On the Bright Side

Child, Adolescent, Adult, and Family Therapy

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Is your child or teen…

  • Having behavioral problems at school?
  • Having difficulty with change?
  • Having difficulty regulating their emotions?
  • Having mood changes that worry you?
  • Acting impulsively or aggressively?
  • Engaging in self-harm behaviors?
  • Struggling with their sexuality or gender identity?

Children and adolescents experience and communicate emotional distress differently.  They may struggle socially, have difficulty learning, act aggressively towards others, develop rituals, use alcohol or drugs, cling to caregivers, self-harm, or have negative beliefs and feelings about themselves.  These behaviors and feelings can interfere with their sense of well-being and capacity for emotional, social, and intellectual development.  Therapy can be effective when problems do not resolve with time and support from parents, teachers, or friends. Child and adolescent therapy focuses on underlying emotional problems that interfere with development. Through play and talk therapy, the clients are helped to understand the causes of their distress and learn coping skills to deal in healthy ways in the future.  The goal is to show lasting changes in emotional states and behaviors.

The process for assessment and evaluation varies depending on the age of the child or teen.  During the initial session(s), information is gathered from parents and/or from the adolescent about their reasons for seeking therapy.  Typically, the client and the therapist will meet individually for the next several sessions for an evaluation phase.  The length of this phase varies.  The therapist uses information gathered to determine appropriate treatment needs and goals.  Therapy is a collaborative process with parents and often involves regular sharing of information between the counselor and the parent.  As teens approach older adolescence, parent involvement typically decreases in order for them to build trust and safety with their counselor.  When appropriate, the therapist may ask to consult with teachers, pediatricians, psychiatrists, and school counselors.

About Heather…

I am a Social Worker with 20 years of clinical experience and 15 years of school social work experience. I enjoy working with children, adolescents and families, as well as individual adults and couples. I can help navigate through major and minor life changes and illnesses. I have expertise in behavior planning for children and families. My years of experience include working with ADHD, ODD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Autism Spectrum Disorders, attachment, grief and loss, divorce, and changing family structures; including step-parenting, same-sex parenting and foster-parenting. I have also worked with youth and adults navigating sexual orientation, gender expression and relationships.

I utilize a variety of therapeutic interventions specific to each client’s/family’s needs. I will work with you to set your goals for therapy by gaining an understanding of your individual situation. Just as every human being is unique, so too are the interventions that can help them overcome obstacles and achieve balance. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation and see if you think I would be a good fit for you, your child, or your family. We can discuss your specific concerns and see if I can offer the support you are looking for. I’m also happy to refer you to other helping professionals that might be able to better meet your needs, if it’s not me.

If you have immediate questions contact us at info@onyoursidemi.com