Your heart breaks for how sad your child is. Your gut tells you that this isn’t just a phase or some quick-passing funk, and you wonder if there is something more disturbing emotionally going on.
Whatever the symptoms your child is experiencing, you know they need help. You can’t imagine your child suffering any longer, and you fear that putting it off might only make matters worse.
Your child’s mood changes are turning them into a different person. They cry often, they’ve withdrawn, and their eating and sleeping patterns have changed. When you ask them what’s wrong, they say that they just don’t feel like themselves, and when you look in their eyes, they seem empty.
Lately, it’s as if a weight is on their shoulders, constantly pushing them further and further down. You can’t imagine your child sinking any lower into this emotional abyss, and you desperately want to throw them a lifeline.
So here you are, ready to get the ball rolling and pull your child from sadness into happiness again.
A lot of the time, your child feels overwhelmed by life and the expectations, rules, roles, people, and routines that make up their world. And you know it’s time to get them the help that they need.
You truly want your child to find their place in this world and to move into that space fully equipped and confident. But you have no idea how that will ever happen if they can’t seem to feel bright and excited for their future. You never imagined seeing despair cross your child’s face. And you certainly didn’t expect that it would be leading your child away from the goals they once envisioned. You’re ready for answers.
Signs Your Child is Struggling with Depression
- Behavioral: your child is agitated, irritable, or isolates themselves socially
- Cognitive: your child has trouble concentrating or thoughts of suicide
- Mood: your child often feels guilty, hopeless, disinterested, sad, or experiences mood swings
When You Seek Support for Child Depression from the Center for Anxiety and Behavior Management
- Your child will feel free from despair and irritability
- Your child will engage in activities with family and friends
- Your child will experience relief from the weight on their shoulders
- Your child will develop higher self-esteem
- Your child will have more hope for the future
The Child Depression Counseling Process
Therapy for depression is intended to help your child stop feeling so sad and hopeless. Together, your child and their therapist will work with scientifically-backed, evidence-based therapies to help them gain control of their inner and outer worlds in more effective ways.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children with depression is scientifically backed and evidence based to help them learn to identify their triggers and overcome them in such a way as to be successful in school, with family, and with peers.
Here’s what to expect:
FIRST CONTACT: Free phone consult
Prior to beginning treatment with us, we want to make sure that we are a good fit for you and your child. For this reason, we offer a free 15-minute initial phone consult to learn more about your/your child’s current circumstances and to determine if we are the best resource for you. Assuming that we are a good match, you will then schedule an intake session.
WEEK ONE: Intake
During this initial 90-minute session, the assigned therapist will meet with you as the parent(s) or guardian(s) to gather background information on your child and to fill out rating scales to provide an assessment baseline upon which to build our treatment plan and goals.
WEEK TWO: Child Intake Session
During this 45- to 60-minute session, the therapist will interview your child as well as meet with you as the parent(s) or guardian(s) to ask any follow-up questions which may be helpful in treatment planning and goal-setting to best meet your child’s needs.
WEEK THREE: Feedback Session
Now that we’ve thoroughly assessed your child’s needs, we will meet with you to discuss the diagnoses, identify starting goals, and provide education on the apparent causes and factors which are leading to your child’s troubling thoughts and behaviors.
WEEK FOUR and Beyond: Therapy Sessions for Child Depression
At this point, your child will attend regular weekly therapy sessions. However, your therapist may determine your child needs to come more or less frequently, depending upon the presenting symptoms. Additionally, especially with younger children, parent involvement may be suggested.
Together, in each subsequent session, your child and their therapist will use evidence-based psychotherapy models to help your child learn to identify and address the challenges they experience because of depression. This typically includes the integration of techniques from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based CBT, or other evidence-based modalities.
Each session is designed to help your child learn to discover more about and accept themselves for who they are.
TERMINATION: The Final Sessions
As your child gets closer to their therapy goals, we will develop a plan for successfully transitioning them into a life without weekly therapy. This often means moving sessions from once a week to every other week, to monthly sessions, or to finishing out services completely. We also work with you and your child to develop a relapse prevention plan at this time. Our goal is for your child to be able to retain what we have worked on together and to implement all that they have learned in therapy outside of sessions in their everyday life.
More About the Center for Anxiety and Behavior Management
As a team of licensed therapists, we are experts at teaching you to make the behavioral choices that get you closer to your goals.
We work from an evidence-based perspective. This means that our job is to help you understand your struggles and provide solutions proven to be very effective. Negative thoughts, distressing feelings, and unhelpful behaviors don’t have to be part of your life, and depression therapy at The Center for Anxiety and Behavior Management is about changing the way you think, recognizing how your beliefs are holding you back, becoming informed, seeing the world more accurately, and engaging in behaviors that you won’t regret later.
We make it our mission to help you regain control of your life by providing effective strategies supported by science. We are dedicated to being on top of the most recent knowledge and helping you solve problems based on what the research says is effective. It is our passion to educate you on what is and isn’t working in your life so that you can get back in the driver’s seat and take yourself where you want to go.
Who Benefits Most from Depression Counseling for Children
Therapy for children with depression is best for those who are experiencing overwhelming sadness, irritability, and anger. With the use of scientifically-validated and evidence-based therapy techniques, your child can start to have hope for the future.
Your child will benefit from Depression Therapy if:
- They are avoiding people, places, or situations they used to enjoy
- They can’t concentrate, and everything feels overwhelming
- They have suddenly stopped sleeping or sleep all day long
- They have changed their eating habits
- They feel hopeless about their future
There are certain situations where your child might not be ready for counseling sessions with us.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Situations where your family’s schedules are too busy to commit to weekly therapy
- Situations where the child is unmotivated to participate
- Situations where the child or parent does not want to practice the techniques outside of session
- Situations where parents are not committed to the process
- Situations where parents are not open to hearing an outside perspective
If you are currently experiencing any of these issues, we can provide you with appropriate referrals for your level of care.
What Does Therapy for Childhood Depression Cost?
Depression counseling for children is a fee-for-service program. As such, we do not take insurance, but we do provide paperwork that you can submit to your insurance company for out-of-network benefits and potential reimbursement.
When and Where are the Counseling Session?
Our office is conveniently located in Chester, NJ, 07930 next to the New Toys with Love building.
Sessions are currently held by appointment only Monday – Saturday.
Your Next Steps
It’s entirely possible for your child to overcome depression.
A happy, fully engaged child may seem a long way away, but that doesn’t mean they can’t start to take small steps toward better self-esteem. They just need the support of a caring professional and evidence-based treatment strategies while they move to overcome it.
Your child will be able to more fully engage in their everyday life. And your family will have harmony in your home. Ultimately, your child will be able to handle the tougher times in life. We can help.
Call 908-914-2624 to schedule your 15-minute phone consult to see if we’re a good fit for your child’s depression treatment needs.