When bringing a child to therapy, caregivers often wonder what their role will be in the process. Research indicates that caregiver support and involvement in treatment is directly associated with long-term decreased symptoms for the child and improved child/caregiver relationships. Your therapist knows that you are the expert on your child and wants to partner with you to meet your child’s goals.
Caregiver involvement is critical to positive outcomes. Here are three reasons your involvement is important:
Your child’s therapist needs your input and updates.
Without you, we don’t know how your child is doing. It is important that we continuously assess and monitor symptoms and behaviors to know what is working, what isn’t, and why. Then, we can try to identify what changes should be made.
Caregivers provide most of the treatment.
Therapists are there to guide, support, and teach. However, most of the actual work is done outside of session. Caregivers carry out the day-to-day coaching, relationship building, and teaching of skills and concepts discussed in session. That is where actual change happens.
Your child’s therapist is here to support you, also.
Parenting is stressful. We want to validate your feelings, brainstorm ideas, teach new techniques, and support you to be the best parent you can be for your child. Often, caregivers identify that they learned skills in their child’s therapy sessions that helped them. They also frequently indicate that they have improved understanding of their child’s behaviors and how to help, and overall have a better relationship with them.
If you’re looking for therapeutic services for your child and family, Nexus Family Healing has online and in-person services available through Nexus-PATH in North Dakota and Nexus-Gerard and Nexus-FACTS in Minnesota. Learn more here.
This blog article was contributed by Shawna Croaker, LCSW, Therapist and Director of Community-Based Services for Nexus-PATH, an agency of Nexus Family Healing.
Nexus Family Healing is a national nonprofit mental health organization that restores hope for thousands of children and families who come to us for outpatient/community mental health services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment. For over 45 years, our network of agencies has used innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures. We believe every child is worth it — and every family matters. Learn more at nexusfamilyhealing.org.