As a parent, you may be wondering why your child is being referred for counseling. Perhaps a school counselor or teacher has made the suggestion to you. Or a family member may have said something to you. Many people wonder why a child could be anxious or depressed or exhibiting behavior problems. Why would a child have anything to feel depressed or anxious about? Or why would a child behave in ways that are not helpful or constructive? Why would a child be defiant?

Children experience life’s problems as deeply as adults do. They perceive the world—their family, friends, teachers, and others—from within their developmental stage. Children can be depressed and/or anxious, but the symptoms may be very different from those expressed by adults. Children don’t have the language or cognitive skills that adults have. It is difficult for them to express their feelings in ways that adults will readily understand. In addition, children are observers and will see adult behaviors as acceptable. They will mimic what they see.

We use play therapy techniques to work with children as young as five years old. Play therapy is an approach that is very successful with children of all ages. Through this approach, children are able to express their feelings while they develop a trusting relationship with the therapist.

We encourage parents to meet with me for an initial evaluation session. At that time we will discuss your concerns for your child. You are welcome to ask questions about our approach, and we will develop a plan together.

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