Common Questions | Thrive Counseling Center | Counseling to help your child find their "essential piece" in a sometimes puzzling world | Marietta, Georgia | play therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, parent consultation
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Do you have a question?

If you're like most parents, you have many. We understand. Below are some questions about the process of counseling that we hear a lot. (click on the question to expand the text below)

Is therapy right for me/my child/my family?
Seeking out therapy is both an individual and family choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Individuals and families sometimes come to counseling to help process and heal from trauma, a crisis, or abuse. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes such as a divorce or school/work change. Many seek the advice of a counselor as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Other reason may include dealing with a personal loss, to sort things out to have a happier life, to learn new social skills, or to improve relationships. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

How will I know when it's time for counseling?
Part of the process of being human is working through the many challenges and transitions we experience in our lifetime. When this process becomes too difficult, you may feel depressed, anxious, confused or consistently angry. Counseling can help you get through these difficult times. Children experience depression, anxiety, confusion and intense anger as well. They have difficulty identifying and expressing their feelings and more often communicate through their behavior. When you notice a consistent change in your child's behavior, and you've been unable to have a positive impact, counseling can be helpful. It gives kids an opportunity to safely express feelings and concerns.

How can therapy help my child/teen?
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 dealing with trauma, depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. We specialize in providing therapy and counseling for children and adolescents, along with their families, with goals including:
  • Developing anger management strategies
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Improving peer relationships
  • Dealing with transitions
  • Gaining coping skills for parental divorce
  • Working through grief & loss
  • Developing social skills
  • Expanding communication
  • Improving self-esteem & confidence
  • Regulating mood & emotion
  • Managing stress effectively

What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

What is your role as a counselor/therapist?
As a therapist, we have always considered ourselves to be a guide for our clients. We help them explore their lives and discover those things that need to change in order to heal their life and relationships. We are here to guide you along your own personal path to healing and happiness.

What is Thrive Counseling's therapy approach?
Thrive Counseling prides itself on being very family and child-centered. We do not believe there is a "text book" answer to every child's issues. We believe that parents know their children the best, therefore we see therapy as a partnership. Your therapist will work with the family in treating them as individuals and coming up with a therapy that will work for them.

How long will it take before my problems get better? How long will therapy take?
The length of time an individual is in counseling varies greatly, depending on the nature of the problem you wish to focus on, the frequency/consistency that you come to counseling, and your participation both in and out of session. As your therapist, we will establish with you a regular schedule based on your specific need. A person may come to counseling once or twice or may choose to continue counseling until they have met their goals for life improvement.

In some cases, we have had clients come in for just a few sessions but we also have other clients that desire continued support. It can range from a few weeks to a year or more. Some clients find four to six sessions to be helpful, especially when dealing mainly with specific parenting issues and questions. Usually however, children and families need a minimum of between six and twelve sessions to benefit. Most people begin to see significant improvement in three to six months. More sessions may be needed for more serious difficulties.

Keep in mind that most emotional and/or relationship problems have evolved over several years, and it is unrealistic to expect them to be solved quickly. In most cases, sessions are scheduled weekly and then spaced farther apart as your goals begin to be met.

The length of counseling or therapy cannot usually be determined ahead of time, but the decision to continue or not will ultimately always be yours. We will periodically discuss your progress to determine how many sessions might be needed.

Some clients will engage in therapy for a period of time and then take a break from therapy knowing they can return at any point in time for "booster" sessions or if difficulties arise.

How do I start counseling?
Simply contact Thrive Counseling for a free 10 minute phone consultation with our Intake Coordinator. Should we decide to go further, we will discuss an appropriate schedule for your first appointment. Evening appointments are also available to help meet the needs of young clients who are in school and their working parents. Each session lasts typically 45-50 minutes, except 30 minute play therapy sessions with younger children. Sessions are by appointment only meaning your time is reserved for you. After the free phone consultation we will decide together if Thrive Counseling's services are a good fit for your counseling needs. Every effort is made to schedule new clients as soon as possible. Typically, clients schedule appointments either weekly or bi-weekly.

What will happen in my first session?
The purpose of the first session is to evaluate your situation and make recommendations about the best course of action to help you reach your goals. If you are seeking help for a child, we will typically meet with you at the first session and have you bring your child to the next meeting. You will need to arrive 15 minutes early to your initial session to fill out the necessary paperwork.

