Montclair Child and Adolescent Therapy

Thriveworks in Montclair, NJ for Child and Adolescent Therapy/Counseling

Children do not come with an instruction manual, and, as parents, we sometimes need assistance in helping them through various situations or stages. Each child is unique and has his own gifts—and challenges. But, how can you understand if your child is happy? While everyday care and financial provision are some of the basic responsibilities of all parents, there is more. Parents want to make sure that their children are emotionally well. As role models, parents want to build an emotional connection with their kids in order to be able to read their emotions and subconscious signals. From time to time, it is necessary to pay due attention to children’s behaviors, unusual actions, words and habits, because they are the most informative indicators of happiness or misery.

Many times, it is hard to “read” your child’s feelings. Young children sometimes don’t know how to tell you if something is wrong. Middle school-age children may hide their emotions and suffer in silence. In high school, your adolescent may be stressing about grades, all-important exams, college applications and fitting in with peers, and it is not always apparent if their troubles are normal for their age or something more. As a parent, if your child is not communicating with you about a problem, but you feel that there is an issue, it may be a sign to “go with your gut feeling.”

Whether you have that gut feeling that something is wrong or somebody close to your child brings an issue to your attention, it is a signal to make an appointment with a therapist or a counselor. If your child is having trouble paying attention in school, experiencing sadness or loneliness, has trouble with peer pressure or another issue, the therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Montclair, NJ are professionally licensed and have years of experience in the field.

Reasons to Seek Child and Adolescent Therapy/Counseling

There are dozens of issues that bring children, adolescents and their parents to seek help from a therapist or counselor. A therapist can explore the causes of the problem by working with the child and parents, as well as help to improve their methods of figuring out problems and work on creating a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.

The reasons for counseling include:

  • Anxiety
  • Attachment issues
  • Blended families
  • Coping with health-related conditions
  • Crisis intervention
  • Depression
  • Divorce issues
  • Eating issues
  • Emotional and behavioral issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Life changes
  • Relationship and family concerns
  • School adjustment and performance issues
  • Sexual orientation issues
  • Stress management

Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth

Children develop a sense of who they are as they grow up. This sense is sometimes called their identity. Gender is an important part of identity, referring to an internal sense of being male, female, a combination of both or neither. Gender expression refers to how a person displays their gender—for example, through play, dress, pronoun use and the name they use. Assigned gender is the gender that was originally on a child’s birth certificate, while affirmed gender is the one which a child wishes to be known.

Beginning at about age two, children begin to think about and express their gender, and some of the child’s behavior and interests may match traditional gender roles and some may not. For instance, a boy may be more interested in traditionally female activities, such as playing with princess dolls. Or, a girl may be more interested in the traditional male activities like playing with trucks. These examples do not mean the child has a gender identity different from their assigned gender. Exploration of different gender expressions is a common part of development.

Having a child whose affirmed gender identity is different from the one on their birth certificate can be confusing to families. Parents might not understand why their child’s behavior and interests differ from their siblings or peers. Parents may worry about their child’s future or what friends or relatives will think or say. In addition, children and adolescents may have trouble asking questions or expressing feelings. When a child’s gender identity consistently differs from their assigned gender, it may cause them a great amount of sadness and distress—referred to as gender dysphoria.

Some terms that describe gender variations include:

  • Gender diversity, expansiveness, creativity or nonconformity, which refers to behaviors and appearances that do not match a society’s traditional ideas about gender.
  • Transgender means that a person consistently identifies with a different gender than their gender assigned at birth.
  • Gender neutral and gender fluid describes other gender variations.

Problems Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth May Face

In spite of rapidly growing cultural acceptance of diverse sexual and romantic orientations and gender identifications, oppression, discrimination and marginalization of transgender and gender diverse individuals still persists. Coping with discrimination and oppression, “coming out” to one’s family and sorting out an “authentic” sense of self in the face of social expectations and pressures can lead to higher levels of depression, anxiety, substance use and other mental health concerns.

According to a 2007 survey, students who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender were almost 10 times as likely to have experienced bullying and victimization at school and more than twice as likely to have considered suicide as their heterosexual, non-transgender classmates within the previous year.

Research suggests that accepting a child’s affirmed gender identity and expression can decrease the risk of future psychiatric problems, such as depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior.

Thriveworks in Montclair, NJ: the Excellent Choice for Child and Adolescent Therapy/Counseling

The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Montclair, NJ have professional licenses and credentials and specialize in treating the many issues that children and adolescents experience, such as grief, trauma, relationships, mood disorders, anxiety and problems from significant life changes. In addition, therapists work with children and adolescents on communication, addiction, emotional regulation, broken trust, anger, self-worth and identity, stress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, behavioral issues, blended families, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and illness. The therapists at Thriveworks are knowledgeable at how feelings and behaviors make children feel stuck, and past traumas can shape the thoughts they now have. Working with a therapist, children and adolescents can take the journey from feeling helpless to becoming productive and reaching their goals and happiness.

Therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Montclair, NJ 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 Montclair, NJ at (973) 512-5088 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.

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