How Child Therapy Can Help Aggression in Children
Eliminating Aggression in Children
Although it might sound surprising, therapy for children is not quite different than the therapy that adults seek. The methods and techniques vary, but the fundamental reasons why people come to therapy are quite similar. Parents may place their child in therapy if they feel their child is struggling through a difficult life phase, perhaps a divorce or recent move, or maybe their child can have an aggressive streak. Aggression in children is common and help is often needed to detect the source and correct the behavior. With compassionate child therapy, it’s important to realize that every child (and every situation is unique), so the approach used in therapy should be catered to that child and his/her needs.
When aggression in children occurs, they are usually reacting to complex emotions that he doesn’t know how to fully communicate. Biting, kicking, hitting, screaming, and serious meltdowns are common ways that children display these more intense emotions. Emotions such as fear, stress, frustration, or anger are usually the culprits.
When these episodes happen, it can put the child as well as anyone else in danger, especially if his/her explosive reactions are physical. As the aggression slows and the child calms, he may even feel remorseful for his actions. So in those moments, it’s important to remember that the child is seeking a way to effectively communicate his feelings. These are instances when child therapy would be incredibly beneficial.
A professional therapist, one who specializes in child therapy and knows how to work with children, will give your child the tools needed to properly (and safely) communicate his/her thoughts and feelings. As a result, this therapy will also help the parents learn how to be patient yet aware when the episode may arise, giving them the tools to confidently guide their child through these aggressive moments (and out of this phase entirely).
One of the most common methods used in child therapy is play therapy. This form of child therapy allows the therapist to “enter [the child’s] play world to communicate with them and to help them understand” their feelings and experiences and communicate more effectively. The therapist will use particular forms of play and activities that, ultimately, result in a child-guided, natural process.
As mentioned above, the therapist should recognize that your child and his/her situation are unique, so the activities and play techniques used should reflect this. Working with the child will help reveal which activities they enjoy and can help with clear, freer expressions of emotions. Common activities used when working with children who need help expressing their emotions properly and effectively include clay, drawing, or the use of props and dolls.
Through child therapy, aggressive children are given a safe outlet to express what causes their aggressive, perhaps violent emotions.
They’ll begin to learn the safer ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings, providing emotional healing and growth.
With these newfound skills to combat their aggressive behaviors, your child will also learn social skills and how to interact and make sense of his/her own world.
If you’re looking for a professional, certified child therapist in the Savannah area, contact Family First Therapy today.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to help you