Children

Our Approach:
We generally work with children age 4 and up.

Your child might be struggling with a variety of difficulties at home and school, and our direct work will help them learn new coping skills, process difficult experiences, enhance their cognitive and emotional abilities, better self-regulate, and understand new perspectives. However, as their parent and caregiver, you are their rock and foundation, keeping them safe from dangers in the world, and your involvement is absolutely crucial for the success of the treatment.

Being a parent is not easy (and we say this with experience!). Often, no one trains us how to do the work of parents, so there are things to learn, to get better at. These include: how to play with your child, how to listen, how to read them, how to set boundaries, and what to do when things don’t work. Together we will figure out the right balance between focus on your child and focus on parent-child relationship and parental skills.

Our Specialties: Themes we often address with children (ages 4-12) include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety and fears
  • Past abuse/Trauma/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Divorce or family conflict
  • Adjustment problems and transitions
  • ADHD
  • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • Parenting guidance
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Social problems
  • Learning disabilities or difficulties
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Health problems
  • Siblings rivalry
  • Attachment problems

Treatment Modality:
Children are already so resilient, adaptable, and hopeful that often the simple presence of an adult during therapy who is completely dedicated to them goes a long way toward supporting their progress. By providing a safe place to be themselves and express their fears and fantasies, we help them discover that the world is safe, and that someone deeply cares for them unconditionally, which is immensely healing. We then employ a great deal of techniques including play-therapy, biofeedback, CBT, family therapy, parental guidance. We also teach children and their parents mindfulness-based techniques and principles, focus on positive and effective communication skills, and facilitate the growth of emotional intelligence and self-regulation.

Adolescents and Young Adults:

If the world of children is often characterized by fear of the unknown or , fear of losing the bond with their parents, then the world of adolescents is characterized by their need to make a stand for themselves and develop their identity, announcing it to the world. Couple that with extreme hormonal changes and body development and you get an explosive situation. Adolescents can be beautiful to watch as we share their discovery of life; and they can truly be very difficult to handle. This becomes increasingly problematic when they may retreat or become closed as they search for their own personality, social presence, academic success, and occupational desires.

Our Specialties: Themes that are more common to adolescents and young adults include:

  • Depression
  • Stress management and anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • School and achievement-based anxiety
  • Divorce or family conflict
  • Adjustment problems and transitions
  • ADHD
  • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • Parenting guidance
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Health problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Past abuse/Trauma/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Identify issues including gender and sexual orientation
  • Career planning and college application

Treatment Modality:
Identity formation is so important for this age group, so we put emphasis on this aspect of treatment while working with adolescents and young adults. By providing them with a safe place to open up, ask questions, go deeper, and share without fear, we facilitate their growth and ability to increase self-esteem, and then focus on promoting a healthy and enriching relationship with parents. Although your child is turning slowly into a full adult, they still require support, and it is important that they learn how to communicate their needs with you as much as they are comfortable.

In many cases, we see an intense conflict between parents and their teens. It is quite remarkable to see how simply helping the teen find their place can ameliorate the conflict.

Ultimately most teens are looking to be heard, while at the same time, experience some degree of control over their lives. That requires a delicate balance of both parental attention and firmness, and we are here to help you achieve this balance..

After spending many years working with teens and young adults in multiple settings, I strongly believe in focusing on positive psychology and promoting what we want to happen rather than what we don’t want to see. That simply allows for teens to reach goals, self-develop, and manifest values, qualities, and behavior that parents would like to see more of.

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SAN DIEGO OFFICE

5230 Carroll Canyon Rd. Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92121

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510-213-8740

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