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Before Your Child Sees the Therapist….

June 19, 2018

I receive calls very regularly from parents seeking me to meet with their kids. I can’t stress enough that before taking a child to therapy, the parents should meet with the therapist first.

All too often there are issues going on at home that create distress for the child which in turn manifests in behavior. Even with something truly akin to the child, biological in nature, no child can convey their own developmental history.

To add, every therapist, social worker, psychologist is different. I tell parents they should meet with the intended service provider before their kids to make certain they, the parents, feel good about the service provider and that they feel reasonably assured the service provider has the necessary skills, experience and approach to address their concerns.

Worried about your child? Think they could benefit from counseling?

Parents first.

BTW – If the parents are separated, all the more reason to meet with parent’s first. If the parents are in conflict it is very likely that it is the conflict affecting the child. No amount of meeting with the child can fix what goes on between the parents. To meet with the child alone gives the child the impression that they are the problem.

Meeting and working with separated parents about child related matters is a specialty unto itself. Always make certain that whoever you choose to address your concerns has the necessary knowledge, training and experience. Those of us who work with separated parents recognize we will hear remarkably different versions of events from some separated parents. We will accept there may at times be such differences and still work to provide a common approach to facilitating the wellbeing of the kids.

If we can’t work with both parents, as crazy as this may seem, it may be better for the kids to NOT see someone for in seeing someone, it inadvertently escalates the parental conflict to which the kids are exposed, making their life worse. In these situations, it may be better to work with only one parent in the role of separation coach.

We want to make things better as much as possible!

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW for counseling and support – to build your successful practice

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

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