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Counseling Options

There are many different types of therapy. If the youth in your care is receiving therapy already and you do not see any improvement in their emotional and behavioral problems, contact your social worker to discuss how you might find more effective services.

Below is a description of the most common types of outpatient therapy:

Individual Therapy
In this therapy, the child meets in private with a therapist to address feelings and behavior. This can include not only talking but other methods of therapy such as play therapy, art therapy, animal-assisted therapy, etc.

Play Therapy
This is often used with very young children who may not be able to express their feelings and fears by talking. The therapist will engage the child in games and pretending, using dolls and other toys. The child may be able to act out their feelings and heal from past abuse or other trauma.

Family Therapy
Family therapists often focus on improving communication and the bond between child and parents, as well as helping parents to better understand their child’s needs. The therapist will try to get all family members to participate. The therapist will work to clarify everyone’s roles and relationships within the family.

Group Therapy
Group Therapy allows a small group of clients with similar problems to discuss their issues and give each other feedback. Sometimes family members may be asked to join the group. Group therapy is frequently used with teens and with individuals and families affected by drug and alcohol abuse.

Cognitive Therapy
This therapy begins with the idea that the way people view situations influences how they feel. It is typically focused on learning how to solve problems by learning specific skills, including how to identify distorted thinking, modify beliefs, relate to others in different ways and change behaviors.

Behavior Modification
This type of therapy focuses on the specific behaviors that are troubling to a family, and it helps the family better manage the child’s behavior. The goal of the therapy is to try to identify what is causing the behavior to continue, and  help parents make sure they are rewarding good behavior and not rewarding bad behavior by mistake. For example, by giving the child candy when he/she has a tantrum. The therapist may also teach the child ways to calm down and control his/her behavior. This includes deep breathing, writing in a journal, taking a walk or doing other exercise.

Trauma-Informed Therapy
This focuses on how a child’s past experiences of abuse, neglect, violence, etc. may affect the child’s feelings and behavior in the present, and it provides specific ways of helping a child deal with memories of past trauma.

Attachment-Focused Therapy
This focuses on building a secure emotional attachment between the child and the parents in order to help the child develop good relationships in the future. Parents must participate actively in this kind of therapy.

A doctor prescribes medication to help with the child’s mood or behavior. The doctor will follow up with the child and family to monitor whether the medication is working, and whether there are side effects.

Crisis Intervention
This is meant to help the child and family when an urgent situation happens, such as when the child harms him/herself, tries to harm other people, runaway, etc.

Intensive Day Treatment
In this therapy, the child goes to a treatment center during the day but still lives at home.