Is therapy confidential? Will what I share be kept private?
"Confidentiality" is a big word for little ears, so we use age-appropriate language to explain our obligation and commitment to privacy and privileged communication. Parents are also given a Notice of Privacy Practices fully explaining confidentiality and all that implies.

Basically, all records are for documentation and personal review, and are never shared with anyone, unless permission has been granted to do so or legally required. At times, collaboration with other professionals is necessary to provide the best treatment, and it is standard practice to share only the relevant information, without personal or distinguishing information.
There are certain circumstances in which confidentiality must be broken and are as follows:
  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The child discloses something that indicates the possibility of abuse, neglect or a situation in which the child could be harmed. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
  • The court issues a subpoena for a trial requiring documentation of therapy sessions.
  • A release of information is requested by the parent and/or child.

We are bound by legal and ethical obligations to protect your privacy and rights as clients, and it is our commitment to you to uphold the highest level of confidentiality with your records.

In working with children, confidentiality sometimes gets a little tricky. Parents often want to know what is happening in the play room and what the child is expressing during therapy. You need to know that our responsibility is to protect the rights of the child we are working with, which requires that the specifics of the sessions cannot be discussed with the parents.

That does not mean that parents are left out of the therapy process, nor imply that you will not be informed of what the focus of the sessions is. We are free to discuss broad themes and general areas of concern during parent consultations, but not what is said or done as part of the play. Thanks for helping us keep your child's rights protected!

Do you prescribe medication?
No, only a psychiatrist or your doctor can prescribe medication. Most problems can be solved without medication. However, some problems include a medical component and medication is a valuable resource. During the counseling process we can help you determine whether or not medication is indicated. If this is the case, we can refer you to a psychiatrist and collaborate with him or her in order to coordinate your care.

Do you work with courts or custody evaluations?
No, our therapists do not provide court ordered therapy and do not get involved in court matters on any level. We do not make any recommendations to the court or to families regarding custody or parental court matters.

Why is my child having problems? What causes this?
Children and teens have various stressors in their life that they may not know how to navigate alone. They may not know why they feel differently and do not know how to fix it. Some of the causes of these problems may need professional help.

Some are caused from emotional stress at school or home. The child may be bullied at school or have separation anxiety from their parents. They may be witnessing fighting in the home between parents or worried that their parent is under a great deal of stress. They may have sleep issues, sadness, and can develop physical symptoms which can keep them home from school.

Some problems are caused from learning disorders. Some children and teens are undiagnosed so are sitting in a classroom with others wondering why they can't understand what the teacher is presenting and other kids can. They start to feel stupid and worthless. This may present as acting out behavior or depression.

Others are caused from being a gifted child. Most of the time gifted children are bored in school. Behaviors may show as poor attention span, boredom, daydreaming, power struggles, irritability. They may need less sleep and may question rules.

Some are caused from biochemical abnormalities in the brain. There are various neurotransmitters in the brain that affect our moods. Serotonin and Dopamine are two of the most important ones. Dopamine is one that brings pleasure and happiness. If there is a deficiency in the dopamine levels, mood can be affected and behavioral issues can arise. Depression and drug addictions are just a few disorders caused from this. Bipolar disorder has been linked to problems in the limbic-thalamic-cortical circuit in the brain.

Sensory integration dysfunctions are another cause of behavioral problems. This is thought to be an inefficient neurological processing of information received through the senses, causing problems with learning, development, and behavior. These children are over sensitive or under sensitive to sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound.

Still others are caused due to a lack of structure or consistency in the child's life. Children need consistent rules and consequences to learn self-discipline. They need to know what to expect next in their lives in order to feel safe and secure.

Is there anything I can do to help?
1. Listen to your child. Listening and valuing your child's ideas is what promotes openness in communication. Some parents are overly scheduled or don't know how to truly listen which shuts the conversation down. Listening to a child means not giving advice or attempting to correct the situation.

2. Be consistent with your rules and expectations. There will be times when your child or teen will not like or agree with your rules. They may behave like they don't like you because of this. Being your child's friend need not be your goal for now. It is more important to resist the urge to win them over. They need you to be their parent.

3. Talk about morals and values. They need to know what is right from wrong. They are barraged with media and friends telling them one thing. They need to have a strong sense of value and know the difference between inappropriate and appropriate behavior.

