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Why Kids Might Need Therapy

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Emily Hoskins and I have been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2019. While I have worked with adults throughout my career, my true joy lies in working with kids and teens. A question that I’m often asked is “why would kids ever need therapy?!?!” and this is usually said with a sense of skepticism. The truth is that the rates of mental health issues amongst young people have risen significantly in the past several years. I won’t bore you with the statistics here, but a quick Google search will back me up on this. More young people are struggling with mental health issues than ever before.

Sometimes adults assume that children have it easy and have little to worry about. However, children experience a number of significant stressors. There’s pressure to do well in school and earn good grades. There’s pressure to fit in and be cool. There’s pressure to do well in sports, extracurricular activities, and manage busy schedules. There’s pressure to get along with family and meet parent expectations. For older teens, there are worries about college, careers, and even broader scale issues like climate change and social and political issues. Even very young children often experience worry about things that adults would never suspect.

Children and teens live in a world that is often highly regulated. Think about it – the younger a child is, the more regulated their world is. Choices are often made for children – such as when they eat, when they sleep, where they go, whom they spend time with, and on and on. Not having much of a say so in these things often leads to struggles with emotional regulation which can look like anger, anxiety, sadness, or just plain tantrums.

The other thing that I always remind parents of is the fact that as adults, we’ve had many more years to learn valuable life skills. I’m 40 years old. That means I’ve had 40 years of practice in learning to regulate my feelings, think through choices, challenge negative thoughts, etc. Children have had significantly less time on this earth, but are often expected to have these skills mastered. And let’s be honest – even adults with many years of practice still aren’t always successful in these areas. Sometimes there is a direct event that brings a young person to therapy (trauma, grief, bullying), but sometimes the reason isn’t so clear.

Sometimes the reason is simply that being a living, breathing person is hard. Sometimes the world feels overwhelming and kids need help navigating it. That’s where I can be of service. I work with children (ages 4+) and teens. I can’t give your kids 40 years of life practice, but I can help them increase their skills in managing emotions, managing stressful situations, and building confidence. Please reach out. I’m happy to talk more about how I can help your child be the best they can be.

1 Comment

Nov 04, 2023

Great article, Emily! Life is hard, for real, and we shouldn't assume that it's easy for kids.

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