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The 1 thing relationship expert Esther Perel says parents get wrong about child therapy

There's a better way to approach children's mental health, according to the "Where Should We Begin?" podcast host.
/ Source: TODAY

When psychotherapist Esther Perel appeared on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna on March 4, the conversation turned to children’s mental health. 

“Therapy used to be something you heard about every now and then, and now it’s completely mainstream — it’s even mainstream among kids,” Hoda Kotb said.

Hoda then posed a question: What is a good age for a child to start seeing a mental health professional?

“I don’t think it’s an issue of how early,” Perel replied. The issue, according to Perel, is how parents are approaching therapy for their kids.

“There’s an over-focus on the individual,” she explained. “Children sometimes may need a room that is behind closed doors where they can talk to one person. But more often, they need to be with other children who are struggling with the same thing.”

Perel suggested that schools bring families together who are “grappling with similar things,” so that they don’t feel isolated and alone.

Group therapy also teaches kids how to adopt to challenging life experiences, the "Where Should We Begin?" podcast host noted. 

“Resilience is a matter of practice. It’s done with others,” Perel said. “It’s the learning of the resources that are available around you.”

Resilience is a matter of practice. It’s done with others.”

“Sometimes you need others who believe in you when you don’t believe in you,” she added. “It’s not just you sit with yourself and you try to pump self-worth inside of you.” Perel was on TODAY to chat about her upcoming tour, "An Evening With Esther Perel: The Future of Relationships, Love, and Desire," which kicks off in Philadelphia on April 4.

“When you enter the theater, you’re entering my waiting room, and then when we start the conversation, you’re entering my office, and in this office are conversations that don’t happen anywhere else,” Perel previously told TODAY.com. “They involve love, grief, betrayal, jealousy. It’s deep, it’s vulnerable, and it’s very human.”