Is this your child? "My 15 year old is angry" “Our 15 year old son has become angry and disrespectful this past year. Our home life is a battleground over his use of phones, video games, getting up in the morning, everything. We don’t know whether to get tough, which doesn’t seem to have worked, or let up and hope it passes. He used to be such a sweet guy; what is going on?” "Our 11 year old is so Anxious" "My 11 year old daughter worries an insane amount. She worries about school, her grades, her friends, her clothes, the environment. Recently she’s started to worry about where I am and when we’re coming home. She seems afraid to be on her own. Is this normal?" TRY THIS TRY THIS "The Problem is Bullying" “Our child is being bullied and they are miserable. We contacted the school, but it keeps happening.” Or “The school is telling us our child is bullying classmates. It’s hard to believe.” Both sets of parents say: “We want this to stop. How do we talk about it without making things worse? What do we do?” "Making friends is a real challenge" “It breaks our heart; he’s a great kid, but it’s like he doesn’t know how to be a friend, how to talk to kids his age. Play dates don’t work, school tries to help, but he doesn’t seem to have a filter, for what you say and how to be part of the group. We’re looking for a way to support this kind of child? ” TRY THIS TRY THIS Is This Your Child? "My 15 year old is angry" “Our 15 year old son has become angry and disrespectful this past year. Our home life is a battleground over his use of phones, video games, getting up in the morning, everything. We don’t know whether to get tough, which doesn’t seem to have worked, or let up and hope it passes. He used to be such a sweet guy; what is going on?” TRY THIS "Our 11 year old is so Anxious" "My 11 year old daughter worries an insane amount. She worries about school, her grades, her friends, her clothes, the environment. Recently she’s started to worry about where I am and when we’re coming home. She seems afraid to be on her own. Is this normal?" TRY THIS "The Problem is Bullying" “Our child is being bullied and they are miserable. We contacted the school, but it keeps happening.” Or “The school is telling us our child is bullying classmates. It’s hard to believe.” Both sets of parents say: “We want this to stop. How do we talk about it without making things worse? What do we do?” TRY THIS "Making friends is a real challenge" “It breaks our heart; he’s a great kid, but it’s like he doesn’t know how to be a friend, how to talk to kids his age. Play dates don’t work, school tries to help, but he doesn’t seem to have a filter, for what you say and how to be part of the group. We’re looking for a way to support this kind of child? ” TRY THIS Balanced Children, Aligned Families If your child has a problem, your family does too. All Children have basic needs that can be roughly divided into physical, intellectual and emotional. When a child has a problem that interferes with their functioning, they become out of balance. This imbalance is most often caused by a combination of internal ideas and feelings on the child’s part, combined with any set of external circumstance like academic demands, social pressure or family conflict As a parent, it’s your job to understand and meet your child’s needs. Your family is the unit that allows you to do this. The family holds and nurtures your child(ren) , moving all of you into the future. An imbalance in a child often creates a Misalignment within the complex mechanism of the family. As a therapist and coach, I work with the child and family interlocking pieces of whole puzzle, to restore balance and alignment. To learn more about how this dynamic process works, click the button below. How We Work Together Maybe you’ve downloaded a “Try This” exercise or been given my name by another parent. When you book a phone consult, you find that you are able to express your concerns and that I’m listening. You find that there is an openness and understanding for your families unique and diverse identity. When we meet you are thrilled to find your child is engaged and wants to come back. As parent(s) you feel a sense of relief as your trust in my experience grow. We work together in two basic modes, Therapy provides identification and assessment of the issues and offers clinical response that is based in psychodynamic and play therapy. Coaching is a pro-active process that looks to bring desired outcomes by understanding your child’s behavior , supporting parent leadership and focusing on result in the here and now. Taken together, therapy and coaching are effective in bringing about the balance in your child and strengthening your family. What Clients Say Anxious, Traumatized Child “We felt right away she understood our situation.” We chose Ms. Debora to work with our daughter after looking at a lot of therapist and talking to other parents. When we went to talk with her, telling her about our daughter’s very traumatic seizures and brain surgery we felt right away she understood our situation. Debora brought in a toy doctor’s kit which Lily immediately started to play with. Together with dolls and the doctor’s kit Lily play acted memories of her hospital stay and surgery. Over time the trauma became something that Lily could talk about and she became much less angry at home. Our family dynamic returned to something that was the new normal, and we became a happy family, again. – Parent of PatientBullied and Bullying 5th Grade boy “Having someone understand him seemed to help him calm down.” When we saw Debora, Harry was 12. At school he was both bullied and accused of bullying others. He was angry and moody at home and we didn’t quite know what direction to go in. Somehow Harry connected with Debora; she tapped into his interest and sense of humor. Being heard, and having someone understand him seemed to help him calm down. In our conversations with Debora as parents, my wife and I were able to express our anger and frustration, even though it was hard to say at times I really felt negatively about my son. In the end our talk clarified our values and love for our son. We concluded that Harry was a vulnerable bull in a china shop, sweet, well intentioned, but likely to crash things and break them. Harry’s successfully