Consultation for parents

"I can't understand it," said Aaron. "His teachers simply adore him. When we meet them in school they always tell us how talented he is and how he helps other children. His friends' parents also call and tell us what a wonderful boy we have, and how much they envy us. So how come he is so badly hehaved at home?"

"It's getting impossible," said Laura. "When he doesn't get what he wants, he starts shouting and throwing things around the house. He doesn't let us tell him anything. Lately he showers all the time, and when I try to talk to  him about it he just slams the door in my face. I want back my child, my sweet child."

"But what baffles us," intervened Aaron before I could say anything, "is that he doesn't behave like that all the time. Sometimes he goes back to be as sweet and sensitive as he was before, then suddenly he changes and goes berserk. We tried talking to him several times, but we failed. He just got angry and said that he didn't know what we were talking about..."

"And besides," Laura interrupted him, "last week he got annoyed at one of his classmates and threw a chair ay him. That seemed to be a serious warning, so we called you."

(An excerpt from Dror Green, Psychotherapy: A consumer's guide)

Children bring joy into our lives, but they are also a source of concern. In their early years we manage to take care of all their needs, and when they are sick we rush them to the doctor. At the same time, we are their only source of emotional support, and we naturally supply them with ongoing psychotherapy.

During their training psychotherapists receive supervision and they also seek for supervision from professional peers when they face difficult cases. Parents also need supervision that will help them provide better psychotherapy for their children. Psychotherapists can supervise and guide parents and help them play their role more efficiently. They can also offer support and therapy when needed. Professionals are able to identify symptoms of serious disorders and refer parents for medical or psychiatric treatment when necessary.

The frequent changes in children's lives during their development can bring about many emotionally difficult situations. Difficulties may occur in early childhood and continue as they develop into adulthood. They might be expressed as bed wetting, anxiety, violent behavior, speech disorders, learning difficulties, social difficulties, compulsive behavior, crime and drug abuse.

Should parents send their children for psychotherapy in such cases? No. Parents that communicate properly with their children may help them overcome their emotional obstacles by listening and offering spuport. In other cases they can consult with agencies involved in education and health, including family doctors, kindergarten teachers, teachers and educational counselors.

If you are concerned about your children, if something in their behavior makes you worry or if you find it difficult to cope with changes in their behavior, I can help you understand these processes, and if necessary refer you to the appropriate professional.


Dr. Dror Green