Not every child grows from infancy through their adolescent years without experiencing bumps along the way. Sometimes children encounter emotions, feelings or behaviors that cause problems in their lives and the lives of those around them. Families often worry when their child or teenager has difficulties coping with things—feeling sad, can’t sleep, gets involved with drugs or can’t get along with family members or friends.
At times, parents may wonder if a change in their child is something that is the normal course of growing up or if it is a problem. Trying to find out what is going on with your child is sometimes a challenge in itself, because they may not want to talk about it, are not able to put their feelings or thoughts into words or are at too young of an age to be able to communicate it effectively.
If your child is experiencing a “bump” along the road of life and it has been going on for weeks, even months, it is wise to seek the help of a therapist or a counselor at Thriveworks in McLean, VA Child and Adolescent Therapy/Counseling. When your child is having difficulties with relationships, a blended family, gender identity or the many other issues that may occur in life, contact the therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in McLean, VA who are professionally licensed and have years of experience in the field.
Reasons to Seek Child and Adolescent Therapy/Counseling
The help of a counselor or therapist for the many areas of difficulties children and teens experience can make a huge difference in their ability to enjoy school, group activities and family events. Whether a child is having difficulties with completing assignments at school, adjusting to life with a blended family or is dealing with challenges from a serious illness, it may be advantageous for them to work with a therapist or counselor.
The following are detailed descriptions of issues children and adolescents may encounter.
With the high rate of divorce and the changing patterns of families in the country, there is an increase in the number of stepfamilies. New stepfamilies face many challenges, and developing good relationships takes work. Each member of the newly blended family has experienced loss and all face adjustments to the new family dynamic.
The members of new, blended families need to build strong bonds among themselves through:
- Acknowledging their differences, their personal and family losses and changes.
- Developing new skills in making decisions as a family.
- Fostering and strengthening new relationships between the parents, stepparents and stepchildren.
- Supporting one another.
- Maintaining and nurturing the original parent-child relationships.
Facing these issues can be difficult, but most stepfamilies find ways to work out their problems. Sometimes it takes one to two years for the blended families to fully adjust.
Parents should consider seeking the help of a therapist or counselor for their child when they show strong feelings of being:
- Alone dealing with the losses.
- Torn between two parents or two households.
- Isolated by feelings of guilt and anger.
- Unsure about what is right.
- Very uncomfortable with any member of the original family or stepfamily.
Below are other reasons for a child in a stepfamily to seek therapy.
- Child vents/directs anger upon a particular family member or openly resents a stepparent or parent.
- One of the parents suffers from great stress and is unable to help with the child’s increased need.
- A stepparent or parent openly favors one of the children.
- Discipline of a child is only left to the parent rather than involving both the stepparent and parent.
- Frequent crying or withdrawal by the child.
Fairfax Child/Adolescent Therapy Techniques
The professional therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in McLean, VA work with children, adolescents and family members in a variety of ways. The therapists and counselors have experience in helping children find emotional support, resolve conflicts with people, understand feelings and problems and try out new solutions to old problems. Goals for therapy may be specific, such as a change in behavior or improved relations with friends or family. More general goals in therapy may include less anxiety and better self-esteem.
Thriveworks has worked with people from all walks of life, in a thousand different situations. The professional therapists work with the child to feel better, make healthy decisions, set healthy boundaries and move from a place of poor to good emotional health, to make connections with others, to replace sadness, anxiety, anger and frustration with happiness, peace and hopefulness for the future.
Therapists use a variety of therapy options depending on the issue. A lot of the time, the choice of therapy will depend on the age of the child and his ability to be able to verbalize emotions. At other times, there is the need to include family members in certain sessions. The following are a few of the methods for child and adolescent therapy used by Thriveworks in McLean, VA.
- Behavior modification is based on the principles of operant conditioning, which were developed by American behaviorist B.F. Skinner. He formulated the concept of operant conditioning, through which behavior could be shaped by reinforcement or the lack of it. One behavior modification technique that is widely used is positive reinforcement, which encourages certain behaviors through a system of rewards. It is common for therapists to draw up a contract with the child establishing the terms of the reward system.
- Narrative therapy was developed to separate the person from the problem and encourage individuals to rely on their own skill sets to minimize the problems that exist in their everyday lives.
- Clinical studies show that relaxation techniques reduce the perception of pain. Meditation has been used as part of the treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Vietnam veterans and to break substance abuse patterns in drug and alcohol abusers. Relaxation techniques can also enhance coping skills in migraine sufferers and reduce stress, as well as to improve mood in some people.
Studies show that with consistent practice, relaxation techniques can potentially reduce symptoms or improve outcomes in stress, anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, hyperactivity in children (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and other issues.
Thriveworks in McLean, VA Counseling and Therapy is the Wise Choice for Children and Adolescents
The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in McLean, VA and the Fairfax area have professional licenses, training, credentials and experience. They are able to communicate with children and adolescents on the many issues they encounter in their lives. The therapists at Thriveworks ensure that the child and their family work together in the surroundings of trust and security, which enable them to best work on the issue that brings them to therapy.
Therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in McLean, VA have an understanding of the physical, mental and behavioral development of children and adolescents and are experts in the specific issues they face. Call Thriveworks in McLean, VA at (202) 478-9619 for child and adolescent therapy and counseling, where you won’t be placed on a waiting list. Appointments are available in 24 hours for most new clients.