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Christian Counseling for Kids: What Are the Benefits?

It can be overwhelming and even scary to think about seeking professional help for your child. You might have heard negative opinions about therapy or had a bad experience. Maybe you worry counseling won’t help your child or fear what others will think of you as a parent. 

If you are asking yourself, “Does my child need a Christian counselor?” the answer is more often yes than no. The thought of Christian counseling for kids does not need to scare you! The only way to know if it will help your child is to try it. 

Proverbs 11:14 tells us, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” God doesn’t specifically address modern counseling in the Bible, but He does emphasize the importance of seeking wisdom from others. We are not meant to do life or parenting alone. 

5 Benefits of Christian Counseling for Kids

Why should you invest your time and resources in Christian counseling for kids? Here are five ways it could benefit your child and family.

1. New Insights

Sometimes, you get stuck when you struggle with something alongside your child. You can develop habits, thought patterns, and viewpoints that are damaging to your relationship with your child. But when you utilize Christian counseling for kids, you will gain new insights. 

A Christian counselor brings a fresh perspective to the situation. Their perspective often helps parents look at their child’s struggles in a different light and offers practical tools to help them. God designed us to do life together. Parents should not raise their children alone. 

In Proverbs 12:15, the Bible says, The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” It is wise to seek godly counsel from others! 

2. Expertise in Child Development 

Licensed counselors are well-trained in child development. They are experts in understanding where a child may be in their cognitive development and emotional maturity. Their insight can help clarify the reason for your child’s struggles and the kind of therapy that’s appropriate for their age and unique situation.

Whether your child is struggling academically, physically, or emotionally, a Christian counselor will provide you with tools to lead them through the issue they’re facing. They know how to help and have seen tens or hundreds of other children before yours. This gives them a unique advantage when evaluating the issues at hand. 

3. Positive Relationships 

Another benefit to Christian counseling for kids is the opportunity to build new positive relationships. Your child might connect with a therapist in a new way that they haven’t in other relationships. 

For example, if a child were to have a parent pass away, it might be challenging to talk about that to their remaining parent. A counselor who is not grieving in the same way might be able to build a positive relationship and help bear that burden alongside the remaining parent. 

Galatians 6:2 says we should “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Counselors follow scripture when they walk alongside your child and help carry life’s heavy burdens. What a beautiful thing!

4. Accountability

Sometimes, we know what needs to be changed to help our issues, but we still don’t do it. A counselor can hold you and your child accountable for breaking habits and accomplishing goals.

For a child with anxiety, accountability could look like planning small ways to practice doing the things that make them anxious. For a child with anger, accountability could look like practicing coping skills outside the moments of frustration.

Whatever change might be necessary to improve a child’s situation, a counselor is there to help make sure it happens. Hebrews 10:24 encourages us to “…consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” We are truly better together as we hold each other accountable.

5. Support for Parents and Guardians

As the parent or caregiver, you gain a new advocate and ally when you find a Christian counselor for kids. You now have another person in your corner rooting for you and cheering you on as you work through your child’s situation together.

You can often schedule periodic parent sessions with your child’s counselor and discuss your side of the situation. This is another way a Christian counselor can provide additional support and encouragement for you. 

Parenting is one of the most important jobs a person can have. However, this role also comes with great pressure and stress. Having the extra support of a children’s counselor can improve your well-being, too.

A smiling boy sitting on a gray couch speaking to a male Christian counselor.

What Are the Problems a Counselor Can Help With?

Christian counseling for kids can help with a variety of childhood challenges. Not every counselor will specialize in every issue, but here are some topics that counselors can generally work through:

  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sadness
  • Intense anger
  • Grief
  • Problems at school
  • Family changes, such as divorce or death
  • Social challenges
  • Developmental challenges
  • Behavioral diagnoses, such as ADHD

What Does Counseling Look Like for a Child?

Every counseling session looks different depending on the child, counselor, and situation. Generally, most sessions begin with a meeting between the counselor and parent(s) or caregiver(s). After learning about your child’s situation, the counselor will explain their methods for working with your child. 

During this first session, you may or may not bring your child along, depending on the situation and age of the child. The counselor will likely ask you questions like the following:

  • Why are you seeking counseling for your child?
  • Does the child have any medical diagnoses impacting the situation?
  • What major life events or changes might be contributing to the situation?
  • What are your goals for counseling? What do you want your child to get out of it?

After this initial meeting, your child will begin to see the counselor independently. Most counselors will recommend starting weekly sessions. This frequent interaction helps foster a trusting relationship between your child and the counselor. 

You can request updates on your child’s progress at any time. The child will see the counselor for a period, usually at least 3-6 months. Once you feel the progress is sufficient, you can schedule sessions less frequently and eventually stop altogether.

How to Pick a Christian Counselor

When considering Christian counseling for kids, here are some important questions to think through:

  • How will you pay for it?
    • Does your insurance cover any counselors near you?
    • How much will self-pay cost per visit if you don’t use insurance coverage?
  • What is this counselor’s education, licensure, and expertise? 
  • What is the availability of the counselor? During or after the school day, weekends, etc.?
  • Is there a waitlist to become a new patient?
  • Does this counselor’s faith align with yours?
  • Does your child connect well with this counselor? 
  • Are you and the counselor aligned on your goals for your child? 

You and your child might not click with the first counselor you try. That is okay! There are other counselors out there. Don’t be afraid to seek a second option if you don’t feel comfortable with the first.

Takeaway

Christian counseling for kids can have long-lasting benefits for you, your child, and your family. Helping your child overcome the issues they face could change their life forever. By partnering with a Christian counselor, you can equip your child with tools to handle the difficulties they will face. 

To learn more about counseling through the Abundant Life Counseling Center, visit our ministry page and fill out an appointment request form. The Abundant Life Counseling Center desires to be intentional about providing services to those in need so that they can live healthier, more fulfilling lives and begin to heal in areas that have been broken.