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How do I explain to my child that he or she is going to go to the psychologist?

As parents we can identify the moment in which it is necessary or could be beneficial for our children to come with a emotional and mental health specialist. However, it is often difficult to communicate, as we are still full of diverse information about therapy, mostly erroneous, where it is considered a bad thing. It is usually related to the idea that those who come is because they can not solve their problems alone, which indicates little capacity, with the fact that the family does not approve of what they do, as if whoever came had something wrong, and this issue can not be more than wrong.

Actually communicating to our son a fact like this is not the real problem; what is difficult is to give it a pleasant meaning. Once we achieve this, working as a team will be easier. In this article we share some steps that could help you explain to your child that he will go to the psychologist, but even more importantly, that will allow you to give a pleasant message and increase the possibility of receiving a positive response.

1. Inquire what you think

This is probably the step that takes you the most time because it is time to engage in a long talk about what you have heard about the psychologist, the experiences they have shared with him, all the taboos that exist around this. What do you think of those who come and why your opinion.

This talk can be carried out in a single talk or in several small ones. The idea is that you can also identify what their position is from the outside, without even getting personal issues involved.

2. Establish meaning about going to therapy

Once you have already identified the reasons why I would not go, if I have them (because there is also a possibility that it will surprise you and even ask you at that time). In case you are not yet so convinced, you will have to have information to be able to discuss your opinions with other points of view.

Try not to impose your point of view, but rather, stand from the outside, with the information you have and with the facts you want to share with your child. For this step the little one or teenager could already notice your intentions, so it is possible that he begins to ask questions about your interest with the subject.

Many times looking closely at the example of the adult can make things easier, so if possible you can talk about experiences you know. Tell him that you’ve thought about the possibility of him coming, but you wanted to hear him sooner. Taking into account their point of view is what will give you the opportunity to dialogue.

3. What you would like to work on.

Continuing with this line of listening, it is time to raise the space of therapy as an opportunity to work what he or she wants. Regardless of what you want it to work. The important thing is that you can use that space for your well-being. You can ask what he would like and also ask him to think about it alone. Note that from here you begin to give him his privacy. Position yourself as a support and not as someone who forces it.

4. Share your concerns and desires.

Ask him if he would like to hear the reasons why you considered supporting him in this step.

This part can be combined with the previous one, it is possible that they agree on the points that they believe should be addressed in session. Then you can express it if you are prudent, but remember to always maintain a space of respect, that your words are clear and do not lend themselves to misinterpretations.

Never show those areas of opportunity as something that detracts from it or is horrible. Even if it is possible to talk about the topics from the outside, do not take up examples of things that you know I do or your child lived or people you appreciate, try to take it up from a neutral point, so the conversation will be more fluid. This step is optional, often it is resumed over time or it is not essential.

5. Establish an agreement

Once you talk about the pros and look at the possibility of doing so, talk about your fears and how you might help him. Many adolescents, especially, fear that the psychologist will reveal information with the parents; that is another myth, since professional secrecy prevents it, unless it is clear that its integrity is at risk.

Commit to giving them privacy, respecting their process, and being an unconditional supporter. He asks that he also make some agreement, but with himself, to try to use that space for his emotional and personal improvement.


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