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Old 01-27-2012, 08:08 PM
 
Location: here
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It sounds like she has some social anxiety. She could probably benefit from some therapy. See if you have EAP through your employer. You might be required to start there. You could see if your primary care doctor has a recommendation.

ETA psychologists can't prescribe drugs, so please ignore the posters who think that's the first thing that's going to happen. they're wrong.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happyfamily1912d View Post
We'd like to seek professional counseling, but have never done this before. It's too important to me to just open the yellow pages and throw a dart. Can anyone advise on how to find/select a good counselor? Are there specific certification/methodology, interviewing tips, etc.

Thanks for any help.
Sorry to hear your daughter is having a hard time. If you decide to pursue counseling, I would second the suggestions above about getting referrals for counselors/therapists who specialize in kid/teen issues from your pediatrician, school counselor, trusted friend, etc.

Here are some links to go about finding a child/adolescent therapist and types of therapies (culled from a number of reputable sources that have lists of questions to think about when trying to choose someone, please don't consider it a push for medication, anxiety, or family therapy!!):

Where To Find Help For Your Child | American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Evidence-Based Mental Health Treatment for Children and Adolescents
Choosing a Therapist for Your Child | Anxiety Disorders Association of America, ADAA

The state licensing board usually has a therapist search function, as does the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

A good therapist will also tell you if there's not a problem - if it's just normal life adjustment type stuff that can be managed without therapy or with brief therapy. Medications (despite other posters' opinions to the contrary) are not typically first line treatments with children. If you feel a professional is pushing meds or a diagnosis, please get a second opinion.

Hope this helps, best of luck to you.

Last edited by eastwesteastagain; 01-27-2012 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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The fact that she's able to make friends outside of school and interact in social settings is a good sign.

Do you know if she's been bullied? I was bullied in middle school and I don't think I spoke to any of my classmates for years out of fear of being rejected. These days schools are much more proactive when it comes to bullying, so if she is a victim, they'll take steps to stop it once they've been alerted.

Also, some people are just naturally quiet, which could contribute to her not approaching other students when you drop her off. Maybe she's waiting for them to approach her.

I'd ask the principal if she could have the guidance counselor call her into her office for a friendly chat. The guidance counselor would probably ask her about how she's adjusting to school and help her to open up about anything that's bother her. The guidance counselors at our school are wonderful about doing this and it keeps problems from escalating.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:29 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,783,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happyfamily1912d View Post
Our daughter aged 12 is having issues at school, this year she is turned into a loner. She has friends outside of school and can interact with others nicely, but for some reason at school she has no friends. She's never been the most outgoing, but this year it seems much worse. For example we now notice that at morning drop-off she will stand by herself while all other kids talk in circles.

When asked, she says she is miserable going to school because she has no friends. The only thing she gives when we ask into it is that "no one talks to me".

I was very shy as a child, which stemmed from suffocating insecurities I had. She however doesn't otherwise seem to have alot of those. She's a straight A student, is extremely intelligent and mature, and is very accomplished as far as having been active and done well in various sports and activities. So we're at a loss as to what might be going on, and if she has a "shell", why. Other than being a "tween", and also having a moderate case of acne (which she's never indicated bothers her that much), we need to figure what's causing this.

We'd like to seek professional counseling, but have never done this before. It's too important to me to just open the yellow pages and throw a dart. Can anyone advise on how to find/select a good counselor? Are there specific certification/methodology, interviewing tips, etc.

Thanks for any help.
Sometimes with very shy kids you have to talk to them about shyness - shy people don't like to make a scene, they aren't show offs, aren't the exhibitionists that want a lot of attention and do stupid stuff sometimes to get it. It's easier being shy because you don't have to put on a show. People tend to like shy people, but they might not always notice them.

Shy is just what they are, they should embrace it, it's their special quality.

One of my sons wasn't shy but he was having trouble making friends at school. He had trouble fitting in with already-established groups - in part because he wanted to be a group leader. I told him that the groups already have a leader and he needed to make a new group if he really wanted to be a group leader. So he wanted to know how to find any friends.

To have a friend you must be a friend. I told him to look around for the other kids that didn't have friends instead of the kids that already had enough of them. And since they tend to be shy, they're easy enough to ask questions of -- ask if they have brothers or sisters, ask if they have a dog, cat. Ask what they do on weekends. A friend cares about those kinds of things.

It seemed to work because he began first to make friends with somewhat "misfits" but he grew more popular and today he has no problem with popularity. I think he still knows how to be a friend -- to ask people about themselves and learn about them.

I think for your daughter if she's shy it can be harder to approach other kids but she could start with trying to get to know another shy girl or boy. They're off to the side and aren't as noticeable, but certainly they are there.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:34 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,385,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
A good therapist will also tell you if there's not a problem - if it's just normal life adjustment type stuff that can be managed without therapy or with brief therapy.
This deserves to be read one more time.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:17 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,473 posts, read 16,442,439 times
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There are some good books about shyness but for the life of me I can't recall any of them right now. Perhaps a visit to the library would be in order. The best ones will make the case for baby steps--little things you can do. How is your dd at making eye contact? That's important and if she can choose someone at school that she wants to be friends with, she could look them in the eye and say hello--no more than that for the first step and chances are that if the child is more outgoing than her, they'll take it from there. If she can make just one friend, it will go a long way towards bringing her out of her shell. I'm not arguing against therapy but I'd try getting a book first or helping her think of very small steps that she'd be willing to try. They have to be ones that she thinks she could do.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,230,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
This deserves to be read one more time.
Thanks, Dew! One of my favorite things to be able to tell clients coming in for an assessment was that what they were experiencing was totally normal, non-diagnosable, and didn't require intense therapy. In my mind, problems are worth having assessed, but it can be pretty darn validating to hear that the treatment is no treatment if that is the case.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:49 AM
 
15,205 posts, read 16,080,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
Thanks, Dew! One of my favorite things to be able to tell clients coming in for an assessment was that what they were experiencing was totally normal, non-diagnosable, and didn't require intense therapy. In my mind, problems are worth having assessed, but it can be pretty darn validating to hear that the treatment is no treatment if that is the case.
^^^This^^^. My daughter had some fairly serious anxiety when she was 10 and we saw a therapist once and she saw her school counselor a couple of times. Both told her that it was a stage that bright kids often go through at her age as they start to realize that Mom and Dad can't fix all problems and that the world can be a difficult place. Both also gave her solid advice for dealing with the anxiety when she felt it coming on.

It's well worth seeing a good adolescent counselor for an assessment and advice.
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