I think it’s helpful to think through the role of a therapist in general and then make it more specific to working with Children.
A therapist’s role is to listen to what’s going on to better understand the problem and then provide guide rails for the individual to make changes, grow heal and improve the circumstances for which they originally sought treatment. So a Children’s therapist works in the same capacity, but Children don’t sit down and talk about what’s going on like adults do.
So the Children’s therapy field is more specific for age appropriate and developmentally appropriate approaches to therapy. Specifically the most effective Children’s therapy is play therapy because it allows the child to process the world in their natural language, which is play, as a general rule.
Children’s therapists help the child process confusing or scary experiences, behavioral issues, academic struggles, social interactions, school transitions, family changes, divorce, death, birth of a new sibling and other similar issues. Sometimes when a child is struggling with medical issues or problems, it’s helpful to have the child in therapy for those reasons as well.
The best way to summarize the role of a Children’s therapist is to act as guide rails to keep the child on a happy and healthy track no matter what they’re navigating in the midst of their childhood.