Child and Adolescent Counseling (8-21 years)

Children, just like adults, can participate in and benefit from counseling. Counseling can help children and adolescents learn how to identify causes of their distress, develop their skills in asking for help and expressing emotions, and improve their problem-solving abilities.  Child/adolescent therapy seeks to identify and develop strength and growth areas, while reducing distress and increasing coping skills.  It also focuses on creating a safe space for clients to be open and honest about what is happening in school, home and/or their community.  Focus is put on developing tools and skills that will last a lifetime and be valuable through all stages of life.

Children, just like adults, experience stress. Common stressors for children include school and family issues. School stressors may include excessive or difficult homework, test anxiety, peer pressure, bullying, and learning difficulties. Family issues may include parental arguing, divorce, moving homes, new sibling, major illness, death, loss, and transitions.  If you notice a change in your child’s behavior (e.g., inattention, arguing, withdrawing) or emotions (e.g. depressed, angry, worried, stress, regression in potty trained children, somatic symptoms) and think they may need help, child/adolescent therapy may be a good resource.

Specific therapy goals are customized to meet the needs of the child and their family. The overall goal of our child and adolescent therapy program is to alleviate symptoms of distress; improve the child’s social and emotional resources; increase their use of effective communication skills; and strengthen family, community, and peer relationships.  By striving to create an environment where a child/adolescent feels safe and protected from real or perceived threats to their sense of control. I work collaboratively with the child/adolescent to identify their areas of distress, examine and express their feelings by expanding their emotional vocabulary, and develop positive ways to cope and thrive in their environments.  Sometimes the therapy will require participation from the parents with or without the child/adolescent present.