The Importance of Counselling | Identifying and Addressing Mental Health Issues

The thought of your child struggling with mental health can be overwhelming for most parents. However, it is important that parents be able to identify any potential signs that could indicate mental health issues.

Through counselling, both the child and their parents can gain a greater insight into how they think and feel in different situations and experiences they face. This enables them to make positive changes and can provide an invaluable outlet for your child to express themselves without fear of judgment or criticism from family or peers.

It's important that parents can identify whether their child needs counselling, and what steps they can take to proactively tackle difficulties that may arise in the course of their lives.

Benefits of Counselling for Children

In a counselling session, an adult will assist a child by discussing their concerns, difficulties, and emotions. This can improve their self-esteem and help them recognise why they do certain things or react the way they do. Counselling can support your child through difficult situations, providing them with tools to cope with their emotions, as well as become more self-aware and make good choices.

Counselling can help your child understand themselves better and enable them to build strong relationships by teaching them communication skills and conflict-resolution strategies.

1. Helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress

Counselling allows your child to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or criticism from family or peers. It helps them learn how to cope with difficult emotions in a healthy way, as well as helps them understand when and why they experience anxiety or stress. It equips them with the skills to handle challenging situations in healthy ways so that they can feel empowered, instead of overwhelmed, by life’s obstacles.

2. Increases self-esteem and their ability to build strong relationships with others

Through counselling, your child can learn different techniques to understand their feelings and thoughts and articulate them in a constructive manner. This helps them better manage difficult emotions, build strong relationships with others, and make good decisions.

Counselling can also develop your child's empathy for others and broaden their understanding of other people's perspectives and experiences. With improved communication skills and conflict resolution strategies, your child can navigate social interactions with greater ease and strengthen both existing and new relationships.

3. Enhances communication skills and provides effective conflict resolution strategies

Counselling assists children to develop effective communication skills and conflict-resolution strategies. It teaches them how to be assertive and articulate their thoughts and feelings in a respectful manner so that they can work towards resolving conflicts.

Through counselling, children learn how to identify the root causes of their conflicts and come up with solutions that are mutually beneficial for both parties. By learning how to calmly express themselves and work collaboratively on solutions, they are better equipped to handle disagreements. It helps them better understand the perspectives of others while also increasing their own self-confidence in navigating conversations with peers.

This enables them to objectively assess situations before taking action, which leads to healthier relationships with family members, friends, teachers, and other authority figures.

4. Encourages problem-solving abilities

Counselling provides children with the skills and knowledge to identify and address issues in a constructive manner. Your child can learn how to be proactive in solving problems, instead of simply reacting. It equips them with critical thinking skills that enables them to analyse problems while simultaneously guiding them towards making positive changes in their lives.

By understanding why they encounter certain difficulties or challenges, your child will be better able to understand their own behaviour and make informed decisions. This helps them take ownership of their actions and encourages problem-solving.

Children can also develop the ability to evaluate the consequences of their actions, by exploring the impact of different decisions on themselves and others. This helps them gain an appreciation for how their actions may affect those around them, as well as strengthens their understanding of personal responsibility.

Counselling encourages creative problem-solving by teaching children techniques for coming up with innovative ideas and solutions. It also instils self-discipline by setting realistic goals and plans to achieve them step-by-step. These skills will empower your child to take control of difficult situations and create positive outcomes.

Signs That Indicate Your Child May Need Counselling

If you think your child might need counselling, there are some signs to look for. They may seem withdrawn or sad for no reason. They could be having trouble sleeping, eating, or doing activities that they used to enjoy. Other signs could include sudden changes in behaviour, such as becoming more irritable or aggressive than usual. If your child has been displaying any of these characteristics, it may be time to seek counselling from a professional.

Identifying signs that your child may need counselling can be difficult, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the various symptoms related to mental health issues. Parents should be aware of the behavioural signs which can be linked to low self-esteem, anger issues, depression, or anxiety.

Anger Issues

When it comes to anger issues, children may become increasingly irritable or aggressive towards family members or peers without warning. They may also demonstrate a lack of impulse control and difficulty regulating their emotions. In some cases, they may even engage in destructive behaviour such as destroying property or harming themselves.


Depression can manifest itself through physical symptoms such as fatigue, disrupted sleep, and a lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy. They may express feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, which could interfere with their daily life. Children who are depressed may appear withdrawn and have trouble making decisions or focusing on the tasks at hand. You might notice changes in their appetite, as well as weight loss or weight gain. They may self-harm or express thoughts about death or suicide. It's very important that you seek professional help immediately if your child is presenting any of these signs.


Anxiety can present itself in many different forms. You may notice sweating, shortness of breath, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, sleeping problems, and excessive worrying about everyday events or situations. They may experience panic attacks, which come out as intense, sudden episodes of fear. Other signs include difficulty concentrating on tasks and avoiding social interactions due to fear, or excessive worrying about school work. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek out professional help.

Low Self-Esteem

When it comes to low self-esteem, common signs include negative self-talk, blaming themselves for negative events (even if they weren't under their control), and constantly comparing themselves to others in negative ways. Children with low self-esteem often feel like they will never be good enough, no matter how hard they try. It's important for parents to recognise when this is becoming an issue and seek professional help right away.

Counsellors can support children with their mental health by teaching them how to cope with the underlying causes of their distress through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments that focus on teaching them healthy coping skills for life’s toughest challenges.

How to Proactively Seek Help for your Child

Parents should take a proactive approach when it comes to seeking out help. It's important to identify the signs of distress early on, so you can provide your child with the support they need before things become more serious.

