If you are considering evaluation and/or therapy for your child or teen, chances are you’re seeing behaviors or expressions of emotions that are causing you some concern. You may have noticed a change in your child’s temperament, or that his / her worries have increased; perhaps s/he is suddenly having problems in making and keeping friends.
On the other hand, maybe a teacher has brought questions or concerns to your attention. You are hearing that your child / adolescent is having a hard time paying attention in class, isn’t getting his / her work completed in a timely manner, or seems to have trouble “sitting still” during instructional time. Perhaps s/he works “too quickly”, and doesn’t notice errors, and then talks or even becomes disruptive when others are still working. Skill difficulties in core academic subjects – reading, writing, and math – might also be reported.
Some children express their distress through physical responses such as nail-biting, complaints of tummy aches, and headaches that can’t be explained by a visit to your family doctor. Adolescents may begin to indicate a lack of motivation for school, and their grades might be declining, but they continue to tell you that “nothing is wrong”. Either age group may demonstrate “over-the-top” emotional reactions that you find hard to understand and help with; your child / adolescent may have trouble regulating themselves and managing their frustrations and upsets.
All of these concerns can impact your family functioning. Still, the decision to consult with a psychologist or counseling therapist for support is sometimes a significant one. However, if you’ve noticed your child’s / teen’s behaviors or emotional expressions becoming more frequent and intense, and lasting for longer periods of time, you have likely begun considering what you might do to enhance his / her success. Often parents hope that children will “grow out of” certain behaviors over time; however, in many cases it can be quite helpful to seek consultation that might help him or her develop more effective coping skills, and you, as the parenting figure, feel more competent in your parenting role.
What should I tell my child/adolescent about coming to meet with you?housermedia2021-04-08T09:55:38-04:00
If you believe that testing or therapy could be helpful to your child, you will want to explain the process to your family member first. You might tell him / her that you know there’s been something that’s been bothering them lately, and then give a specific example of a difficult moment the two of you have talked about recently.
You can then explain that you’ve found someone who works with children and teens, and has some expertise in helping kids understand how to manage things that feel so difficult. Sometimes children and teens want to know that they can speak confidentially with someone other than a parent – someone who may be “objective” in their minds. (Of course, we will work out what remains confidential between the “client” and therapist, relative to what the parents need to know too!)
With a child, you may mention that we have games, toys, and music in our office – in fact, we have several playrooms! For teens, you may ask them to “give it a shot” and at least see if it’s worth a try. If your referral questions involve testing, we refer to those activities as “brain games”, to find out all the things that are easy for the person, and anything that they may need some help with. With those messages communicated from the beginning, most reports that we hear from children and adolescents indicate a comfort level in our clinic.
What insurance do you accept?housermedia2021-03-25T11:45:40-04:00
If you and your family could benefit from one of our services, please contact our office. We look forward to answering your questions and providing therapeutic guidance that will address your specific needs.
Update for clients with Medicaid insurance: Dr. Galarza-Hernandez, Dr. Kirk, and Ashly Carper are accepting ALL of the new Medicaid insurance plans. We look forward to continuing to serve those clients!