The aim of therapy is to help children and adolescents develop new and adaptive skills for coping with feelings, interacting with others and converting problem behaviors into effective communication. The psychologists at PPG are specially trained to understand the ways in which a child’s behaviors reflect the challenges, stressors and experiences in different areas of their lives. For this reason, our practice approach centers around treating the whole child. This means that, in addition to working directly with your child, we actively communicate with and engage the participation of parents as well as, where appropriate, any other professionals who may be working with your child (e.g. guidance counselors, school psychologists, educational consultants, occupational therapists, special education teachers etc.). At PPG we wholeheartedly believe that this systemic approach helps us to better understand your child’s world while at the same time helping him or her to feel optimally supported. Our psychologists have expertise in a variety of treatment modalities and we work creatively to tailor an individualized treatment approach for each child and adolescent. The techniques we employ will likely include cognitive-behavioral strategies, process-oriented play therapy, interpersonal skill building and a focus on supporting and strengthening family communication.
The clinical psychologists at PPG are skilled at treating a wide range of child and adolescent difficulties such as:
- Depression and Mood Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- School Performance
- Parent-Child Problems
- Adjustment Difficulties
Additional Specialties by Age Group:
Preschool to Primary School (3 – 9 years):
- Separation Anxiety
- Sleeping Problems
- Eating Problems
- Sibling Rivalry
- Attachment Concerns
Middle School (10 – 12 years):
- Oppositional Behavior
- Social Problems
- Low self-esteem
- Peer Conflict
Adolescence (13 – 17 years):
- Substance Abuse
- Impulse Control
- Eating Disorders
- Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
- Social Isolation
A special note for Adolescent Therapy:
The process of therapy is different for adolescents than for younger children in ways that reflect their stage of development. For example, the hallmark pulling away and rebellious behavior of the adolescent period supports a natural move towards greater independence, confidence and autonomy. At PPG, we work with adolescents to help find a middle ground between explosive, non-productive acting out and passive disengagement. In our work with the families of adolescents, we will seek to build a bridge that helps adolescents to express their feelings and frustrations while at the same time helping parents to communicate expectations and better understand their adolescent’s needs.
Another way that adolescent therapy can differ from therapy with younger children is that adolescents typically need more privacy and confidentiality to explore their feelings and make changes in their lives. Thus, although we believe that family involvement is essential to progress, established boundaries and limits around confidentiality will be established at the outset in a way that honors the adolescent’s need for privacy while allowing for productive parental engagement. Although many of our adolescent clients express an interest in therapy and are motivated to begin, it is also not unusual for adolescents to express hesitancy about starting therapy. Our psychologists work hard to help adolescents feel comfortable in therapy by offering a strength-focused, non-judgmental space in which the adolescent can feel heard and understood. In addition to family concerns, therapy with adolescents will often include discussion of issues related to identity formation, navigating the challenges of peer relationships, balancing academic demands, decision making, fostering independence and healthy communication.
Take the first step in finding help for your child or adolescent. Contact us today for an initial consultation.