Therapy for Children, Teens, & Adults
No matter how old you are, there are going to be situations in life that are hard to deal with on your own. You may have more wisdom and skills at your disposal as you get older, but even then, some things are just difficult to handle at any age. Nobody is born knowing exactly what to do when faced with strong emotions or problematic thoughts.
Many concerns are universal and a part of life. Stress affects everyone, having an impact on both mind and body. Having the support of friends and family can help tremendously, but there are times when that is not enough. Therapy can help provide understanding, relief, resilience, and ways of coping. It can give you a plan of action for dealing with life's problems.
The benefits of therapy can be the same across ages, but the approaches and techniques are tailored to each individual group.
Therapy for Children
One of the main goals of therapy when working with your child is to help him or her make the connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These, plus the situations that often trigger reactions of anger, anxiety, or sadness, are often seen as independent of one another. Once your child understands these connections, a skill-building approach is used to help develop better ways of coping and behaving when problems arise. Parents and teachers can also be taught what to do to encourage a child to use his or her newly-developing skills.
When emotional and behavioral problems are specific to school, your child is observed in his or her classroom to determine the causes of the concerns. Consultations with teachers and other school professionals are conducted on a regular basis. We work together to come up with a plan to help your child get on the right track. Annual Reviews and Committee on Special Education/Pre-school Special Education meetings are attended at your request.
Therapy for Teens
Teenagers often try to approach problems on their own. While this is a natural part of their desire for independence, it does have some drawbacks. They can be reluctant to listen or get advice from those who have been in similar situations. They might shift blame for problems onto others, without taking any personal responsibility in helping change matters. Their focus is often in the present, preventing them from seeing the potential long-term effects of the choices they make. With teenagers, you have to address these parts of their mindset before getting to the concerns with emotions, thoughts, behaviors, or social interactions. This can even include the teenager's disinclination to attend sessions, uncertainty in their belief about whether they could benefit from therapy, and the perception that they are the ones shouldering all the blame for family problems.
Parents can play a significant role in the effectiveness of therapy with teenagers. It's not uncommon for parents to either be part of sessions or have their own sessions to deal with their emotions, reactions, and expectations for the situation. Parents who can maintain their composure and model effective ways of dealing with problems can be a tremendous source of support for their teenage children.
Therapy for Adults
A question often asked during therapy is "What would you like to happen in your life?" This is to help determine goals, make decisions, and encourage a proactive role in dealing with problems. Therapy with adults is geared towards what a person wants out of their experience. Goals are often short-term and focused on addressing specific concerns. Therapy can provide support during difficult times. It can be a setting for learning the skills to deal with life's problems, such as how to relax, change one's mindset, develop ways of coping, increase self-confidence, and become assertive during stressful situations. It can also be an environment where you discover why you do certain things and feel specific ways, as well as what you can do about it.