Child & Teen Therapy
Childhood and adolescence can be a wonderful time. Children experience tremendous growth and change as they develop personal strengths, explore their passions, and learn about their world. It can also be a time filled with challenges as each child attempts to navigate through multiple areas of their lives, including academically, socially, and within their family. We understand how difficult it can be when your child is struggling.
Does My Child Need Treatment?
All children experience fears and sadness from time to time, but some children and teens are less able to cope with stressors. Kids struggle for a variety of reasons, including temperament, changing life situations, hereditary and genetic factors (including a family history of mental health conditions), as well as learning problems.
Children and adolescents typically have not yet developed the insight to understand that they are experiencing anxiety, depression, or an overload of stress, and most have not developed the ability to verbalize or communicate these feelings to others. It is important to identify any behaviors your child may exhibit that could indicate they are struggling with depression or anxiety.
A variety of issues can indicate anxiety or depression. Pay attention if your child:
- Objects to going to school or frequently calls to be picked up during the school day due to physical symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches
- Has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or frequently asks to sleep with you
- Struggles to complete homework without your help or regularly procrastinates and avoids completing tasks
- Appears overly sensitive, irritable or tearful in a variety of situations in ways that are out of proportion to the circumstances
- Has difficulty making or keeping friends and often feels left out or lonely
- Is excessively fearful about speaking to new people or going to new places
- Exhibits a variety of obsessions and compulsions
- Is frequently resistant and argumentative
- Has less interest in activities he or she used to enjoy, avoiding situations or reluctantly participating with significant distress.
- Frequently seeks reassurance and often has difficulty accepting reassurance
If your child exhibits these or other concerning symptoms, our team of experienced clinicians at the Anxiety and Depression Center can provide a thorough assessment to determine if treatment may be indicated for your child. We also offer psychological evaluations and psycho-educational assessments to assist in school placement. With a thorough evaluation and effective treatment, your child will learn tools and skills to help them cope more effectively. Treatment can help them gain self-confidence and the ability to manage their own anxiety, a skill that can help them throughout their lifetime. Parents and children can experience a renewed sense of hope and motivation when they see progress.
How We Help
At the Anxiety and Depression Center, our specially trained child therapists offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a form of treatment that improves behavioral, emotional, or attitudinal problems and reduces distress. We’ll teach your child strategies for coping with changes, trauma, loss or other significant stressors in their life, and equip them with skills that they can continue to draw from as they get older. Your child can develop:
- more constructive thinking patterns
- the ability to identify and engage in more appropriate behaviors
- increased tolerance for the physical discomfort that is often experienced with psychological conditions
We also provide exposure therapy to help your child acclimate and become more comfortable in situations that currently cause them anxiety or distress. This process of gradual desensitization is useful in many types of anxiety, including phobias, panic disorders, and generalized anxiety. In most cases, we include ‘homework’ assignments or “practice sessions”, so that between sessions, your child can practice the skills they are learning in the real world.
Age Appropriate Treatment
Our experienced child and adolescent therapists provide treatment specifically tailored for each child’s developmental level. For younger children, we often integrate game play or other fun activities as a forum for your child to learn and develop essential Cognitive Behavioral tools to begin feeling better. Preteens and adolescents typically find they can easily connect with their therapist at the Anxiety and Depression Center, and begin to feel a sense of hopefulness as they learn skills that help them manage their emotions and thoughts more proficiently.
It is important to us that your child has a positive experience in therapy. We make it a priority to provide a compassionate and caring therapeutic relationship with your child.
Support for Parents
It’s very important that parents are integrally involved in treatment, and parental consultation is an essential component of your child or adolescent’s treatment plan. We understand how important it is for you to be able to support your child in the most effective manner. We offer guidance and teach you skills and strategies that help your child make concrete progress in the fastest way possible.
Parents are made aware of homework assignments, and coached in how best to respond to your child. We’re always available in between sessions through email and phone, so that you feel like you have a partner in your child’s care. With younger children, parents are often involved in sessions. For parents of preteens and adolescents, we maintain close communication to ensure that you understand what we are doing in treatment, while also maintaining your preteen or adolescent’s privacy on an appropriate level.
A Team Approach
We are careful to attend to the child’s need in totality, including collaborating with other professionals in their care team and school counselors. If your child has the need for auxiliary support, we are happy to refer to a recommended team of experts in which we have full confidence to support your child’s care.
Many of our patients seek treatment at the Anxiety and Depression Center after failing to make progress with other forms of psychotherapy. We offer hope, support for parents, and treatments for children and adolescents that typically produce lasting results in a limited period of time through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
We treat a wide variety of disorders that present in childhood or adolescence such as: