Do you have a child/adolescent who is struggling emotionally, behaviorally, socially, and/or academically?
The idea that your child may require therapy is a hard one to swallow.
Whether you made this decision based on your observations or you have received a complaint from a stakeholder involved in your child's life, you must be overwhelmed and worried with a million questions.
- You may even be on the brink of losing your job because of the times you had to visit your child's school or pick him/her up because they got expelled.
- Or maybe your relationships are suffering because you are caring for a child that requires your attention and love now more than ever.
- You have probably felt guilt before because of situations you could have handled differently.
- Maybe you have also felt shame because of the times that your child may have embarrassed you, and hopelessness and helplessness, because everything that you have tried or others have tried to help your child, has failed.
If you know your child is capable of more and you envision a different path for them, then you are making the right decision to seek out an experienced therapist that will walk with you through this challenging journey.
Counseling can help your child to work towards an optimistic future and thrive.
Through working with an experienced therapist, you and your child/adolescent can begin to:
- Understand contextual factors that may affect your/your child's behavior and emotional state. These could be environmental elements at home/school, interpersonal events with peers, teachers, and family members, and/or cultural influences.
- Track and change patterns in your/ your child's thoughts and behavior that affects their emotional state and determines their actions.
- Discover new solutions to problems.
- Begin to exhibit and increase in compliant and positive behaviors through the implementation of behavioral charts.
- Learn positive coping methods to better handle challenging situations.
- Boost self-esteem and feel more confident by tapping into resources that worked in the past, discovering strengths that they already possess, and achieving small successes.
- Improve social skills to have more positive relationships with others.
What to expect during therapy:
A solution-focused and collaborative approach is utilized in therapy. This strength-based approach supports children and adolescents to build from their capabilities, overcome barriers, and achieve small successes. The ultimate goal is to help these young people see that they are capable of succeeding and can acquire particular skills and strategies through therapy that will help them make positive changes in their lives.
Many times, children are pushed into therapy unwillingly; my commitment is to create a safe and comfortable environment for them by taking a non-judgmental stance so that they can share information they may have never shared before. We use play therapy in my sessions with children because they have not yet developed the abstract reasoning abilities and verbal skills necessary to express their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Solution-focused and narrative techniques are utilized in conjunction with play therapy to increase self-regulation and expedite a shift towards the desired goal. The questions that We ask are, and the language that we use in sessions will help your child provide valuable information, build trust, increase participation, and propel them to become active agents of their change.
Teenagers in today's world have to deal with a lot. They are undergoing hormonal today's changes while dealing with a plethora of demands from their peers, school, and parents. We are here to create a safe space for them to process and feel the emotions that they are flooded with, to help them discover the coping skills that they need to surpass their challenges, and to identify their innate strengths and resources to reach their goals and dreams.
Will I be in the therapy room with my child/teen?
There are times that the parents may be asked to allow the child/adolescent to attend parts of the session by themselves. Having your child meet with the therapist alone can build rapport and trust. The child/adolescent may share more information in the absence of the parent, thus improving the quality and progress of treatment. The child/adolescent will be encouraged to share specific information with the parent; however, if they are not ready to do so, I will have to respect their privacy in the therapy room. I will encourage them to share information. However, they will know that they can do it in their own time and when they are ready. Of course, there are exceptions. If the child/teenager is at risk for suicide, homicide and reports child abuse, I am mandated to break confidentiality.
I don’t want to put my child/teen on medication.
In a culture where medication is administered at the first concern, I take a different approach. We will try to alleviate the symptoms as much as possible with therapy before resorting to medication. If your child/adolescent is already on medication, we can work on medication management together. Whether you want to hold off on medication or require a psychiatric referral, the choice is ultimately yours. I am here to support you in any decisions you make regarding treatment and to walk with you until you begin to see improved functioning in your child’s life.
Collaboration with family members and stakeholders.
Through the therapy process, we may also work together to create behavior intervention plans that allow for a continuum of interventions and support services that could be beneficial even after the therapy process concludes. I believe in the power of collaboration inside and outside the therapy room; accordingly, I love to include significant individuals in the healing process. Family members and other stakeholders (e.g., guardians, teachers, school counselors, physicians, etc.) are invited to participate in treatment. I am happy to connect with you and other systems involved in your child's life, such as schools, behavior specialists, psychiatrists, and physicians.