Children and Adolescent Counseling
Children often cannot describe their feelings or experiences with words. Oftentimes, we recognize that a child the suffering are struggling is to the behavior or, “acting out”. A child may be aggressive with peers at school, stealing, having frequent temper tantrums, not paying attention at home or in class, breaking toys, defined roles, withdrawing, or showing regressive behavior. Parents are often at a loss as to how to respond. In working with children(age 4 and up), I implement a variety of methods and materials while engaging children in play therapy. The goal of therapy is to support a child’s self-expression by working through conflict, and develop a better understanding of how to manage their feelings. Oftentimes this involves collaboration with parents, and implementation of behavior modification techniques at home.
While young children often cannot express themselves with words the way adults do, they can very naturally reveal a great deal about their lives through creative expression and play. My initial meeting is always with one or both parents. During the initial clinical assessment we will develop a follow up plan and discuss the treatment recommendations for subsequent visits.
Adolescents can be a very painful time, when life becomes much more complex and harsh. Adolescents often do not have the knowledge, tools, or support to deal with the changes in their bodies, perceptions, emotions, and peer relationships. They are in a struggle to discover who they really are, often distancing themselves from their parents; in an attempt to better define themselves. This can be a very challenging time for both teenagers and parents.
I provide education to adolescents and young adults about healthy coping mechanisms, and alternative ways to deal with stress, pain, loss, anger, and hurt. I work to build better communication skills self-care, and self-esteem. Parents are encouraged to participate at the beginning of each counseling session, to provide feedback on their child, and discuss any new or critical concerns. While parents have a right to some information about this therapy with their child, children over the age of 12 years old have similar rights to their medical and mental health confidentiality as adults. These guidelines will be outlined in our initial session.
Please contact the office for additional information on scheduling an appointment.