Child and Adolescent Therapy
Therapy for Children and Adolescents
One main focus of my clinical practice involves the treatment of children and adolescents. Research has taught us that children and adolescents have psychological needs that are unique from those of adults. Children and adolescents experience emotions in a distinct way, based partly on developmental changes in their brain. They often express themselves and behave in ways that may leave parents confused and concerned. Because of the specific nature of their psychological needs, children and adolescents require psychological treatment that is designed with their needs and particular issues in mind.
Such issues include:
- Mood Disorders (Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder)
- Anxiety (Specific Phobias, School Refusal, OCD)
- Bullying and other Peer Relationships Issues
- Substance Abuse
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Low self-esteem
- Gender Dysphoria
Play therapy is very effective when working with younger children. I integrate art, toys, and music to engage children in the therapeutic process and create positive change through the vehicle of play, as this is how children best express themselves. I help children build an emotional toolbox, in which they learn various ways to express and cope with their feelings and behaviors. These are tools they will take with them as they develop, and can apply to difficult situations they face throughout life. I work with parents of young children to reinforce these strategies at home.
I also have a special interest in working with older children and teenagers, as this age group is confronted with their own unique and difficult challenges. This is a period of growth, transition, uncertainty, and often self-doubt as teenagers arguable face greater academic and social pressures than ever before. The pervasiveness of social media has deeply impacted their emotional and psychological functioning. When working with adolescents, I often integrate apps and technology to help them identify, understand, and express their emotions in a platform in which they are most comfortable, while helping them develop healthy coping skills and a positive self-image.