How can counseling help myself and my child?
A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as school problems, depression, anxiety, family relationship troubles, behavior issues, grief, stress management, and body image issues. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing severe behavior difficulties, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, social skills, and school anxiety. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of your child.
- Developing skills for improving family relationships
- Finding resolution to the family issues.
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems with peers and family.
- Improving self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Does my child really need therapy? We can usually handle our own problems.
Everyone child and every family goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you and your child are at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Do you work with Children who have Aspergers or Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Absolutely! Children on the Autism Spectrum often respond very positively to concrete social skills and problem solving training. They can make tremendous growth in learning how to identify their own feelings as well as the feelings of others. I like to begin intervention with these children individually and then in time, perhaps introduce them to a social skills group.
Are you available to consult with school personnel or attend school meetings regarding my child?
Communication with schools is essential. I am available to support you and your child in particularly difficult situations with teachers and administrators. As an advocate I can accompany you to IEP meetings, disciplinary meetings and teacher conferences.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to attention and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, counseling and consultation address the cause of our behaviors and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. Your child can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for your child, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance?
I do not take insurance but you will find my rates are very competitive and typically close to the average insurace co-pay. I have also found that many parents do not choose to share their child's personal mental health information with their insurance company.
Does what we talk about in counseling and consultation remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.