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This list of reasons for seeking professional help is not exhaustive. You, other family members, or teachers may notice other behaviors that raise your concern about your children's adjustment. Deciding to seek professional help will depend on how much control you believe you have over what is happening to your children. If you have a game plan for helping your children and you feel confident about your parenting, professional help may not be necessary. If instead, you are confused about what to do, you should speak with a therapist. 

Asking for help is sometimes hard because you feel embarrassed about telling a stranger about your problems. It may seem like an admission of failure or you may be afraid that you will be told, "This is all your fault." Either way, trusting someone to help and not knowing what our children will say can be scary. That is why it is important to find someone who is qualified and makes you feel comfortable. 

While deciding to get counseling for your son or daughter, the first thing you will probably do is to ask the children if they want to talk to someone. This sounds reasonable, but most of the time they will say, "No." After all, children are masters of avoidance and the prospect of talking to a stranger makes them nervous. They may complain about not knowing what to say or worry about what the counselor will say to their mom or dad. Now you feel bewildered. You may not know whether to respect you children's wishes--or force them to see a counselor. The answer to that question depends upon how badly your children are behaving or depend on whether abuse, substance abuse, or other dangers have entered your children's lives. If you believe your children are not coping and their behavior is getting worse,  or you suspect a "danger" has developed, your children should have no choice but to see a counselor. It is up to the counselor to work with your children's resistance and develop rapport. 

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We would like to hear from you but please remember that your e-mail should be brief and our response, if any, does not constitute therapy or consultation. Thank you.  Send e-mail to    Or, call my office at:  1-330-759-2310.

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