When a significant life event hits a family, children are often the first members to go to therapy. We see this as a tribute to how much we love our kids. In showing our kids the value in asking for help, we are providing a lasting model toward reaching out rather than isolating. Therapists can help kids and their parents practice skills to process both events and emotions, assuring that everyone has a voice and is heard. We are committed to focusing on resiliency and life skills, using the “problem” as content but never as defining the child.
Reaching your teenage years is a huge milestone and often comes with increased independence as well as higher expectations and more responsibility. This can be an exciting time of life, however it can also bring about many conflicts within the family relationship as parents try to navigate through decisions about increased independence as teenagers are learning how to meet these new expectations and responsibilities. Therapists focus on helping families through this transition by increasing healthy communication and setting clear rules and boundaries within the home and regarding new privileges.
Outside of the family relationship, teenagers also start to experience changes within peer and dating relationships, which can be exciting at times, but may also increase feelings of anxiety and depression or have a strong effect on their self-esteem. Teenagers also start to have higher expectations about grades in school, applying for college, and increased competition in extracurricular activities, all of which can bring about heightened levels of stress. Therapy can help teenagers to discuss intense emotions they may be experiencing surrounding these big life changes and help them to develop a strong sense of self-confidence and skills for being successful in meeting their personal goals.
Sometimes, it’s not as clear what caused a child to suddenly seem angry, withdrawn, or worried. As each developmental year brings a new perspective to your child, they may experience current or past events differently, and much different than adults. When it comes to deciding if it might be helpful to have your child talk to a professional, trust your instincts.