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Eight Signs Your Child Needs Counseling


Eight Signs Your Child Needs Counseling


Children can develop emotional and behavioral health issues that can be as debilitating as they are in adults. In fact, emotional conditions are the most common health concerns during childhood, affecting an estimated 17.1 percent of American children. Half of the cases emerge before age 14, while 75 percent occur before reaching age 24.

Unfortunately, the majority of these young people do not get diagnosed or treated, despite the fact that emotional health issues among children are real and common. Millions of children are not receiving the help they need. One reason lies in the differences in symptoms between childhood and adult psychological conditions. For example, an adult may typically express depression through sadness, while the symptom in a child may be irritability, which parents may ignore as misbehavior or part of growing pains.

Untreated emotional health issues can impair various aspects of a child’s life in the long term. Young people who do not get treatment for their emotional conditions are at higher risk for severe disorders, self-harming behavior, lost productivity, etc. Beyond parental instinct, there are giveaway signs and symptoms that will tell parents and other adults that it is beneficial for a child to get counseling.


These eight warning signs are not all-inclusive, but they comprise some of the major symptoms that indicate professional intervention is needed to help a child who may be in emotional pain.

  1. Mood Changes—Look for persistent feelings of sadness or withdrawal lasting for at least two weeks or longer. By nature, children love to be in the company of their friends, and it is unusual for a child to prefer to be alone most of the time. If your child’s mood abruptly changes from sullenness to unexplained fear, it is a strong indication that your child needs help.
  1. Overwhelming Feelings—Expressing fear often for no apparent reason or worrying about things that should not be a cause of concern is a clear sign that professional help must be sought immediately. These excessive feelings of anxiety, usually accompanied by racing heartbeat or rapid breathing, may interfere with the child’s normal functioning.
  1. Behavior Changes—Seeing your child’s behavior or personality suddenly shift can be enough to alarm you, especially when the abrupt changes involve unsafe or out-of-control actions. If your child is frequently involved in fights or has aggressive tendencies toward others and self, it would be best to have him or her evaluated and diagnosed by a therapist.
  1. Problems Concentrating—The attention span of younger children is normally fleeting, but tends to improve as they grow older. If you notice your child having trouble focusing or sitting still, or falling into frequent interludes of daydreaming, consider taking your child to a therapist so that concentration can be improved.
  1. Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain—A sudden change in your child’s appetite, whether it is loss of appetite or food bingeing, can be a sign of deeper emotional issues. Such eating problems can indicate that your child is struggling with anxiety, depression, or stress. Getting professional help may be a beneficial option to identify the underlying cause of the change.
  1. Frequent Complaints about Physical Symptoms—A child harboring an emotional issue may develop physical pain rather than feeling sad or fearful as an adult might. If your child frequently experiences headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, numbness, or lethargy, it is best to see your primary health care provider for a thorough medical assessment. If the physical symptoms persist after ruling out other ailments, your child may need to be evaluated by a therapist.
  1. Self-Harming—Confused and unable to express intense, negative emotions, children are susceptible to self-harm. They may use it to channel their feelings, to seek temporary relief, or to punish themselves. Regardless of the underlying reason, it is a sign of poor emotional health. Behavior such as cutting or head banging is an alarming symptom that needs immediate professional intervention.
  1. Substance Abuse—Drugs or alcohol could be resorted to by an emotionally unstable child to manage or mask negative feelings. It is important to act promptly by getting counseling for your child not only to prevent addiction, but to help restore your child’s emotional health and overall wellness.


It is not easy to see your child consumed by the symptoms of emotional or behavioral health conditions. More than ever, your child needs your support, and there is no reason not to be strong and brave at this time. Of course, you can find ways to convince your child to get therapy, but the key to ensure a pleasant counseling experience for him or her is to choose a credible counselor you can entrust your child with.


Responding to Your Child’s Needs with Quick Attention

Millions of American children grapple with complex life issues that often result from fractured, dysfunctional family structures in our fast-moving, highly digital world. Early childhood stress and trauma can negatively shape a child’s emotions, thoughts, and behavior. When not given the attention needed in their formative years, they may develop into emotionally distressed adults.

However, this scenario is avoidable. There are healthy ways to respond to your child’s needs. You can work with a reliable and independent therapist contracted with Carolina Counseling Services — Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks.

If you notice one or more of the warning signs that your child has poor emotional health, it is never too late to seek help and it is never too early to start therapy. Turn to Carolina Counseling Services — Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks, to match your child with the right-fit therapist. Make your call now to request an appointment.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  


Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 716-8006 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!
Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

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