Is This Your Child? Angry My 15 year-old is so angry and disrespectful. The past year our home life is a battleground; phones, screen-time, getting up in the morning, everything is a fight. Help! Anxious Our daughter at 11 years old worries an insane amount; recently she had a panic attack. She's in a state about her grades, friends, what on social media, the environment, the list grows and nothing seems to help. Bullied Our child is being bullied. We contacted the school, but it keeps happening. Lonely It breaks our heart; he's a great kid. But it's like he doesn't know how to talk to other kids, or he is too frustrated to try. We don't have a clue. LET'S TALK Balanced Children, Aligned Families If your Child Has a Problem, Your Family is Affected too. You are obviously doing your best to support you child, and as their parents you are the expert on them. But children don't grow up in isolation, and if they are experiencing issues at home, in school or in any aspect of their life, your family is feeling it too. That's why working with both your child and family makes for the most effective and efficient therapy. In a complimentary half hour phone call I will listen, ask questions and tell you how I can help. CALL ME 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.