Specialty:  Children & Teens

Do you feel like you don’t really know your child or teen anymore?

Is your child or teen acting differently than they used to? Do you feel like something is going on inside of them but they won’t open up to you? Do you sometimes lie awake at night, hoping that everything is going to be okay with them or wondering how to get through to them? Are they acting out in ways that are disruptive at school, home or in life in general? If your attempts to get through to them leave you feeling more and more frustrated and lost, sometimes bringing in a caring professional can help.

Getting your child or teen the help they need is the most loving thing to do

Whatever the reason you are considering counseling for your child, teen or family, I believe I can help. No matter how wonderful a parent you are or how much you love your child or teen, sometimes they may find it easier to open up to someone outside of the family circle. If you feel that your child needs therapy, that does not mean you’ve failed as a parent. In fact, it means you are a caring parent, because you recognize their need and are trying to get them help.

I have helped many children and teens work through and overcome their struggles

I’ve worked with children and adolescents in some capacity for most of my life. My work as a school mental health counselor allowed me the opportunity to meet with children and teens for a variety of reasons:

  • behavioral issues in the classroom
  • domestic violence
  • academic problems
  • substance abuse in the home
  • bullying
  • divorce/separation
  • sibling rivalries
  • physical and sexual abuse
  • peer relationships
  • spiritual crisis
  • anxiety
  • loss/grief
  • general family conflict

I am able to build strong relationships with children and teens and help them open up about what is happening with them internally. I also work with parents and/or siblings, when I feel it would be beneficial. Additionally, I have experience leading peer groups and have also worked with children with special needs, so am quite familiar with the world of IEPs (Independent Education Plans).

With therapy and support, children and teens can process their feelings and move forward to have more productive and enjoyable lives and relationships. Some studies of very young children have also shown that treatment improves the child’s ability to think and do well in school. I have found that the rapport I have been able to establish with children and teens has sometimes allowed them to talk about things that they have bottled up for years. Once these wounds have been talked about and processed, many children and teens are able to finally resolve what has been blocking them from moving forward in life.

What if your child or teen doesn’t want counseling?

If you fear your child or teen may be resistant to the idea of counseling, give me a call so we can discuss ways to talk with them about it. I truly believe that life can be better for both you and your child. You don’t have to be alone in this struggle. I have seen children and adolescents blossom and grow through counseling. If for some reason, after a few sessions, I don’t believe I am a good fit for your child or that they are not progressing, I will discuss this with you and provide other resources whenever possible.

What does therapy with children and teens look like?

I utilize play and talk therapies, individually tailored to target the particular child or teen’s difficulties. Interventions can include discussion, toy play, drawing, reading, writing, etc., depending on the age and maturity of the child. I have also used musical interventions to connect with children and teens on another level (as they all usually have some form of music they enjoy). These interventions can help them grow in areas such as improved social skills, emotional, behavioral and cognitive development, and trauma resolution. Therapy can also include education, coping skills, and processing exercises.

What if the issues are impacting multiple/all members of the family?

My approach, even when working with children or teens individually, is to look at the context of the family as a whole. If you are interested in me seeing multiple members of the family and/or the family as a whole, I would love to discuss this possibility as well. Family therapy approaches usually include specific skills to enhance individual coping and family functioning. They improve communication and give parents the tools they need to help change their children or teen’s behavior and to manage their own emotional reactions when their children are acting out.

Waiting is not the answer.

Sometimes parents feel that their child or teen might just be going through a phase and consider “waiting it out.” I do not recommend this. Although it is true that certain times in life can result in increased mood shifting (i.e., the onset of puberty), I believe it will be beneficial to your child or teen to be able to process whatever is happening in their life that is resulting in poor functioning. The earlier their struggles are addressed, the sooner they will be able to lead more emotionally healthy and productive lives. So please give me (Kelda) a call at (323) 829-9405 and we can figure out a plan together to help your child, teen and family have a brighter future.