Individual therapy with children
Children usually do not choose to begin therapy; most often, it is parents, relatives, or teachers that have identified a need for therapy. The child’s interest in therapy is created through the development of the therapeutic relationship: rapport, trust, and safety are necessary for progress, growth, and healing. The challenge is engaging children so that therapy is not a boring, uncomfortable chore, but rather a place of comfort, where exciting and vital adventures in self-discovery can happen.
Working with children differs from the traditional adult “talk therapy” session. It is important to have an understanding of child development and to work with each child at his or her own level. Children often don’t know how to identify or explain the causes for their sadness, fears, or behaviors. Sometimes, it is embarrassment, shame, or traumatic experiences that are an obstacle to verbal expression. Part of the work with a child is to help them find images, symbols, and words to express themselves and to start again on their path of healthy development. Find out when to consult a child therapist. erapy
ADHD impacts systems in the brain that involve executive functions responsible for judgment, inhibition, working memory, organization, attention, focus, planning, and time management. ADHD affects the front part of the brain (frontal lobes) which are under-active during activities involving problem solving, memory, concentration, and decision-making. Learning and integrating new information become problematic as attention quickly fades in and out.
Self-esteem is an important treatment focus as kids with ADHD receive a great deal or corrective feedback, which can erode their self-esteem and manifest in sadness, anger, defiance and anxiety. Repeated daily messages like sit still; stop that; focus; don’t you remember; you lost your___again; and make better choices, often affect a child’s mood and how they feel about themselves.
- Often loses things
- Poor time management
- Short attention span
- Difficulty paying attention
- Poor organizational skills
- Easily distracted
- Excessive daydreaming
- Unable to complete multi-step directions
- Can’t sit still/fidgets
- Needs to be constantly moving
- Interrupts and blurts out answers
- Excessive restlessness
- Difficulty with taking turns
- Difficulty during unstructured activities (recess, PE)
- Overly talkative
- Poor social problem solving skills
How We Help:
We understand that not only can ADHD be frustrating and concerning for parents but also for the child. Our philosophy is that children by nature want to do well, experience success, and make their parents proud. They are good little people but simply cannot control their bodies and attention span. We help parents develop a success plan that creates daily routines and structure from wake-up to bedtime. We discuss parenting strategies that will encourage your child, strengthen your bond, and foster positive self-esteem and confidence. Our goal is to help your kiddo find the success they so richly deserve.
The therapeutic process
In many situations, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an extremely effective model for working with children struggling with a variety of commonly-seen emotional and behavioral problems. CBT explores, challenges, and replaces skewed thoughts and perceptions, helping clients achieve a more positive appraisal of themselves and their lives. With newfound clarity, clients begin to adopt a more realistic thought process, a brighter mood, and positive behavior that reinforces a healthier way of life. Children respond very well to this approach when it is woven into a format or presentation that is attuned to their developmental level.
Using child-friendly materials, parents and children work together to: develop a plan that measures specific behaviors at home and at school; learn to use new ideas and approaches for making desired changes, and to feel a sense of reward in achieving those goals. This approach allows the child to actively participate in their own success as we identify and track their progress. Parents often regain a sense of joy and hope as they see their child develop new ways to think, feel, and behave better.