Children and adolescents are complex, and parents are not given an instruction manual with their infants. Parents worry constantly about how they grow, develop, and what kind of person they will become. Sometimes, parents are simply facing issues with their child that they do not know how to handle. Many children and adolescents stumble as they are growing and families find that they need the help of therapy. A wide range of problems can be addressed through therapy.
Therapy for children and teens focuses on the interpersonal relationships of the child/adolescent as well as the family members, how they relate to each other, communicate, and individuate. Family Systems helps to look at the interactions of each member, how they communicate, and helps each individual to learn how to interact in a healthier way. - Provided by Kelly Sanders
A good therapist will work to address the concerns of the child/adolescent, while helping the family to grow and heal. Children grow through a variety of developmental milestones--physical and psychological. As they struggle to resolve their psychological development, they need the love, support, and structure provided by their parents and guardians. When you or your children are struggling with the problems of childhood or adolescence, a call to a therapist who specializes in working with children and adolescents can help you to decide if therapy is right for your family. - Provided by Jeffrey Gallup, www.mansfieldcounseling.com
With the onset of puberty (which can begin by the age of 11 or in some cases even earlier) hormones are in full motion, influencing changes in the body. Since anxiety and depression can be a symptom of these changes, doctors may recommend anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications. Medication may help, but it is not the total solution. Nutrition can also be addressed in growing youth because when the body is healthy with good foods and regular exercise it can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Knowing how the brain functions and grows during the adolescence stage will also help prepare the teen and the parent on how they can cope with physical changes. - Provided by Kelly Sanders
Emily, 16, and her mother, 41, come in to therapy because Emily does not talk to her mom anymore. Mom does not know what to do. Emily and her mother fight daily, Emily sneaks out of her bedroom and does not listen to mom. Emily’s mom does not know how to handle the changes and nags Emily about everything: chores, school work, friends and how much she misses spending time with her. In therapy, Emily wants her mom to stop nagging and mom wants Emily to talk with her more. For therapy goals, identifying the stage of development that Emily is in helps to clear the air between the two and helps map out different ways of relating. Rules for communication and negotiation is also addressed so the relationship can be a win-win relationship, instead of the chaotic relationship it is now. With each person speaking and learning new ways of relating, their relationship can be renewed and salvaged. - Provided by Kelly Sanders
James, 6, runs away from home each afternoon. His mom has had him talk to police officers, pastors, and his teacher. Each of them has tried to convince him that running away scares his mom and he could get hurt. In desperation, his mom brought James to see a counselor. After taking a family history, it turned out that James has three older siblings and mom works throughout the day. Dad works over night. James felt as if no one was paying attention to him. He had learned that if he ran away, even if it was just down the street, that his mother would swoop in and shower him with attention. Therefore, each time he felt that he was not getting attention from anyone in his family he would run out the front door and head down the street. The counselor explained to mom that James had learned that to get attention he needed to run away. Through continued counseling, James and his mom developed a stronger relationship. This provided James the attention he was seeking in positive ways. The negative behavior quickly stopped. - Provided by Jeffrey Gallup
Paul, 17, defied his parents, and was failing his classes at school when he was brought to counseling. During his first counseling session, he wanted to know if the counselor was going to be like every other adult and lecture him about what he did wrong and how he should shape up. His counselor explained that counseling was about finding a middle ground between his needs and his parent’s needs and that by lecturing or demanding that he change, that the counselor was sure that Paul would also ignore him. The counselor asked what it was Paul wanted from everyone around him and what made him continue to break rules and defy authority. Over several sessions of counseling, Paul explained that he felt as if he was always being treated as a child and that he wanted his parents to respect him. During family sessions with Paul and his parents, changes were incorporated in the family to allow Paul to feel heard when he wanted something. These changes also allowed his parents to expect that Paul would respect and follow family rules. - Provided by Jeffrey Gallup
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Last updated: 05-02-2014
Child and Adolescent Issues Articles