Children are remarkably resilient. They have a tremendous ability to heal and recover from stressors in life. That said, children sometimes get stuck just like adults do, and can find it difficult to heal on their own. Counseling can be helpful in assisting children as they overcome challenges. I work with children of all ages. I am a warm, competent, energetic practitioner, who will strive to help your child feel safe and at ease.
Counseling Can Help Your Child
Children demonstrate that they are experiencing difficulties in different ways than adults. Young children will often show that they are in distress by acting out, rather than using words to express their feelings. Older children will often use a combination of words and actions to explain their difficulties. An increase in problematic behaviors or a significant change in your child may indicate that they are in need of additional support. I am experienced working with children with a variety of behavioral and emotional challenges. We will work together collaboratively to determine what goals you and your child have for therapy.
Some examples of areas we may focus on in therapy include:
Grief and Loss
Significant Life Changes/ Events
Trauma (physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, violence, accidents, losses, etc.)
Relational Distress (conflict between family members or peers)
Anxiety/ stress/ worry
Depression/ hopelessness/ despair
Self-Esteem/ Concerns about Self-Image
You may notice specific behaviors in your child that cause you concern. These behaviors may be one way your child is showing you that they need additional support. Some examples of behaviors we can address in therapy include:
Emotional Reactivity in your child, or difficulty controlling emotion (examples: excessive crying, mood swings, outbursts of frustration, sensitivity, etc.)
Difficulty Controlling Behavior or Emotion (examples: hitting, spitting, aggression toward others, swearing, impulsivity, verbal aggression, etc.)
Behavioral Problems at School (examples: suspensions, expulsions, conflict with peers, bullying, being bullied, conflict with teachers/ adults, etc.)
Academic Distress or Changes in Academic Performance
Changes in Sleep or Eating Habits
Sexual Acting Out Behavior (examples: inappropriate or concerning sexual touching, talk, or interest)
Conflict With Family Members (examples: excessive fighting/ aggression, isolation from family members, argumentative, excessive sibling conflict, etc.)
Defiance (examples: disregard of family or school rules, failing to follow parental requests, etc.)
Thoughts of Harming or Killing Self or Others, previous attempts at suicide
Current or Past Self-Harming
My Theory & Approach to Working With Children and Teens
While the process of working with young children is different from the process of working with older children or teenagers, my general theoretical perspective is similar for children of all ages. I believe that you, as the person/ people who know your child the best, are a critical component of your child's therapy. There are times where it is appropriate to meet with children individually; however, it is important to involve parents/ guardians in the therapy process. The fastest and most lasting change in work with children happens when family is involved. Therefore, I maintain that family participation in counseling with children is necessary for the optimal health and growth of your child. I support the parental role and believe in the good intentions of parents and guardians to provide care and discipline to their children. I will work to support you as the parent/ guardian as you work to support your child. Depending on the age of your child, their specific needs, and the areas of focus in therapy, I may recommend different structures for our counseling sessions. I will collaborate with you to determine what will be most beneficial for you and your child
I approach work with children from a family systems perspective. I utilize a Developmental theoretical framework and an attachment lens in my work with children. I draw from structural and strategic therapy techniques in working with families. I use creativity, art therapy, and play in my work with children and families.
What to Expect
Change takes time. The change that lasts longest often takes longer to achieve. We will work together to determine what course of therapy makes the most sense to you and your child. Some children come to therapy for a short time to address a specific behavior or need, and this is done in a few sessions. Other clients wish to work on things that take a longer time to address. Therapy can last from a few meetings to months or years. Whatever brings you and your child to therapy, you are welcome here. We will work together to determine what course of therapy will be most helpful to address your child's unique needs. You are in control of when you wish to end therapy. We will continue to check in throughout our time together to assess how you are feeling about progress on your goals.
Contact me to set up a free 20-minute consultation. Together, we can determine if I am a good fit for you and your family.