Working with Children & Adolescents
I offer therapy services to children and teens (9 years of age or above). Therapy can serve as a comfortable space where kids and teens can feel safe and understood. For our work together to be meaningful though, co-creating a clear vision of what they want their life to look like is crucial. My work is most often focused on teaching emotion regulation and anxiety management skills, as well as increasing their ability to navigate relationships in a healthy way. Exposure exercises, where children and teens begin to face their fears are crucial. Re-engaging in areas of life that anxiety has led them to avoid is one of the most rewarding and effective parts of treatment. My ultimate goal is for my clients to leave therapy feeling empowered, confident, and armed with the tools they need to create a life they love. I feel privileged in helping my clients on their journey to creating healthier relationships with themselves and others.
Seeing a child or teen struggle with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, an eating disorder, depression, low self-esteem, or as a result of difficult life events, is one of the most challenging experiences a parent can face. Problems in these areas can begin to have a negative impact on your child’s school-work, friendships, confidence, overall well-being and not to mention family functioning. This is one of the most crucial times to seek outside help, and also a time when engaging in therapy can be most transformative.
Should you or I (or the child’s teachers) suspect that ADHD or a learning difference is getting in the way socially or academically, I have a close network of psychologists whom I collaborate with to streamline the process of psychoeducational testing. I can help you and your child understand more about the benefits and ins and outs of the testing process.
Creating a Safe Space and parent support
Creating a safe and nurturing therapy relationship is critical in this process, and is often central at the start of treatment. The overall goal is to help your child realize and use their strengths in order to develop confidence and a healthy sense of self.
Depending on the child’s age and difficulties, I work closely with parents in creating goals and tracking progress, as well as providing guidance and information with which you can best support your child at home. With adolescents, the increased need for autonomy, trust, and privacy in the therapy relationship are always balanced with keeping parents informed and engaged in treatment progress. When helpful, I collaborate with school counselors or administrators in order to gain a full understanding of your child’s functioning and maximize the support they can receive in their school environment.