4. Avoid fighting. Fighting only fuels hostility and does not solve the problem. Maintain the mutual right to disagree. Don't try and reason with someone that is upset. It is a waste of time. Wait until tempers have cooled before trying to sort out a disagreement. Don't try and talk kids out of their feelings. This will only make matters worse. You can acknowledge a child's feelings without condoning it. This will help defuse anger.

5. Bring back the balance to your family.

6. Consider counseling for your child/teen or for yourself or family. Therapy has been shown to be a very effective tool to decrease the tension and problems in children and their families. By working with a third party you are able to look at the issues from a different perspective and receive the support and guidance you need.

We would like to help you through this hard time.

What are your Privacy Practices?
Please download our Notice of Privacy Practices.
Let us know if you have any further questions.

questions about pricing & location

Where is your office and what are your hours?
Thrive Counseling is conveniently located in the Kennesaw/Acworth area. Click on the directions page for a map and for directions to our office.

We offer flexible hours with daytime and evening appointments. Please call or e-mail our Intake Coordinator for availability.

How much does counseling cost?
Our fees vary according to the type of service provided. The fee will be collected at the start of each session.
    Initial Assessment
  • The first visit your therapist will gather information regarding your/your child's background and symptoms. You and your therapist will develop a therapy plan and set goals. This session will be a 50-minute session. The cost of the initial assessment is $130.00. This price reflects the additional paperwork for an initial assessment session.

  • Individual Counseling
  • A 45-50-minute session is $105.00. This is a basic follow up session.

  • Children's Sessions
  • Younger children are not able to handle 45-50-minute therapy sessions. A 30-minute individual session or play therapy session is $60.00.

  • Groups
  • Adults and Teens: 1.5 hr group a week is $220.00 a month ($55.00 per group).
  • Children: 1 hr a week is $160.00 a month ($40 per group).
Any services beyond the standard 45-50 minute session, such as phone consultation exceeding 20 minutes, excessive paperwork, or court appearances/preparation, will incur additional fees to be discussed prior to service provided.

We also provide a limited number of reduced-fee spaces in each therapist's case load. If you feel that you qualify for one of these slots, please inform your therapist at the beginning of your first session. Because these slots are limited there may be a waiting list. If there are no slots immediately available we are able to provide you with other low-cost or sliding-scale referrals.

What if I have to cancel my counseling session?
Your appointment time is reserved for you. We ask that you give 24-hour notice if you are not going to make your appointment so that we can fill the time with another client. There is no charge for any session cancelled 24 or more hours prior to the scheduled time. However, sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged full rate of session scheduled. If you "no show" or cancel your appointment without 24-hour notification the full cancellation charge.

The office has voice mail so you can leave a message or email our Intake Coordinator directly. On some occasions, you therapist may be able to conduct telephone sessions if you are available, but not able to come into to the office. The payment is the same as an in office sessions which can be paid online by credit card through pay pal.

Please note that insurance companies do not reimburse for missed appointments.

How do I pay?
You are responsible for the full payment at the time service is provided. We accept cash, check or major credit card, or PayPal (for clients wishing to pay for their session in advance. Please click on the above link to make an online payment. We are available to help you make online payments should you need assistance.

Payment for session is expected before the session begins. You can either pay directly in cash/check/credit card when you arrive for your appointment or pay in advance online through PayPal. Due to office policy, we are not allowed to see clients who have not paid for their session upfront.

Will my insurance company pay for counseling?
Thrive Counseling does not participate on any insurance panels and are considered an "out of network provider." Clients pay us and then are reimbursed by their insurance directly. Many of our clients use their out of network benefits to obtain reimbursement for our services. Many insurance companies do cover our services or cover a percentage, however; since coverage varies widely from policy to policy, we recommend that you review your benefits to determine your expected reimbursement. Please direct questions about reimbursement amounts and timeliness to your insurance company.

Payment is expected in full at the time of service. If you wish to use your insurance benefits, it will be necessary for you to file for reimbursement directly with your carrier. You will be provided with a receipt for the counseling service at the end of each session that is made to attach to your claim form to submit for reimbursement. Please note that we do not complete any insurance paperwork.

