Child and Adolescent Counseling

Child and adolescent counseling

Like adults, sometimes children and teens need counseling. Child and adolescent counseling provides an open, supportive, and confidential setting where children and teenagers can share their thoughts and feelings. In this environment, they discover new ways to resolve issues in home, school, and social environments. They develop problem-solving skills and understand the value of seeking help. Focus Forward Counseling has licensed therapists specifically trained to work with children and teens, who can help children and families cope with stress and a variety of emotional and behavioral issues.

Many kids need help dealing with stress in a variety of environments. Some common social or school issues include:

  • poor homework or study skills
  • test anxiety
  • low self-esteem
  • social phobia
  • bullying
  • peer pressure

Counseling is also beneficial in helping children and teens better manage family and home stress, particularly if there is a major transition such as divorce, relocation, or serious illness. If your child or teen has anger or aggression issues, misbehavior, attachment or social problems, depression or anxiety, a trauma/abuse history, or unusual changes in their behavior, considering having them participate in counseling. Youth with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) can also greatly benefit in learning behavioral and focusing strategies in counseling.

In addition to individual counseling for children and adolescents, Focus Forward also offers the following therapy services for young people and their families.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is commonly used in addition to individual therapy for children and adolescents. We believe nothing happens in a vacuum and all family members have an  effect on the others. In addition, if real change is to occur, then parents need to be working together with a strategy developed with everyone’s input. Any plan is doomed if everyone in the game doesn’t know the rules. Family therapy can also help to remove pressure or stigma from a child who may be feeling like “the problem.”  Another important purpose of family therapy is to improve the relationships of the members in the family and to practice new methods of communication.

Play Therapy

Play Therapy is a specific modality used to engage young children in therapy. Since most children cannot fully articulate themselves through words, play helps them work in a context they understand and are comfortable with. If you’ve ever had the chance to watch a small child play by themselves when they don’t notice you paying attention, they will tend to play out auto-biographical situations. Sometimes they will play out the same scenario over and over, for days, weeks, and even months. These scenarios provide windows for play therapists to understand important themes in a child’s inner experience.

In addition to formal Play Therapy, older children can be engaged in play with games, books, and various activities. Game play can provide a great deal of assessment information for a child therapist while encouraging rapport building and relaxing the child. Game play can also give a lot of information about  how a child relates with others while at play and this helps the therapist construct a format for teaching different social skills.

Parental Coaching and Support 

As a parent do you ever feel like you’ve been forgotten about? Maybe your child is getting help with counseling for issues he has been having at home or at school. And while that’s great and you are happy he has finally found someone he will talk with, what about YOU? After all, who was the one putting up with the tantrums and the yelling and being spoken to disrespectfully? We are here to help you cope with your child’s issues too. Depending on the presenting issues, we will spend time with you helping you to understand your child or teen’s behaviors and assist you with new and more productive ways to interact or relate with him or her. You’ll discover solutions to conduct issues at home or school that typically result in greater cooperation with your child or teen.