As a vocation, there’s no doubt a career in therapy and counselling can be among the most fulfilling you could undertake. Helping people overcome fears, phobias, and mental health issues that are affecting their everyday lives, to give them newfound confidence and wellbeing. But specialising as a children’s therapist and helping to make positive changes so early in a child’s life can make your career all the more rewarding.
What is children’s therapy?
Children’s therapy is, fundamentally, the same as adult therapy or counselling. One to one sessions offer a safe and comforting place and an empathetic ear while offering ways to help bring change to the way children think, act, or feel. This helps them to deal with issues they can’t or may not fully understand so they can make sense of what they’re experiencing.
As with adults, trained therapists work with the child to help the process of understanding and resolving internal conflict, while focusing in on the issues they’re suffering with. While age-appropriate child therapy can be carried out in one to one sessions, it’s also common to have one or both parents present. But with specialist training in this area, you’ll be helping the child through a potentially difficult phase in their life while being able to give the parent(s) insight and guidance on your progress.
Why is child therapy needed?
Many children and teenagers have difficulties expressing their feelings or understanding why they feel the way they do. Therapy is an effective method of helping them to open up, talk, and work out their problems. Over time, this has a significant effect in helping them to feel better about themselves, to cope better, and to communicate better.
To adults, the life of a child can seem straightforward and simple. But to them, it can be complicated, confusing, or even worrying and they can be vulnerable to the same emotional issues and problems that adults can experience. It’s an incredibly impressionable time of their lives and much of what they learn and experience can stay with them through adulthood. And that can make a big impact, with the potential of having a negative effect on their adult life, as well as others around them.
Again, just like adults, there can be a countless range of issues affecting them that child therapy can help with. Anything from unnaturally aggressive behaviour, worry and anxiety, and isolation and loneliness to more serious symptoms in older children such as suicidal thoughts, drug or alcohol use, eating disorders, and self-harming.
Parents, guardians, or teachers that have noticed any warning signs or persistent symptoms that seem out of the ordinary, can make a decision to seek professional advice. And a specialist in child therapy could be the first step in the child making a full recovery.
How to specialise as a children’s therapist
As a qualified child therapist, you’ll provide essential and age-appropriate talking therapy to children and teenagers who are struggling with a range of mental health issues. This can include family problems, feelings of loss, disorders of any kind, or any other challenges that might be affecting their mental health and wellbeing.
If you’re already working as a therapist, it’s clear you possess the necessary skills and empathy required for helping adults through their difficult times. But if you’re looking to develop your skills by specialising in another area, or even start your counselling career, children’s therapy could present an ideal opportunity to make a lifetime of difference.
Wherever you are in your career journey, education providers and specialists in counselling and therapy training all offer officially recognised courses. These can range from entry-level introductions to offering further training to support existing qualifications and continuing professional development to improve your counselling skills.
The most common route to becoming a fully qualified and accredited therapist usually involves an introductory course to counselling to help you gain a Level 4 Diploma in Counselling Skills and Theory. Taking the next step, a Level 5 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling Practice will put you firmly on course to becoming a professional counsellor or therapist and earning your place on an accredited register approved by the Professional Standards Authority.
For more experienced counsellors, as well as those ready to continue their studies, the Level 6 Higher Professional Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling Training (Informed by Research) (H.Dip Psy C.) will give you the skills and knowledge you need to carry out your own research. It will also help you prepare for any postgraduate studies you want to consider later on.
Whatever area of child therapy you want to work and specialise in - from pre-school age, through to school age or teenagers - you’ll need the required qualifications together with significant and relevant work experience to go all the way. And as well as undergoing any necessary security checks, you’ll also need to keep your professional development up to date with any required or relevant training in the long term.
Children’s therapy is a perfect way to help kids of all ages in every walk of life overcome an personal barriers in their young lives. It’s more than just a job and career progression - it’s the opportunity to make a real difference in their lives, as well as your own. And Chrysalis Courses can help get you there.
With every course accredited by the National Counselling Society, Chrysalis has become the UK’s leading trainer of counselling and therapy courses. Combining an enjoyable and relaxed process, students are encouraged to grow, both personally and professionally, with support from other course members as well as helping others to do the same.
So whether you’re changing your career to specialise in children’s therapy, or you’re looking to transition from another area of counselling, gaining accredited qualifications from Chrysalis Courses can be as rewarding for them as it is to you.
For more information and more details about all our Chrysalis counselling and therapy courses that can create positive change in your young patient’s lives, visit www.chrysaliscourses.ac.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01278 401352 today.