The first step is to talk openly with your child about what they are experiencing. If they are having trouble expressing how they are feeling, try to encourage them to open up by asking specific questions and listening without judgement.

Parents can also reach out to teachers or other trusted adults in their child’s life for help. School counsellors and social workers can provide valuable insight into what your child might be going through and suggest ways of dealing with it. They may even be able to refer you to professionals who specialise in children's mental health issues.

It's important that parents take an active role in finding the right counselling for their child. Researching different methods and treatments can help you understand the best approach for your child’s needs, as well as any associated costs (such as private therapy or group sessions). Seeking professional advice from a doctor or psychologist is also recommended when considering different forms of therapy for your child.

How to Choose a Qualified Counsellor

When looking for a qualified counsellor, it is important to find someone who is licensed and has adequate experience in working with children and providing the specific treatment methods your child needs.

It's also important to make sure that the therapist has an understanding of child development and is comfortable talking about topics related to mental health. The therapist should be kind, patient, and knowledgeable about the issues your child is facing.

When interviewing a potential candidate, it can be helpful to ask questions such as: what types of counselling do you specialise in? How long have you been practising? What qualifications do you have in treating children? Have you ever treated anyone with my child’s particular issue? It is also important to make sure that their fees are within your budget.

Another way to assess a counsellor’s qualifications is by talking with other parents who have taken their children there or by reading online reviews. Many counsellors also offer free consultations so you can get a better feel for how they work and if they would be the right fit for your family.

In addition, parents should ensure that their child feels comfortable with their chosen counsellor. Even if they appear qualified on paper, if their relationship with your child isn't amicable then it won't be effective long-term. It's best to visit the office before starting treatment so your child can see where they will be visiting and get more familiar with the atmosphere of the place.

Choosing the right qualified counsellor for your child’s needs can take time but parents shouldn't rush into making this decision. Taking the time to find someone who is both experienced and compassionate could make all the difference for your child.

The Importance of Building Trust and Open Communication Between Parent, Child, and Counsellor

Having strong communication between the parent, child and counsellor is absolutely key. Trust and an open dialogue between all parties involved is absolutely essential in order the process to be effective.

Trust builds when each person can openly express their thoughts without fear of criticism or judgement. When each person feels heard and understood it allows for a more comfortable atmosphere where your child can learn new skills, get support from the therapist, and feel safe to discuss anything that might be on their mind. Open communication also sets a foundation of mutual respect between the parent, child, and counsellor.

Parents should strive to create a supportive environment at home by being attentive to their child’s needs and taking steps to address them appropriately. Not only will this help foster trust between parent and child but it will also make it easier for the counsellor to do their job effectively.

By creating an environment of trust and open communication in both home life and counselling sessions, parents can ensure that their children get the best possible care from dedicated professionals with compassion and understanding.

Strategies to Support Positive Mental Health in Children

1. Building Open Communication

Parents should strive to create an environment of trust and open communication with their children, encouraging them to openly express their thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism or judgement. This helps build mutual respect between all members of the family, as well as makes it easier for a counsellor to support them more effectively.

2. Create a Positive Home Environment

By creating a positive home atmosphere, where your child feels safe and supported, you can encourage healthy mental habits that will help support positive mental health overall. This could involve engaging in activities together, talking about problems openly and constructively, displaying affection regularly, and showing an interest in your child’s hobbies or passions.

3. Show Empathy and Understanding

Most importantly, when discussing mental health issues with your child, you must remember to show empathy and understanding towards their worries instead of brushing them off or punishing them for expressing themselves. Listening without judgement enables your child to understand that they are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by certain life events, which can be incredibly empowering for them.

4. Encourage Healthy Habits

Establishing healthy habits, such as regular physical activity and adequate sleep, can help build emotional resilience which will provide children with the skills they need when facing difficult emotions or situations. Engaging in activities like sports or art also provides an outlet for children to express themselves positively while having fun!

5. Discipline & Boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries and discipline your child in a responsible way. However, it’s equally important that these are done without being too harsh or making them feel like their opinion doesn't matter. Rather than punishing negative behaviour, try rewarding positive behaviours so your child learns from their mistakes without feeling ashamed of themselves.

6. Connect with Nature

When stress levels are high, connecting with nature is proven to have calming effects due to its ability to promote relaxation and mindfulness. This helps clear the mind of worries or frustrations, which enables us to think more clearly about our problems and not react impulsively in certain situations. Taking walks outdoors together is always a great option!

7. Limit Screen Time

Technology can be a great tool in teaching your child new skills or providing entertainment, but too much screen time could lead to an overload of sensory stimulation which may have detrimental effects on their mental health. Setting boundaries around how often they use these devices and ensuring that the content they are exposed to is appropriate for their age will help manage this balance effectively.

8. Model Healthy Habits

Modelling healthy habits as parents, such as taking breaks when feeling overwhelmed, eating well-balanced meals and speaking kindly about yourself, will encourage your child to do the same. This ensures you're helping them through difficult times and setting them up for success, by equipping them with life-long coping skills that can serve them both now and into adulthood!

Parents play an important role in helping their children develop and maintain positive mental health. At 8 Senses Therapy, we support both child and parent through family-centred therapy, and provide strategies to ensure that your child has the tools they need to grow into strong, independent adults.

If your child is in need of counselling services, come and see if 8 Senses Therapy is the right fit for you.

Mental Health Services

Please note, 8 Senses Therapy is not a 24/7 support service. If you or your child are in crisis, call one of the mental health helplines below:


13 11 14

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800

Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636

If you feel that your or your child are at immediate risk of harm, please call triple zero (000).

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