Dealing with a mentally ill child can be a frustrating and heart breaking experience. Parents who witness sudden changes in grades, friends, and behaviors in their children may not know how to respond or where to turn for help. There are a few basic criteria that parents can implement to determine the best course of action and counseling for their struggling child.

Cognitive Behavioral Counseling

Children who suffer from emotional disorders often exhibit signs of anxiety, depression, and other common mental health problems. These generalized conditions are often easy to diagnose but difficult to treat in children. Cognitive behavior skills help children think about their actions in response to specific feelings or situations according to Dalton Associates, a therapist in Toronto. Considering all factors before taking action helps children choose more appropriate behavioral responses to common stimuli.

Dialectical Behavior Counseling

Although this form of therapy is based on the same root concepts as cognitive behavioral counseling, there are some major differences in the process. Children who act out in anger, rage, or violence are often tormented by internal feelings they cannot readily express. Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on physicals steps people can take to cope with intense feelings. This redirection of emotion gives children a chance to stabilize their thoughts and prevent uncontrollable actions.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy

Commonly known by the acronym ACT, this type of counseling focuses on self-acceptance and gaining agreement with internal values and expressions. Rather than attempting to change thought processes or emotionally charged behaviors, ACT counselors work with children to instill empathy and compassion from within. This type of counseling is effective with children who experience feelings of loathing self-hatred and exhibit self-harming behaviors.

Online Counseling

A fairly recent development has become very popular in child and family therapy. Online counseling is a private and professional therapy session conducted by phone and video conferencing rather than in person. While this type of therapy is not available in every location and is not appropriate for every situation, there are several instances where online counseling is the most effective solution. Families with busy or conflicting schedules are still able to attend regular counseling sessions with knowledgeable therapists who offer the online counseling option.

It is important for families to work together to support and encourage one another through difficult times. Choosing a suitable therapist and consistently implementing coping tools will lead to the eventual

Author's Bio: 

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.