Therapy with Children and Adolescents

Do you ever feel ignored or disrespected by your child or teen? When you are stressed, overtired, or rushed for time (and who isn’t?), the last thing you need is conflict with your children. Yet that is often when such strife occurs.

At these moments it can feel impossible to take a step back and remember what it’s like to be in our kids’ shoes. The therapists at ILS offer support and suggestions for reducing the symptoms of a variety of problems ranging from childhood and adolescent depression, to anxiety, to parent-child/teen conflict.

The needs of younger clients are unique, requiring therapeutic services specifically designed to help them make use of the experience. Children (and many adolescents) frequently have difficulty putting their feelings into words, They often require therapists who specialize in understanding their developmental and emotional needs.

Therapy with children can take a variety of forms. Frequently, the therapists at ILS use play therapy, which relies upon using the language of a child’s imaginary play to provide a greater understanding of the young client’s emotions. Additionally, therapists will work in collaboration with the child’s parents, teachers, and pediatricians, if appropriate, gathering relevant information and suggesting possible behavior interventions at home. We work with parents to enhance the child- rearing strengths they already possess and to increase helpful, cooperative behaviors in their children.

Adolescents will often engage in more traditional “talk therapy,” but specialized techniques may also be used to help create an easier way for him/her to relate to the therapist. Typical issues dealt with in the teen years include struggles with identity development, “healthy” conflict with parents as teens differentiate themselves as separate individuals, peer pressure, struggles to establish healthy self-esteem, and the task of finding a balance between fitting in with peers and establishing one’s opinions and belief systems.

Some adolescents merely need a little extra support to navigate these developmental issues. Others become significantly depressed or anxiety-ridden in the process and need more in-depth therapeutic intervention. As always, if additional services are needed, such as medication or further evaluations, we will offer appropriate referrals. end