Children & Adolescent Therapy

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain…” – Vivian Greene

In the process of growing into adults, children and adolescents undergo changes in their moods and behaviors throughout their development.

Although the changes may be challenging at times, most are normal parts of human development. However, when children and adolescents experience disruptive emotions or behaviors, it can impact their relationships,  their ability to feel competent in their daily lives, and their sense of well-being.

Are you struggling to help your child regulate emotionally and/or behaviorally? Are you having difficulty figuring out how to be there for your child? Have you been working so hard to support your child that you’ve neglected your own needs? Are you frustrated and tired of not making progress?

Many of the mental health challenges I address in children and adolescents are in response to change, anxiety, or traumatic events – to which every child reacts differently.

Some events that may impact a child or teen’s mental health include:

  • The birth of a sibling
  • The death of a loved one, such as a family member or a pet
  • Physical, emotional and/or verbal abuse
  • Natural disaster
  • Moving to a new place or attending a new school
  • Bullying
  • Academic stress
  • Conflicts with peers, teachers and family
  • Excessive screen time/social media
  • Peer pressure
  • Body image
  • Racism and discrimination issues
  • Taking on more responsibility than is age-appropriate

The process of healing often begins the moment one is heard.

My goal is to address emotional and behavioral disturbances, strengthen child-parent/caregiver relationships, and support holistic development.

To further these objectives, our work incorporates a variety of therapy approaches, strategies, and techniques that enhance emotional intelligence and social skills. These methods equip children and adolescents to effectively navigate their environments. Additionally, we utilize a range of tools designed to promote better emotional regulation and improve conflict resolution skills, which are crucial for both personal growth and academic success.

Whether it’s helping clients find new ways to listen, accept, relate, communicate, or interact – the goal is to create a safe, neutral space for individual and relational growth. Working together, I can help children, teens, and their families build and implement new patterns that effectively work to strengthen familial bonds and improve communication for healthier interactions.

How does Adolescent & Child Therapy work?

I work with middle-school and high-school-aged children and adolescents. Every client’s therapy will look different. However, therapy with minors will incorporate parental involvement, and the extent of involvement will depend on varying factors like age and individual mental health concerns.

Middle School Aged Children (under 13):

When working with Middle School children, the parents’ engagement is required for treatment effectiveness. You can expect a mix of individual sessions with your child, parenting support sessions (with only parents/caregivers), and family sessions (with parents/caregivers and child).

  • Individual sessions with the child will focus on building a therapeutic relationship and understanding their experiences.
  • Parenting support sessions will focus on exploring and practicing alternative parenting strategies based on feedback from individual sessions with the child.
  • Family sessions will focus on improving the relationship between the child and parents/caregivers.

Adolescents ages 13 – 18:

The parents’ engagement is encouraged to support the teen, such as offering companionship when they struggle with depression. When the family environment is stable and safe, individual sessions might be enough to support adolescent clients process difficult thoughts and emotions and build effective strategies to improve overall well-being.

However, sometimes an adolescent’s struggle is beyond their individual control – in which case, the parents’ participation in therapy would be essential for treatment.

For children and/or adolescents who refuse to do family therapy with parents/caregivers:

Sometimes, the family dynamics make working together extra challenging. In these cases, I support parents in building skills and strategies to repair relationships on their own using Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT).

Don’t give up – there is hope for change, and now is a great time to get started.