Child & Adolescent Counseling
Does your child have trouble dealing with their emotions? Is their behavior sometimes disruptive to your home life? Have they experienced sudden loss or trauma?
As they grow, children and adolescents develop social skills and emotional intelligence. This awareness helps them to develop into healthy, happy, and successful individuals. But some children have trouble processing their emotions and this often leads to behavior that negatively impacts their school life, home life and overall well-being.
Therapy offers children and adolescents a safe space to work through their thoughts and emotions. With the help of a specialized therapist, children can resolve problems, modify behaviors, and make positive and lasting changes.
Types of Psychotherapy for Children & Adolescents:
The following are a few different types of psychotherapy available to children and adolescents, but it is not an exhaustive list. Each of these offers unique approaches and techniques to bring about positive outcomes. Sometimes a therapist may choose to use just one specific treatment, and other times he or she may find a combination of various treatments is the best approach.
“Play is a child’s natural medium for self-expression”
“Toys are children’s words and play is their language”
-Gary L. Landreth
Play Therapy is used with mostly young children, but can be incorporated on a developmentally appropriate level for children of all ages. Play Therapists are trained to incorporate various types of psychotherapy into play in order to meet a child at their point of need. Please check out the Play Therapy page to learn more.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
CBT helps children to identify harmful thought patterns. Once a child recognizes that his or her thoughts create their feelings and moods, they can learn to control themselves and their behavior. Research has shown that CBT is highly effective at treating depression and anxiety as well as helping individuals, including children, deal with traumatic experiences.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT techniques work well with adolescents. DBT offers individuals comprehensive skills to manage painful memories and emotions and decrease conflicts in their relationships. This modality focuses on 4 specific areas of therapeutic skills. These are:
Mindfulness – Helps individuals be present in the current moment.
Distress tolerance – Most people try and keep themselves safe from all negative emotions. Distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance to negative emotion.
Emotion regulation – Offers strategies to manage intense emotions that are the root cause of problems in a person’s life.
Interpersonal effectiveness – These techniques allow an individual to communicate with others in a confident, assertive way that maintains self-respect and strengthens relationships.
DBT essentially works with individuals to help them find ways to manage their negative emotions so they can feel balanced, in control and able to interact respectfully and successfully. The message at the heart of DBT is acceptance and change.
Who is Therapy Right for?
At every age, children can be faced with life’s challenges. The following are some of the events and scenarios that can impact a child’s mental health and well-being:
- The death of a loved one
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Domestic violence
- Moving or attending a new school
- Social anxiety
- Eating disorders
Therapy is not a quick fix to a child’s behavioral or emotional issues. It is instead a thoughtful and comprehensive process that provides children with insights and skills so that they may become masters of their thoughts and feelings. This, in essence, is how children develop into happy, healthy and successful adults.
If you would like to explore treatment options for your child, please give my office a call.