Emotionally Connected

Child Therapy

To be here, you are most likely concerned about your child. You’ve done so much to help already. You’ve read parenting books, used sticker charts, met with teachers, and talked to their pediatrician, and yet you see that your child is still struggling and hurting, how do you help? Therapy is one avenue. Whether a child has a diagnosed disorder, such as Autism, ADHD, and learning disorders, or suffers from anxiety or depression, children often benefit from therapeutic support in learning tools to regulate and manage emotions, as well as to develop healthy relationship skills.Mutual relating between the parent and child, as well as skills in working through troubled moments, helps make homework less dreadful. What motivates most people including children, are the important relationships in our lives. I have found that strengthening those bonds, helps many childhood symptoms elevate. I’m not suggesting that healthy relating will cure a disorder, but I am suggesting that strong bonds help elevate many of the frustrations you and your child go through. Therapy will support this process.

I have concerns for my child, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.

As a parent and a child therapist, I fully understand all of the emotions that can boil up when worried for your child’s success and happiness. You may be here because your child:

  • Is having trouble socially, either making or keeping friends.
  • Is having trouble academically, even though they are bright.
  • Is going through a parental separation or divorce.
  • Seems unmotivated, irritable, or angry.
  • Can be nervous, gets body aches, or upset stomachs.
  • May have an IEP or 504 plan and they are still struggling.
  • Is so sweet and kind, but lashes out and pushes others away, can’t seem to calm themselves.
  • Is difficult to parent, relentless and won’t give up until they get their way, even if it’s not in their best interest.

Children who are suffering may have a hard time communicating, which can lead to conflicts.

Developmentally, young children are often unable to verbally communicate how they feel effectively. We’ve all heard it or even said it, “use your words” to encourage a child to express and communicate their needs clearly, how else can we help them if we don’t know what they need? A young child may not be able to use their words to communicate their needs well, but all children give us clues, including infants who communicate their needs non-verbally through their behavior. Melting down speaks volumes. With therapy, a parent can read a child’s behaviors to help their child develop healthy ways to communicate, and calm, often reducing conflict and strengthening their social and emotional intelligence.

How will therapy help my child?

There is no one more important in this world than a child’s parents. No matter how much a parent and child love each other, it takes a village to raise children and we often provide our children with professionals to support their growth and development, such as taking them to the pediatrician to track their medical development, teachers for their academic and learning development, and extracurricular activities to hone their interests in various activities (sports, music, dance etc.). A therapist will support a child in their social and emotional development.

Why choose Bess over all the other therapists?

Choosing the right therapist for your child is a very important decision. The “right” therapist is different for every person. Ideally there will be a true connection for therapy to be helpful. I’ve dedicated my life’s work specializing in children. I’ve obtained an endorsement from the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental health organization, honoring me with a rare and prestigious certificate that describes the extra years of training I’ve dedicated myself to beyond the basic requirements for licensing as a child therapist.

In addition to the Early Childhood certification and the generalized courses completed for licensure, I am in the advanced stages of completing additional coursework for a doctoral program to obtain specialized training in child and adolescent psychology. Lastly, I’m in the advanced stages of completing certification in Emotionally Focused Family Therapy that focuses on attachment based treatment for family relations. I am truly fascinated in learning all aspects of supporting the social and emotional growth for children. I will continue to learn, because working with children is what I love to do most.

What do I tell my child about going to see a therapist?

Many children enjoy coming to therapy and are ready and willing. Other children are hesitant not sure what to expect. Discussing some basics can help. Young children may be concerned that they will be getting a shot or that their peers may find out about them going to therapy. You can reassure them that neither are true, in fact going to see a therapist provides them with a very safe and private environment to talk about things. Lastly, you can mention that there are games, toys, and arts & craft to play with while we talk. This buffer helps most children to feel comfortable. You can also mention that they are not in any type of trouble; it’s a safe place for us to talk and get along better. If you have specific concerns, we can navigate that during an initial phone conversation to make sure that you and your child is comfortable to begin therapy.

You may still have questions about the therapeutic process:

    • My child doesn’t want to go to therapy; won’t it make things worse if I force them to go?
      I trust that you know your child well and know whether or not what your child is going through is a phase that will pass on its own or is a more concerning issue that the support of a therapist is important. Children want to feel good and happy, just as you want them to. I always suggest meeting with parents first to make sure I’m a good fit for your child and family, as well as gather history, along with your concerns. Between your expertise of your child and my psychological understanding of children and their development, I believe together we can help your child, even if therapy isn’t the answer. There are other options parents don’t always know about and I would be happy to direct you in those ways if they would be helpful for your child.

 

    • Our schedule is very impacted, how will we add one more thing?
      I do try my best to work out a schedule that will work for your family. With a little flexibility on both our parts, the schedule tends to work out. Since I primarily work with children and families my schedule evolves frequently, meaning spots open up when children’s activities change throughout the year, they may move to a different appointment time, often freeing up a time that a new family prefers. With that said, consistency and commitment to therapy is important for a good outcome. I work Tuesday – Friday and afterschool appointments tend to fill up quickly. If my schedule cannot accommodate you, I will do my best to place you with a trusted therapist.

 

    • Can I afford therapy?
      This answer is different for every family; however with your consent I am happy to bill your mental health insurance as an out-of-network provider for you as long as it is a PPO plan. This typically works well, only being responsible for the coinsurance or copay amount. There are some insurance plans that have high deductibles, low reimbursement rates, or does not cover certain diagnostic codes that could make the cost of therapy difficult to manage. I’m happy to check into your insurance benefits for you, and with that information you can make an informed decision about seeing me, or possible going with an in-network-provider on your plan.

 

  • This is informative, but I’d like to speak to a real person about my concerns.
    It’s best to call me to discuss your specific concerns. I typically return non-urgent calls within the same day you leave a message, unless it is on a weekend or holiday. I recommend leaving a message with some good times to call you back. I’m often unable to pick up calls immediately when in session.

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