Child Therapy

mahsa-lindeman-child-therapy-walnut-creekDo you feel frustrated, overwhelmed or angry with your child’s behaviors? Do you feel disconnected from your child? Do you carry feelings of guilt for something that has impacted your child in a negative way? Do you want to help your child in any way you can but are just not sure what to do?

You are not alone. Many parents face these same challenges every day. There is hope. Involving a therapist in these situations can make a world of a difference.

Children are an amazing gift but they can also challenge you in ways that you never imagined possible. Despite your best efforts and intentions, there may still be some issue that you are just not sure how to resolve. Perhaps a major life transition has occurred for your family such as a divorce, death of a loved one, a move, an illness or a change in the family unit. Children often perceive and experience these changes much differently than adults. Due to their developmental stage, personality and ability to cope with change, these life transitions can cause children to display behavioral and emotional changes that rob you of the joyful child you once knew.

These changes in your child can leave you feeling scared, frustrated, and alone.

Sometimes children have a difficult time opening up to parents about the underlying issues of their behaviors and feelings. They may not have the verbal abilities yet or the ability to explain what is bothering them. Sometimes they have no idea what’s wrong and may need someone to help sort through their feelings. A caring and neutral relationship with a therapist who is highly experienced with a variety of child issues may be exactly what your child and family needs.

I have been working with children for over 10 years. Children often respond very positively to my level of warmth, compassion and encouragement. In child therapy, I use a strength-based approach which encourages children to heal from their emotional wounds and grow in their development.

I offer individual child therapy sessions for children ages 2-12. I utilize play therapy skills, sand tray, art therapy, psychodynamic and attachment type interventions. I have been specially trained in trauma focused techniques for populations under 18. All techniques are tailored to each unique child’s individual needs. Once a trusting relationship has been created, children begin to feel heard, understood and empowered. They then begin to process underlying feelings of anger, sadness, confusion, rejection, and trauma that has caused the changes in their behaviors and emotions.

Children are brilliantly resilient and able to overcome many of the challenges they are presented with every day. Sometimes, however, an event in their life can cause them to have difficulty in overcoming and require some help. Allowing children to have a safe and secure place to process the challenges they have been presented with creates healing and health.

Child therapy can be useful for a variety of reasons including but not limited to school performance, difficulties in social interactions, bullying, divorce in the family, grief and loss, abuse, trauma, and many other issues.

Is child therapy right for your son or daughter? Here are some signs that may indicate a child could benefit from therapy:

  • Episodes of excessive sadness, anger or irritability
  • Withdrawing and isolating from friends and/or family members
  • Learning or attention problems
  • Significant drop in grades
  • Victim of bullying or bulling other children
  • Transition difficulties (following a divorce, move, addition of a new sibling)
  • Bereavement issues following the loss of a significant person in their life
  • Development or increase in physical complaints (headaches, stomachaches) despite normal exam by child’s doctor
  • Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Child experienced any type of abuse or traumatic event

These are just a few of the many symptoms children can display. If you are unsure or just need more details and guidance, please feel free to email or call me.

But child therapy seems so drastic. I’m just not sure my child needs it”.

Children are faced with many complex challenges today. Everything from school issues to peer issues to family issues can overwhelm your child. As a caring and involved parent, you want the absolute best for your child but sometimes life presents a challenge to your child that you have no control over. Children often rise to these challenges amazingly well but sometimes they can get stuck. Therapy is a safe place that allows your child to safely process where they feel stuck.

“I’m afraid that dredging up the past will only make things worse for my child. I don’t want to cause anymore pain for my child”

When a child receives an emotional wound through some type of life event, just as you would with a physical wound, the wound will need attention to heal. Oftentimes a wound that does not receive the attentions it needs can become infected. The infection can cause you to become concerned for your child’s well being. Cleaning out a wound may or may not hurt, but as a parent you know it is a temporary process that is needed for true healing to occur. Child therapy can be thought of as simply giving the wound some needed attention to heal.

“What if my son or daughter hates child therapy? What if they feel weird for going to therapy?”

In my experience, children often respond positively to therapy and instinctively know it is what they need to heal and move forward with their lives. At times, some children may appear resistant but resistance often stems from fear. Once they know that they are safe with me, they move onto processing and healing.

Not sure if therapy is the next step? You may find my tips on how to use validation with your children in my free E-book helpful.