Services for Children
It is common for children to experience occasional problems as they grow and mature. They experience conflicts at home over such issues as toilet training, bedtime and homework. They encounter problems with parents and peers as they attempt to establish a personal identity and practice relating to others. They experience conflict with teachers as academic and behavioral demands increase. As a child is faced with new situations, demands and expectations, it is common for the child to experience emotional ups and downs characterized by feelings of sadness, fear and anger. These reactions tend to be short-lived, however, and usually do not significantly interfere with the child's life. However, occasionally a child's response to life's pressures may become severe, and the parents' attempts to help their child may be unsuccessful. At times such as these, professional assistance may be warranted.
In our practice, we look at a number of factors in determining the appropriateness of treatment. First, we evaluate if the observed emotional distress is disrupting daily functioning, threatens to overwhelm the child or interferes with the achievement of age-appropriate developmental milestones. For example, parental divorce is an emotionally upsetting experience that children react to in a variety of ways. If a child's reaction includes uncharacteristic school failure, fear of sleeping alone or heightened anxiety when separating from a parent, it indicates that normal functioning has become disrupted, and referral for psychological treatment is indicated.
Individual therapy helps children and adolescents in a variety of ways. They receive emotional support, resolve conflicts with others, understand feelings and problems, and try out new solutions to old problems. Goals for therapy may be specific (change in behavior, improved relations with friends or family), or more general (less anxiety, better self-esteem). The length of therapy depends on the complexity and severity of the problems. As Licensed Psychologists, the staff at Child and Family Psychological Associates is specially trained to meet the therapeutic needs of your child. We consider parental involvement to be a crucial component of every child's treatment. From the first session, parents are relied upon for information concerning their child's development, behavior and habits and they are closely consulted regarding the goals of treatment. We view parents as our partners in the treatment process and rely upon them to provide critical feedback regarding the effectiveness of our interventions as they are developed and implemented.