Child and Teen
Before you begin work with us, we feel it important to discuss our limitations. We do not and will not complete custody assessments for parents who are going through a divorce or post divorce and we do not testify on matters such as these. In the state of Texas, LPC’s are a witness of fact and not expert witnesses and can only repeat the topics we hear in session, and cannot make claims as to the meaning of those words. We disagree with violating child or teen confidentiality in the process of a divorce and believe this to be harmful to the relationship between child and therapist. We do not get involved in matters of custody change post divorce. We WILL however work with you as coparents to help you work better together as a unit and for your children.
When useful, we also welcome stepfamilies and stepparents to attend with the consent of all parties, to help manage the stepfamily dynamics.
We also ask all parents to sign an agreement that the clinician and child work together will not be subpoena’d for court use. We will terminate services should that need be presented and refer you to appropriate resources who can meet that need. You can view our agreement form here to determine if we will still be the right fit for you
All children and their parents have strengths and weaknesses! Our style attempts to help you approach your child from a strengths perspective and soemtimes a third party, neutral counselor can brings this back into focus even when there are a large number of difficult behaviors. There are no bad kids or people, just difficult circumstances! Sometimes we forget to focus on the balance and we help kids and parents acknowledge those strengths and balance. We also work with children to see their own skills and gifts and lead them to learning how they can manage their emotions and behavior on their own.
We will often work to observe patterns and to find better wayts to support your child or family. Sometimes this means we might suggest a change in the home environment, routine, family dynamics or other elements that are impacting the child.
We provide a safe space for children to explore their feelings. We use a variety of techniques, depending on the need of the client including play therapy and sandtray. Children and families have a goal to learn more skills to express themselves and to manage and regulate their feelings and behaviors.
We work with children as young as age 7 on a variety of issues including:
- feelings of sadness, frustration, loneliness
- rough transitions
- divorce, separation and other big transitions
- social challenges – difficulty making friends, keeping friends
- aftermath of witnessing or experiencing abuse or domestic violence
- children/teens who are uniquely sensitive and intuitive – indigos
- difficulties with behavior
- explosive, angry outbursts
- helping children see their greatness
- increasing confidence
Adolescents and Teens:
Let’s face it, the teen years are rough! Many say they feel like they dont belong, are lonely, feel irritable frustrated and/or anxious. Communication often breaks down and teens are warring for their own individuality even though they still need your boundaries. Middle and high school is exhausting on self esteem and confidence and sometimes teens need outside assistance to manage these issues. We think adolescence is a perfect time to introduce mental health and self care to establish healthy life long behaviors.
I’m someone who is not their parent, their friend, their teacher. I have no judgement on where they are at in their life or choices they’ve made. Let’s face it, being a teenager can suck and it’s nice to have someone on your side but not in the drama.
I help teens develop skills to express themselves in ways that can be heard. Instead of living with a muddle of emotions, teens who work with me learn to articulate feelings and needs in a way that empowers them as young adults. We work on skills to reduce anxiety, move through depression, avoid or stop self harm (ie cutting, burning, abusive relationships), and improve communication with parents and peers.
Teens usually wish to meet alone, without parents, or sometimes they wish for a space to be able to talk with their parents – I am happy to honor the decision of the teen, but always strive to keep communication open between the teen and parent(s).
Adolescents over the age of 13 are treated as adults in Washington in terms of confidentiality. It is up to the adolescent to determine what information (if any) will be shared with parents. I always cover this in the first session, but please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
**The parents agree that in the event custody of, or visitation with, the child is contested in a legal proceeding, each of the parents and their attorneys will not require the psychotherapist to testify at any of the proceedings, because to do so would hurt the child’s treatment, because the psychotherapist’s role is a therapeutic and not evaluative one, and because other forensic professionals would be better able and more appropriate to conduct any necessary evaluation.
Because of these limitations, the psychotherapist also will not be able to give any opinion regarding custody, visitation or any other legal issue. If such a proceeding does occur, the parents agree that the psychotherapist’s role will be limited to providing to a mental health professional appointed to perform such an evaluation, and/or to the attorneys, law guardian, if any, and the judge involved in the legal proceeding, written information regarding, and/or the record of, the child’s treatment; the psychotherapist will provide these either as required by law or upon the authorization of either parent. The psychotherapist has explained to the parents that children with two parents have the best chance to benefit from therapy if both parents are involved and cooperate with each other and the psychotherapist. If both of a child’s parents are consenting to therapy