Child & Teen Therapy
Childhood and adolescence can be a wonderful time. Children experience tremendous growth and change as they develop personal strengths, explore their interests, and learn about their world. It can also be a tough time filled with challenging issues as each child attempts to navigate through multiple areas of their lives in school, at home, and with friends and family. At the Anxiety and Depression Center, we understand how difficult it can be when your child is struggling.
Does My Child Need Psychological Treatment?
All children experience anxiety and sadness from time to time, but some children and teens are less able to cope with stressors or triggers. 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 negative experiences to others. It is important to identify any moods or behaviors your child may exhibit that could indicate they are struggling with stress, depression or anxiety and could benefit from counseling.
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 stomach aches or headaches
- Has a difficult time 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 with social skills, 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 or frequently ruminates
- 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 psychotherapy, your child will learn tools and new skills in a safe space to help them cope more effectively. Treatment can help them gain self-esteem 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 during the therapy process.
How We Help
At the Anxiety and Depression Center, our specially trained child and family therapists offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a form of treatment that improves attitude, emotional, or behavioral problems and reduces distress. We’ll teach your child strategies and techniques for coping with changes, trauma, loss, or other 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 for positive changes
- increased tolerance for the physical discomfort that is often experienced with teen anxiety, low self-esteem, or psychological conditions
- better and more satisfying relationships
For anxiety disorders our therapists/counselors also provide exposure therapy to help your child acclimate and become more comfortable in situations that cause them anxiety or distress. This process of gradual desensitization is useful in many types of anxiety, including phobias, panic attacks, and generalized anxiety. In most cases, we include ‘homework’ assignments or “practice sessions,” so that between psychotherapy 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 behavior and developmental level. For younger children, we often integrate play or art therapy 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 they 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 that is full of compassion in therapy. We make it a priority to provide an engaging and caring therapeutic relationship with your child.
Support for Parents
It is very important that parents and caregivers 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 from the first session and beyond.
Family members are made aware of homework assignments and coached on how best to respond to their 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 mental health professionals in their care team and school counselors. If your child has the need for auxiliary support, we are happy to refer you to a recommended team of professionals to find the best fit for 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: