specializing in. . .
Anxiety can be a typical part of life, childhood, and adolescence. In fact, almost everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. However, those with anxiety disorders may experience fearfulness, avoidance, panic attacks, stomachaches, pain, or excessive shyness most days about a variety of different things. For instance, home life, school, friendships, self-image, and so on. Often times, it helps for individuals and their parents to learn how implement aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), coping strategies, mindfulness, grounding exercises, or progressive relaxation to remediate symptoms of anxiety that may negatively impact one's life. It should be noted that individuals are unique, and this may require some investigating to determine what strategies work best for them.
Children and teens may experience depression under a variety of circumstances; and can be due to one's health, life changes, grief/loss, family history, or their environment. Depression may occur when the individual faces persistent sadness that occurs all day, every day, for a prolonged period of time. Some symptoms of depression include overall sadness, crying, helplessness or hopelessness, decreased interest in activities, low energy, low self-esteem, irritability or anger, difficulties sleeping, self-harm, or suicidal ideation. Therapy can be beneficial in treating depression in youth through individual and/or family therapy utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with a focus on coping skills. At times, it may be beneficial for your therapist to work closely with the family or other medical professionals working with the client to optimize treatment.
"Neurodiversity" is a combination of the words, "neuro" (brain) and "diversity" (differences), thus roughly translating to "brain differences!" In other words, all brains are different. There is a large variation of neurocognitive functioning across all individuals. Neurodivergence is the term for when someone's brain processes, learns, and/or behaves differently than the majority group. For example, individuals diagnosed with ADHD, Autism, OCD, TBIs, epilepsy, synesthesia, and for those with learning differences. Individuals who are neurodivergent can experience anxiety, depression, or social struggles. It may be helpful for them to attend therapy to process emotions, develop healthy coping strategies, help them understand the emotions/behaviors of others around them, receive assistance in navigating social scenarios, learn about activities of daily living and self-care, identify safety concerns, and to receive affirmative care related to their overall life experiences.
There are many reasons an individual might want support socially. Individuals may experience differences in social navigation due to an underlying diagnosis, such as autism, pragmatic language difficulties, developmental delays, social anxiety, ADHD, etc. These life experiences along with neurodivergence can make it challenging for a person to navigate various social environments, understand "social rules/norms," perspective-take, self-advocate, or find a way to communicate that works for them. As such, some individuals seek support in learning ways to navigate in a neurotypical world while being neurodivergent.
bullying & self-esteem
In a world where the internet and social media is prominent, teens have access to a lot of information! While this can sometimes be beneficial in keeping in touch with their friends, it can also be detrimental to their wellbeing, depending on how they use the internet. Sharing one's life and being vulnerable on social media may lead to bullying via social media, which can lead to bullying in-person. Bullying can occur outside of the internet as well in the school and community settings. Sometimes, children and teens may not feel comfortable coming to their parents or teachers to ask for help. Long-term bullying can also impact one's self-esteem and how they view themselves. Therapy can address these issues and help teens understand how the internet and media may be influencing their self-perception.
It is exceptionally important that LGBTQIA individuals feel supported by their parents, family, counselors, and peers so that they can be their true, authentic self. Additionally, adolescence is a time where individuals explore their gender or sexual identities. As such, it is important for individuals to experience a safe, unconditionally supportive space that offers them validation and affirmation in the context of therapy and beyond.