Has your teen become socially isolated? Does he or she refuse to talk about what’s happening in his or her life? Has he or she been acting out at school or unable to manage homework? These are a few of the ways teens may be speaking to you about their distress. Adolescence is the turning point between the magical years of childhood and the responsibilities of adulthood.
Parents can only manage so much of their teens’ concerns during these potentially chaotic times. As a parent, you do not need to do this alone. I can help with parenting skills and family counseling to address some of your family’s primary concerns. I can further support you and your family with some of the more challenging issues of adolescence: depression, anxiety, emotional stress or anger, acting out, sexuality or gender issues, and social isolation. Further, the stresses of adolescence can submerge teens into existential crises and spiritual confusion. Each year, about 1 in 10 teens attempts suicide, a major cause for concern among parents. Teens are also highly susceptible to trauma from violence, bullying, and emotional or sexual assault among other concerns.
For children and families, psychotherapy can be a life saver, helping manage those challenging times and creating a more stable environment for you and your family. Younger children will often present with behavioral problems, while older ones may exhibit symptoms of depression or anxiety or may be defiant or socially isolated. These are often signs of internal stress in need of expression.
I have helped children with a number of issues in my practice, ranging from mild behavioral or emotional problems to trauma from abuse or neglect. Behavioral problems can manifest in the form of attention deficit (ADD/ADHD), defiance, anger, or conduct issues. These can be very challenging to deal with, raising our doubts about parenting and making us feel ashamed and hopeless, especially when these issues affect a child’s schooling or other activities. These feelings can often keep us from reaching out from fear of further exposure.
When I was a child, I experienced behavioral and emotional problems from the loss of a sibling to cancer. I did not have access to the services that are available now, so I needed to address the trauma much later in life, which required much more effort and attention. Grief and loss issues can manifest in a number of ways: loss of a loved one, parents dealing with separation or divorce, loss of a pet, transitions such as a move to another geographical area. When these issues are left unaddressed, they can evolve into significant anxiety or depression, threatening a child’s emotional well-being. Aggressive behaviors, withdrawal, or self-destructive expressions can sometimes emerge from these conditions as well.
I am also well-versed in dealing with issues around foster care and adoption. I’m a certified provider of parenting skills and can help raise parents’ confidence in dealing with challenging and confusing behaviors.
Whatever your child’s issues or parenting needs, I’m here to help. In my practice, I will usually invite you and your child to meet individually at first. I may also invite other family members to participate in a child’s sessions. Individual sessions with children often involve play therapy. To learn more about play therapy, click here.