June 27, 2024, 10:50 a.m.

Parents often wonder about how involved they should — or shouldn’t be — in their child’s therapy. It’s a complicated question because it depends on the situation, the type of therapy and the child’s age.

Mini Tandon, DO, a Washington University child and adolescent psychiatrist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, talks about four things parents can expect when their kids are in therapy.

  • Until the child reaches age 6, parents are inherently involved in their child’s therapy because the child is so young. These therapy sessions involve parents and families.
  • For older kids, you can talk to their therapist about certain sessions that you will be involved in and others that you may not be, so the child feels heard and independent of their parent.
  • It’s important to build a good rapport with your child’s therapist and understand what your role will be when you are involved. It can help you extend the ideas and goals of therapy at home.

It’s important to talk to your child’s therapist and establish some guidelines before their therapy starts. Therapists are generally open to feedback as well, so feel free to give feedback at different points.

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