Children, Teens, and Parenting

Children, Teens, and Parenting

Partnership in Parenting and Adolescent Treatment

Children and Teens are referred for psychotherapy for a number of reasons. Many are brought in because of behavioral problems, academic struggles, and fluctuations in mood. Some are encouraged to attend counseling after experiencing a loss, witnessing a terrifying or threatening event, experiencing bullying at school, or because someone close to them is worried about their well-being.

Several of our clinicians work with children and adolescents with the following point of view: Society’s younger population (ages 2-17) are unique, and gifted individuals who are first and foremost – children. The problems they experience, the ways they express their feelings, and the results of their behavior are secondary to the core strength and vitality of each child. To understand a child, to have a young person open up we must first know they are children (born to play, explore, question, seek, and become) before we can understand how and why they struggle.

We work with adolescents in different ways:

1. Family System Therapy

Typically, we view children and teens as an important part of a larger family system. Though they are often referred for therapy as ‘the problem’, at times we know we are treating the whole system in which the child lives (home, school, culture, global community).

2. Play and Art Therapy

Children and adolescents often lack verbal and intellectual skills to fully express their experience. Therefore, common ways to help children express themselves is through Play and Art therapy. We offer a beautiful play space that is engages the young person in symbolic, creative ways.

3. Behavioral Therapy

Our clinicians often act as a parent coach and support system, helping to co-design strategies targeting specific behavior. A focus is on the strengths and inherent goodness of each child, while determining appropriate structure, boundaries, and disciplinary approaches necessary for child development. Parents are considered valuable team players in the creation and implementation of such strategies.

A Note to parents:

Our clinicians are well aware of the emotional exhaustion that accompanies parenthood. You may feel you are no longer in control and are at the mercy of aggressive, emotionally volatile, or overly sensitive children. You may feel inadequate or you are a failure as a result of a child’s recent behavioral problems or academic struggles. It is important to know your experiences are common reactions to child rearing. You certainly are not alone. AND, there is HOPE. Your continued participation in the parenting journey, your openness to personal growth through the parenting process, and your willingness to adjust routines in the “family system” is vital to the healthy growth of your child/children. We cannot promise quick resolutions to problems that have had a life time to grow. However, most people do find some level of relief and change within a couple therapeutic sessions.

If you feel exhausted, we invite you to a new beginning. If you feel isolated, we invite you to a new partnership in parenting. If you feel afraid, we welcome your vulnerability. Our hope is you will refine your parenting skills, explore and heal blocks in parent-child interactions, and rediscover the joy that exists in sharing your young person’s life.