Child Therapy with Preteens

The problems kids can present with are as varied as their fun personalities! However, they can be categorized into two different types of challenges: those that will be with them long term (or enduring challenges), and those that will hopefully pass as a situational challenge is dealt with.

 

ENDURING CHALLENGES

These can include (but are not limited to) things like attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and the autism and/or Asperger’s spectrum. Parents with children who struggle with these issues will likely have noticed early in the child’s life that certain things were more challenging for their child than for most others.

Sometimes the difficulties are subtle, and parents will be uncertain about their child’s abilities, and may get told by others that there’s nothing wrong with their child (and then wonder why they have such a hard time with them). Or they may think their child’s behavior isn’t that bad, until they volunteer in the classroom and see all of the other kids in action.

Sometimes it will be blatantly obvious and you will have sought help for years (sometimes with better results than others).

I work with parents and children in this category in two main ways: providing information and support to parents, and helping children get to their best possible functioning.

 

SITUATIONAL CHALLENGES

The families that fall into the above category are also at risk for having specific issues that come up that are more isolated. It can be bad interactions with others who don’t understand their child’s unique needs (including other children), at the school or in social situations. Or it could be a “normal life experience” that your child might not be capable of dealing with.

It could also be that your child is doing well in all areas of life, until they experience bullying, move to a different school, lose a friend, get exposed to pornography, go through their parents’ divorce.

In these situations I work with children and parents to gain understanding of the situation and how to help support the child in moving forward.

 

HOW I WORK

I like to visit with parents first, and get a good history of what is going on from their viewpoint. After I’ve spoken with you, I want to meet with your child.

I mainly work with kids ages 10-13 years old.

My first appointment with your child will be spent getting to know them, and also showing them around the therapy room. I will have a few activities planned for this first meeting. Older kids may want to spend most of their time talking, but I will always have something ready to “do” regardless. This includes puzzles, playing with balls, army guys, cars, puppets, creating stories, and creating with clay, paper, and art supplies.

Children communicate through play. As they begin to get older, they move more into talking, but activities can help to build relationships, create comfort, and get kids ready to talk.

I use art specifically to help children both communicate as well as process emotions. Art uses the right side of the brain, and as we discuss the meaning of the picture, we also engage the left hemisphere, creating a process of integration that can lead to healing.

I also teach children mindfulness skills, as well as other cognitive behavioral skills, and communicate with parents those things I’ve taught so parents can reinforce principles taught at home.

 

CREATING SAFETY

This is actually the first step in the process, helping the child feel safe and comfortable in the therapy setting and the therapy relationship. It is also important for parents. Parenting can be hard, and I want to provide support to you in your own process of growth. I will work with your unique needs to provide you with as much guidance and support as possible. I also have an obligation to report any suspicion of child abuse to Child Protective Services. I care about my clients, and my goal is to help you be successful as a family!

 

Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have about seeking help for your family at christinecounseling@gmail.com

Or play phone tag with me! Give me a call at (435) 767-7945. Please leave me a message with a good day/time to call you back, and I’ll return your call!

You can also provide me with a bit of information and Set Up an Appointment for a free 30 minute phone consultation (you know, if you don’t like Phone Tag!)

I look forward to meeting you 🙂