Child and Adolescent Challenges:

Childhood and adolescence can be hopeful and inventive, full of novel experiences, learning opportunities, and developmental spikes. For some children, navigating this process proves to be more challenging. Whether it’s a predisposition toward anxiety, an attachment difficulty, attentional challenges, or reactions to changes in your home (i.e., separation/divorce, moving, a change in schools, a new baby), some children struggle with making sense of their emotions and the world around them. Internal struggles may present in the form of sleep or eating problems, social difficulties, problems at school, or behavioral challenges. Power struggles might become your norm. At Gatewell, we help your child or teen find the emotional vocabulary to communicate their experiences more effectively.

Some of the issues we assess for and treat among children and teens include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • sleep problems
  • eating problems
  • attentional difficulties
  • behavioral problems/acting out
  • oppositional/defiant behavior
  • school/academic challenges
  • parent-child conflicts
  • adjustment to life transitions
  • trauma
  • grief

Child and Family Therapy:

Counseling children and teens is a highly specialized treatment modality. At Gatewell, we work with the child/adolescent, as well as the parents and the family system to enact change. Some sessions might occur with the youth alone, some with the parent(s) alone, and some with the entire family unit. We draw from cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), play therapy, and family systems approaches. In treating behavioral difficulties, we are particularly interested in studying parent-child interactions, and we work to improve communication and boundaries in the family, encourage parents to engage in positive discipline, and help the family as a unit function more productively.

At Gatewell, we have close professional relationships with other psychologists who can provide more extensive testing and evaluation if needed. If indicated, we can also provide referrals for child and adolescent psychiatry, though our preference is always to try to address childhood/adolescent issues via therapy before turning to medication.