Therapy services at Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center
At the Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), we offer therapy to help children and families heal from difficult experiences. Therapy is a safe and supportive place for your child to talk about their feelings and experiences. The therapist will listen carefully and help your child understand their feelings and find ways to cope with what they have been through. The therapist will also help your child understand that what happened is not their fault. Therapy teaches your child ways to manage difficult thoughts and memories. Therapy can help your child build resilience, which means being strong and bouncing back even when things are tough.
We know that your family has responsibilities and activities, so we will work together to find a day and time that will work best for everyone. The therapist will take the time to get to know your child and understand your child’s specific needs and feelings. They will listen to your child and family to create a treatment plan that is right for you. This means that the therapy will be centered round your child’s individual needs. They will ask for your input and opinions. Your voice matters. We want you and your child to feel comfortable and safe and get the support that you need.
If you have any specific goals or concerns, please share them with your child’s therapist. The therapist will listen to you and adjust the therapy to best meet your needs. They will use activities to help your child heal and feel confident. The well-being of your child is very important to us. Throughout therapy, the therapist will be there to support your child and guide you and your child on your healing journey. They will help your child develop healthy coping skills and ways to move forward. Once your child has achieved their goals, we will celebrate their graduation from the program. If you have any questions or want to know more about what to expect in therapy, please ask. We are here to support you and help you heal.
Common questions about therapy
- Will talking about what happened and doing therapy make it worse? Is it better to just forget about what happened? Children do not usually forget about what happened and not talking about it often makes it hard for them to cope. Talking about what happened actually helps a child heal and makes them feel better. By sharing their feelings, worries, and experiences, children can start the healing process.
- My child does not want therapy. What should I do? It is not unusual for children to want to avoid talking about what happened. It is important to talk to them and understand their concerns. Let them know that therapy can be helpful and supportive, as therapy is a safe place to talk about their experiences and learn healthy ways of coping to avoid long-term challenges. While some children are nervous to start therapy, we find that most children are happy that they participated in therapy.
- My child is not showing any changes in behaviors after what happened. Do they need therapy? It is still important to consider therapy. Some children and teenagers do not show any behavior changes and may even seem to be behaving better than before, but it can impact them in the future. Therapy can provide a safe space for your child to talk about their feelings, learn coping skills, and receive support for their emotional well-being from a specially trained professional. Our therapists are specifically trained to help children. They have special knowledge and skills to understand and address the impact that abuse/trauma might have on a child’s mental health. They will provide ongoing support and guidance and makes sure that your child’s well-being is prioritized.
- How long will my child need therapy for? At Kids-TALK CAC, we believe that everyone is special and has unique strengths and experiences. We respect and value each child for who they are and understand that everyone is different. Typically, trauma therapy usually lasts about 3-6 months. During that time, your child will work with a therapist who specializes in helping children heal from difficult experiences. Throughout therapy, the therapist will be there to support your child and guide them on their healing journey.Your child’s progress and well-being are very important to us. Throughout the therapy process, your child’s therapist will closely observe how your child responds to therapy interventions and assess their overall progress over time. The therapist will also ask you for your feedback as the parent. Your information about your child’s behavior, emotions, and any changes that you are noticing are very helpful for the therapist. If the therapist believes that your child has made significant progress and achieved their therapy goals, they may discuss the possibility of reducing or ending therapy. Please remember that therapy is a journey and the length of time your child needs therapy can differ. Each child has a healing process that unique to them. We are committed to provide the best care and support for your child and we will always involve you in these important decisions about your child’s therapy.
- How long is the therapy appointment? When you come to Kids-TALK CAC for therapy, your first appointment will be a therapy “intake” appointment. This is a time for the therapist to get to know your child and understand how they can help your child. The therapist will learn more about your child, their strengths, what they like to do, and what makes them happy. The therapist will also learn about your child’s concerns and needs. This helps them better understand what your child is going through and how they can support your child and your family. We allow two to three hours for the first therapy “intake” appointment. While the appointment may not last all of that time, it is important that children and families have enough time, as we explain the steps and answer questions. We also want to make sure that you feel comfortable and do not feel rushed. We are here to help and make sure that your child feels safe and cared for.After the intake appointment, therapy sessions are usually scheduled for one hour each week. Once a day and time are decided, that will be your appointment time each week.It is important to be on time and to not miss any therapy sessions. That way, your child can get the most of therapy and make progress toward feeling better. If something comes up and you can not make it to a therapy session, it is important to let your therapist know as soon as possible so that they can reschedule your child’s appointment.
Will I be involved in my child’s therapy?
It is important for you to be involved in your child’s therapy, as it can make a big difference in their healing journey. Sometimes, you will have family therapy sessions with your child, but therapy is not just about the one hour each week that your child spends with their therapist. It is important for your child to be able to practice the skills and strategies that they learn during those sessions and apply them to their everyday life. That is where you come in! By being involved in their therapy and having your child to practice the skills that they are learning, you can help create an environment that supports their progress and reinforces what they are learning. Also, your involvement sends a powerful message to your child that you are there for them and that you support their healing and growth. Here are some ways that you can be involved:
- Talk to your child’s therapist and understand the goals and progress. Also, share any things you have seen, any concerns that you have, or progress that your child has made with the therapist. This helps the therapist to understand how your child is doing.