Why Don't You Accept Insurance?
Choice: YOU and your therapist are in charge of goals, length of treatment, and therapeutic choices.
Savings: You pay less because we don’t spend valuable hours on insurance paperwork.
Privacy: Insurance requires diagnosis to authorize treatment. These negative labels can follow a client through life and interfere with insurability later. Your files are NOT shared with anyone.

questions about play therapy

What is Play Therapy?
Throughout childhood, children express themselves much better through play rather than by talking. In play therapy, children express themselves symbolically by playing, and will communicate their conscious and unconscious feelings and experiences through play. Emotional experiences that are important to the child or have impacted the child in some way will show up as play behaviors. In play therapy, children are provided with specially chosen toys to enable them to say with toys what they have difficulty saying with words.

In play therapy, children do not have to talk directly about their problems to gain relief.
Play therapy allows children to distance themselves from difficult feelings and memories, which would normally be too challenging for them to talk about directly.

In play therapy, children learn they can safely express difficult feelings to gain a sense of relief. When children express their feelings and thoughts in play therapy the difficult feelings and memories become less intense. This results in problem behaviors decreasing or being eliminated altogether.

In play therapy, children will play out difficult feelings or stressful experiences in order to gain an understanding of them. Creative thoughts are encouraged and children can work through and find solutions to their problems consciously and unconsciously during play therapy. Children can then regain a sense of control and safety in their lives resulting in increased self-confidence and changes in behavior.

When adults face a problem, they will usually think about what happened, look at it from different perspectives, talk about it with someone they trust, and plan how to handle a similar situation in the future. During play therapy, children do these same things using their imaginations.

As a method of counseling children, play therapy has been found to be effective for children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Play therapy is also an excellent way to help children recover and heal from stressful or traumatic experiences.

What are the benefits of Play Therapy?
  • Children experience a therapeutic relationship with the play therapist; the play therapist provides an environment for the child that encourages healthy growth and development, improves self-esteem, allows self-expression, facilitates problem-solving, and supports the development of self-control
  • Children become more self-aware; they learn to identify their thoughts and feelings; they begin to discover and understand themselves, which leads to the formation of a healthy self-concept
  • Children develop empathy and begin to understand and respect the thoughts and feelings of others
  • Children learn self-control by making appropriate choices and decisions for themselves, thus taking responsibility for their own actions
  • Children learn healthier ways of interacting with others and better ways of coping with difficult situations
  • Children learn to correct their misunderstandings and develop more realistic ways of thinking
  • Through children's self-expression in play, adults are better able to understand children; this leads to adults being able to support children more effectively
  • Play therapy reduces anxiety about traumatic events in the child’s life such as illness, death, parental conflict, separation and divorce. It:
    • Reduces the effects of trauma when abuses have taken place,
    • Treats childhood depression,
    • Promotes higher emotional intelligence,
    • Reduces sleep problems, and
    • Treats behavior and school problems

Will my child and I be seen together or Individually?
Over the years, there have been concerns that traditional family therapists have ignored the voices of the children in the family and have concentrated mainly on the issues of the parents. For this reason, play therapy has become an effective way of working with children. During play therapy, the child is seen alone giving him or her an opportunity to be heard by a caring adult therapist and to work through current difficulties.

We offer play therapy because we believe that sometimes children need a special place to express themselves safely and to have their voices heard and acknowledged. Often children are afraid to express themselves to their parents for a number of reasons. The benefit of having an understanding play therapist is that children will feel free to express themselves without being afraid of hurting their parents or of causing their parents to disapprove of them.

There have also been concerns in the past that therapists who work only with children will exclude the parents from the therapeutic process, thus causing the parents to feel even more inadequate. For this reason, we believe that as a parent, you need to be an integral part of the therapeutic process with your child. You are the key people in the life of your child and need to be acknowledged for this extremely important role that you play. When providing parent counseling services to you, we will help you to understand your child better and learn new ways of interacting with your child. This will enable you to be a source of continuing support to your child long after therapy has terminated.

We also believe that family counseling, where your family is seen together in therapy, and filial play therapy, where one parent and one child are seen together in therapy, provide enormous benefits when needed. These methods offer a way of tying everything together so that your entire family system benefits.

We offer a variety of ways for you and your child to work in therapy. Depending on your particular needs, you and your child may see me individually and/or together.

Can I watch my child in Play Therapy?
Just as a counselor who works with adults keeps the information shared in sessions confidential, your child's Play Therapist will keep the information from their sessions confidential (exceptions apply). However, they will meet with you periodically to discuss your child's play in general themes, hear your concerns, and talk about any questions you may have related to your child's progress in Play Therapy.

