Psychotherapy with children

You know when something isn’t right with your child, though you may not know what exactly is wrong. Maybe they are not achieving in school despite good intelligence; or they’re lying or are angry too often; maybe there are changes at home and your child is having a hard time adjusting.

Here is where I can help. Through careful listening and the dynamics of psychotherapy, I am able to determine what is going wrong, and how to get things going right. What we -your child you as the parent(s) and I do in therapy depends on the age of your child and the presenting issues.

Early Years

Pre-schoolers need to be growing and developing physically, socially and cognitively to be on track with developmental milestones. This is the one time when it is appropriate to measure your child against norms. Because developmental milestones are critical for your pre-schooler being able to progress and enter school ready to learn, you want to look closely at your child’s development. If you, your pediatrician or pre-school teacher have concerns about your child’s ability to use language, perform tasks or relate to others, an early evaluation can be crucial. I can assist with an initial assessment and in seeking appropriate interventions services to help your child towards achieving healthy development.

Elementary School

Family, friends and school are the foundation of the 7-12 year olds’ world . Children require love and limits, along with enormous amounts of time and attention to thrive. If you sense your child is struggling – they have no friends or are being bullied, they have academic difficulties despite good intelligence, they are angry at home or school – or if there are changes in family due to divorce, loss of parents, you might consider seeking help. In a safe space created through careful attention and play therapy, a child can explore and show what’s wrong or where it hurts. Therapy with children in this age range is often short term. Once we address the difficulties, it often leads to uncovering interests and strengths that your child can develop to sustain themselves.

Middle Schoolers

are a challenge to parents and teachers alike. They travel a difficult path between childhood and adolescence and are often overwhelmed with all they have to manage. If you find your child is angry, defiant, failing in school or simply not happy, there is probably good cause for their behavior. However, articulating the cause and then coming to solutions may be more than you and your child are able to do, together. By striking a balance between being a friend and an “advisor” taking into account the need for space and limits, I am able to help uncover what the underlying issues are. In therapy, we work at helping the young person give voice to their difficulties and discover ways to help themselves create solutions that work for themselves and their families. Middle schoolers never cease to amaze me with their ability to be insightful and mature while simultaneously maintaining more childish qualities as well, which makes the time we spend together rewarding.

Adolescents and Young Adults

By the time your teenager reaches high school you have – or think you have – a good idea of who they are. However, adolescents change from day to day as they negotiate their entry into the adult world. As their parents, you may or may not have good information on how they are doing academically, socially and internally. Teenagers often react to pressure around school, college, relationships, inner fears and emotions, with assurance that they can take care of it without your help. Any evidence or suggestion of risky behavior such as use of drugs or alcohol, eating disorders or self injury or depression should not be ignored. In my experience, adolescents like therapy and do very well with the “talking cure”. Once in a trusting relationships, teenagers are able to confide their fears and risky behaviors and can be persuaded to address problems and seek solutions. This may mean you and your adolescent find some relief, sooner rather than later.