completed middle school. It was just a few months we spent with Debora, but it was very helpful to everyone. – Parent of PatientNew Parents “We laughed at ourselves and learned alot in the process.” "As a young family we needed some help to sort out a tangle of feelings that belonged to us, our families of origin, and then our child. In conversations, Debora put us at ease we laughed at ourselves and learned a lot in the process.” Our family life now with two children is chaotic, but good. Time well spent. " – Abbey & Hank, ParentsAngry Explosive Behavior “Debora relates so well to children. M took to her right away. "When we came to see Ms. Debora, M, age 7, was a struggling second grader and so frustrated from holding it together all day in school, that he had horrible meltdowns, every day, right after school. We knew that M was having a hard time in school; he had been diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD the year before. The educational demands of second grade seemed to trigger his frustration, explosive behavior, anxiety, and meltdowns and it had reached a boiling point and was affecting our whole family. That’s when we reached out to Debora for help. Debora relates so well to children. M took to her right away as she got down on the rug and they played Legos and games and toys together. M was able to build up a great rapport with Debora from the beginning and she gave him the tools to better express himself. For example, he had been going through a phase where he was cursing a lot at home and in public and she gave him a safe space in therapy where she allowed him to “teach” her his bad words so he could get those words out of his system. At home that translated into us letting him curse in his room (sometimes he cursed into his pillow) until he no longer had the urge to use them. He has given up cursing all together now, which is a huge relief. M also now uses appropriate words to clearly express his feelings and frustration before reaching his boiling point. He is so much more articulate with his expressions than when he first started seeing Debora. And for us as parents, she gave us insights and helped us respond with new ways of managing and thinking about M and our whole family. M is in a much better place than when we started, he is now in a much more appropriate school, where he thrives and receives the right support, and he uses the tools Debora taught him to better cope with daily life. As a result, we now have our old happy child back. – Parent of PatientParent with Angry Middle School Daughter “I think I need to come talk to you.” After I brought my daughter to therapy, I said “I think I need to come talk to you.” So I did. My daughter Colleen and I were butting heads; I was getting a lot of attitude from her. Then my husband and I separated. There was a lot going on. Debora heard it all. I liked the way she didn’t give up on Colleen even when she would hardly talk. I think Colleen expressed some feelings towards her Dad that she wouldn’t have been able to without having a therapist there. We both learned a lot about how our family patterns repeat themselves. Colleen started high school and I think she’ll be fine. There were moments though. I can say that my experience with therapy were really positive, and I tell my girlfriends “You should go to therapy, but it has to be the right person.” – Parent of PatientAngry Middle School Daughter “I can be my own self, but still respect my Mom” My Mom wanted me to go to therapy. It helped. I learned to think about myself in different ways. And the therapist didn’t always side with my Mom. I think I’m better prepared for high school. I see how my Mom and I agree on a lot of things like finishing school and how I can be my own self, but still respect my Mom and my grandma. Ms. Kane was a good person to talk to. – PatientTeenage Boy who was Depressed “I understand my family and my friends better and I feel hopeful for myself.” Ms. Kane was my therapist for about a year. When I first went to see her it was because I had told my friend, who told my guidance counselor, that I was thinking about hurting myself. Ms. Kane was easy to talk to and she was interested to learn about the things that I liked. Gradually, I realized I was depressed, because my Dad was always angry. He didn’t really take care of me or my grandma, the way he should. I was working hard at school to get into a good college. But my Dad, when he was home would just yell and play the tv loud and didn’t care how I did in school. After therapy I feel a lot better. I am applying to colleges now and am hopeful for my future. Ms. Kane helped me a lot and I think it is because she really cares. – Patient CALL ME, LET'S TALK About Me I am a Coach, Therapist and LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) with specialized training in children and families. You, your children and your family are the reason I love what I do. As a married woman, with two beautiful daughters, a house and garden in Brooklyn, and a satisfying career, I considered myself very fortunate. But in 2001, my then-husband developed severe mental illness and effectively abandoned us. I became a single Mother with two children to raise and support. My belief that all children are gifted and talented led me to found The Flatbush Youth Initiative, an innovative community-based afterschool arts and education program. This was the testing ground that proved to me that children grow best with both challenge and opportunity. In 2004 I started a private practice with an emphasis on middle school children. Many years later with a full practice and two successfully launched daughters (one middle school teacher and soccer coach, one Phd scientist) I am able to bring a laser-focus to Balanced Children, Aligned Families, a program that combines therapy and coaching to heal children and strengthen families. Love for our children is our most powerful tool. It is the foundation on which all learning and growth rests. But there can be rough patches for even the most fortunate of us. Like me, you need to harness your power and your child’s talents to allow them to become their own successes. If they are struggling, let me offer a steadying hand and the voice of experience to help balance your children and align your family.