- Practice together. Encourage your child to practice the skills that they learn in therapy during real-life situations outside of therapy sessions.
- Create a supportive environment. Continue to support your child by providing a safe and supportive environment where your child feels comfortable talking about therapy and their feelings.
Remember, you do not have to do this alone. If you have any questions or concerns please ask! We are here to help your child and support you and your child on their path to healing.
What can we expect when we arrive to Kids-TALK CAC for therapy?
When you and your family arrive to Kids-TALK CAC, please park in our onsite parking! Here are few things that you can expect:
- Warm welcome: You will be greeted by friendly staff members who are there to help and support your child. They will welcome you with warm smiles and friendly greetings and make you feel welcome and comfortable.
- Safe and caring environment: Our CAC is designed to be a safe and welcoming place for children and families. There will be different rooms where you will be able to talk in private and spend time together. Your therapist will meet you in the lobby and will show you the room where you will be meeting and where the restrooms are. We have spaces that are designed to be child-friendly and make children and teenagers feel comfortable while they are at the Kids-TALK CAC. We have fidget toys that they can play with while they are here. Our goal is to create an environment where your child feels safe and can ask questions.
- Meeting with the therapist: We understand that people have different backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. The therapist will respect your culture, traditions, and values throughout therapy. They will create a safe and inclusive space so that your child feels comfortable expressing themselves.
- Respect and understanding: The Kids-TALK CAC team will treat your child and your family with respect, kindness, and understanding. We know that no two families are the same and we are dedicated to making sure that you feel safe and cared for during your time at the CAC. Again, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask our team members; they are there to support you and your family.
What should you and your child bring to your appointment?
When you come for your first therapy appointment (also called an intake appointment) at Kids-TALK CAC, there are a few things that you might want to bring with you. You are the most important thing to bring. Trauma can impact children in different ways. Approaching therapy with an open mind can make a big difference in your child’s healing. We are excited to meet your child and help them with their healing journey. Here is a list of what you might find helpful to bring.
- Comfort items: Your child may bring something (without sound) such as a stuffed animal, a blanket, or special toy that helps them feel safe and comfortable. Having something familiar can help a child relax or feel more at ease. This may also include a fidget toy (without sound), although we do have fidget toys available for children of all ages.
- Support person: It is very important that the person who comes to the CAC with your child is a trusted adult that can provide your child with comfort and support. It is very important for you to also sometimes participate in the therapy sessions with your child.
- Questions: Our team welcomes questions and loves to help! If you have any questions or concerns about the intake appointment or therapy please ask us! You can also write your questions down and bring them with you to the CAC. This way, you will not forget to ask anything that is in on your mind.
Our goal is to make sure that children and families feel safe and comfortable while at the CAC. The Kids-TALK CAC team is there to support you and make sure you have what you need.
It is normal for a child to feel nervous or worried before a coming to the CAC; however, the Kids-TALK CAC team is here to help and support your child. Here are some other suggestions:
- Explain the purpose: Share with your child that the CAC is a safe place where they can talk to a trained therapist who is there to listen and help them work through any challenges they may be facing. Let them know that the therapist’s goal is to support them. Let the child know that it is okay to feel nervous or unsure, but therapy can help them feel better and find ways to cope with their feelings and what they experienced. Remind your child that you are there to support them throughout their therapy journey.
- Discuss the process: Share with your child that after the intake appointment, they will have regular appointments with the therapist, usually once a week. Share with them that what they talk about in therapy is private and will not be shared with others without their permission (unless they are a danger to themselves or others). This can help your child feel safer and more comfortable opening up to their therapist. Share with your child that you will also participate in some family therapy sessions with them.
- Answer questions and concerns: Encourage your child to ask questions and share any concerns that they may have about therapy. Let them know it is normal to have questions and that you will do your best to answer the questions and to support them. Again, the Kids-TALK CAC team is happy to answer any questions that you or your child may have.
- Reassure and support: Make sure that the child knows that you are there for them. It is normal for a child to feel a bit scared or confused, but reassure them at the CAC team is has a lot of experience working with children who have gone through similar things.
- Practice self-care: It is important for you and your child get enough rest and maintain as normal of a routine as possible. Take care of your physical and emotional well-being! We understand that navigating the healing process can be challenging and we want to be there with you every step of the way. We are happy to connect you with a Kids-TALK CAC Advocate for individualized support and resources that are helpful to you.
Remember, your child’s well-being is our priority. The Kids-TALK CAC team are trained to work with children and families who may have experienced difficult situations. They will do their best to create a safe and welcoming environment. Remember, a supportive adult in a child’s life plays a very positive role in a child’s healing.