What toys are in a play room and why?
Toys are carefully selected for the Play Therapy room to facilitate creative and emotional expression from children. The types of toys used can be played with in many ways allowing the child to express themselves freely. The toys are very durable and sturdy to allow for repeated use and rough play.

Why Play Therapy?
Some of the greatest philosophers of all time have acknowledged the importance and benefits of play. We learn the most about ourselves and our world when engaged in play.

Play Therapy is an option for children who are having difficulties coping with life situations. Though children may not be able to express themselves fluently with words, they are fluent in the language of play. Play Therapy allows them to express themselves in the way in which they are most comfortable.

Does my child need Play Therapy?
Throughout their lives, most children go through difficult times and some children need more help than others to get through them. If you or other adults in your child's life are concerned about your child or their behavior, play therapy may help.

How does Play Therapy work?
When children are not equipped to solve their own problems, they often act out and are unhappy. Play therapy provides the opportunity for therapists to assess and understand children’s play. When children can confront their problems in the play session, they are able to develop more appropriate resolutions and gain insight about how to handle situations.

How long does a child receive Play Therapy?
The number of sessions varies from child to child and depends upon the nature of the presenting issue, the child's personality, and the child's perception. Each session is approximately 30 minutes long and is either weekly or fortnightly depending on the needs of the individual child. Studies have shown the average length of time for a child to receive play therapy is 20 weeks, although some children need fewer or additional sessions.

What's the difference between Play Therapy and playing with my child at home?
Our Therapists are specifically trained to provide an environment of acceptance, empathy and understanding. Play Therapy uses the child's natural tendency to "play out" their reactions to life situations, in the presence of a trained Therapist. This can help the child to feel accepted and understood, and gain a sense of control or understanding of difficult situations.

Who is Play Therapy for?
In the process of growing up children often go through difficult times, which may cause them to experience painful emotions. This can cause them to behave in a way that creates problems that a child or their family may be unable to resolve alone.

Children with a life threatening condition, and their brothers and sisters, have to deal with experiences and emotions that are new and troubling. Play Therapy gives them an opportunity to work through those feelings and allows them to come to an understanding of what has occurred. The parents may also gain a better understanding of what their child may be going through.

Play therapy especially benefits children 3-12, and helps children take responsibility for behaviors, establish creative solutions to problems, accept themselves and others, experience and express emotions, learn respect for feelings of others, cultivate relational skills with family, gain pride in their abilities, and more!

questions about counseling for teens

Do you offer services to teenagers?
Yes. Teenagers are often helped by having individual sessions, participating in a group, or by family therapy. Teenagers can help the therapist decide what works best for them.

What is Adolescent Therapy?

Adolescent Therapy is a type of Psychotherapy representing a variety of techniques and methods used to help teenagers who are experiencing difficulties with their emotions or behavior. In Adolescent Therapy, activities as well as talking are important ways of sharing feelings and resolving problems.

Why should I consider therapy for my teenager?
Teenagers today face a range of difficult problems in their lives that might include sadness, anxiety, school stress and conflicts with family or friends. They need to learn how to understand, control and share their emotions appropriately. They also may struggle to control their behavior and meet the expectations of their parents and teachers. Some adolescents just need a little help to get back on track and others have more severe mental health issues such as depression, substance abuse and eating disorders. An Adolescent Therapist can help teenagers work through these issues and make better choices in their lives. An Adolescent Therapist can also act as a trusted mentor who helps teenagers grow, mature and overcome obstacles.

Who should attend Adolescent Therapy?
Teenage Therapy may include working with some combination of the teenager's parents as well as the adolescent. Adolescent Therapy may be child-centered and/or adult-centered. It may focus on the behaviors and emotions displayed by the teenager and/or the parent-child interactions identified through the parent's responses to the teenager.

How do I introduce therapy to my teenager?
Some teenagers are excited to meet with an Adolescent Therapist, but it is also common for teenagers to be stubborn or reluctant. Sometimes an adolescent's insecurities, sense of invulnerability and/or their perceptions of adults make visits to a "doctor" or stranger unwelcome. How a parent approaches the subject, however, can make a difference.

