:

  • have bedtime worries, school stress, or trouble getting along
  • have trouble paying attention, staying focused, or sitting still in class
  • argue, fight, or lose their patience too often
  • worry about their health or safety
  • have aches and pains even when they aren’t sick
  • are going through a family problem, a health problem, or hard times
  • feel too much stress, anxiety, worry, anger, sadness, depression, or grief

What Happens When You Meet a Therapist?

When you first meet a therapist, they will talk with you and your parent. They will help you feel welcome. They will ask questions and listen. This helps them learn more about you and about the problem you are dealing with.

They will ask more questions to check for problems like anxiety, depression, stress, or attention problems. When they understand your problem, the therapist will tell you how they can help.

Most of the time, therapists will have kids come back for more visits to get the help they need. These visits are called therapy. Kids might go to therapy once a week for a few months.

What Happens When You Go to Therapy?

When kids go to therapy, they meet with their therapist to talk and learn. Therapists ask questions, listen, and talk through problems. They teach lessons and have kids do activities. They show parents how to help, too. Going to therapy can help kids learn to cope better, feel better, and do better.

Medically reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: January 2023