The relationship that develops between the Adolescent Therapist and the teenager is very important. The teenager must feel comfortable, safe and understood in a trusting environment. This will make it easier for the teenager to express his/her thoughts and feelings and to use therapy in a helpful way. Therefore, a positive introduction by the parents is the first important step toward successful Adolescent Therapy.

Parents should explain to the teenager that they will be going to see a therapist, the particular problem that is interfering with the teenager's growth and that the therapist is going to help make things better for both of them. Even if the teenager denies obvious problems, s/he can just agree to meet the therapist and to see what therapy is like.

As a parent, how am I involved in my teenager's therapy?
The Adolescent Therapist often begins the therapy process by meeting with one or both parents, and then moves to work with the teenager alone or in combination with the parent(s).

  • Parents – Initial Session(s)
    • During the initial meeting with parents, the Therapist will want to learn as much as possible about the nature of their teenager's problems. The Therapist will ask for information about his/her developmental, medical, social and school history, whether or not previous evaluations and interventions were attempted and the nature of those results. Background information about the parents and family is also important in providing the Adolescent Therapist with a larger context from which to understand the teenager.
    • During this session, the Adolescent Therapist can also answer any of the parents' questions or concerns, including how to best approach their teenager about therapy. This process of gathering information usually takes one to three sessions.
  • Parents – Continued Involvement
    • Subsequent sessions with parents are important opportunities to keep the Therapist informed about their teenager's current functioning at home and at school as well as for the Therapist to offer some insight and guidance to the parents. The Therapist may provide suggestions about parenting techniques and alternative ways to communicate with their teenager, as well as provide information about adolescent development.
  • Parent – Parent Reports
    • Our therapists often ask for parents to complete an At-Home "Parent Progress Report" to bring with them your teen's session. This check sheet is a quick way to alert your therapist to any "happenings" since your last session. There is also a space to indicate you would like to request a callback from your teen's therapist to discuss a concern.

How will you work with my teenager in therapy?
Adolescent Therapy differs in many ways from therapy for adults, and by understanding these differences a parent can approach the treatment of a troubled teen with an open mind and fresh insight.

Transference is a therapeutic phenomenon by which clients "transfer" emotional feelings they have toward others in their life toward the therapist. Because teenagers are in the process of developing independence and detaching from their parents as they mature, the nature of this detachment may make them reluctant to form a bond with another "parental figure," such as the therapist. For this reason, Adolescent Therapists sometimes find that an activity can be a helpful component to the therapeutic process. Depending on the teenager, art therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, and other experiential programs can be effective adjuncts to "talk" therapy.

What about confidentiality in Adolescent Therapy?
Privacy is usually a primary concern for teenagers. It is helpful to reassure adolescents that they will not need to report back to their parents, although they are certainly encouraged to do so if they wish. The Adolescent Therapist will need to establish rules early in therapy regarding what type of feedback will be given to the parents about the sessions. It is also important for adolescents to know in advance what type of the information they reveal might be shared with their parents or teachers.

How do I get feedback about my teenager's therapy?
Understandably, parents want information and feedback regarding their teenager as Adolescent Therapy progresses. To maintain the teenager's privacy, the Adolescent Therapist will not routinely discuss details of the teenager's sessions with parents. This promotes freedom of expression for the teenager within the therapist's office and engenders a sense of trust in the therapist.

Instead, the Adolescent Therapist will communicate to the parents her understanding of the teenager's psychological needs or conflicts and provide suggestions or recommendations where appropriate.

What specific issues does Adolescent Therapy address?
Parents may seek therapy for their teenager to address some of the following concerns:

  • Communication & verbal expression
  • Self-observation & insight
  • Impulse control
  • Capacity to trust and to relate to others
  • Social skills
  • Identity issues
  • Self-esteem
  • Emotional support
  • Conflict resolution
  • Relations with friends or family
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Depression and irritability
  • Anger and aggression
  • Coping with frustration
  • Poor school performance or learning disabilities
  • Low academic effort
  • Oppositional and conduct problems
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Abuse and trauma
  • Separation or divorce of parents
  • Emotional issues related to medical problems
  • Death of a friend or family member

How will I know when my teenager's therapy is done?
Teenage Therapy may be considered complete when the goals of therapy are reached. Generally, the Adolescent Therapist measures this by how well the teenager's symptoms have subsided for a stable period of time and when functioning is adequate with peers and adults at home, in school, and in extracurricular activities.

At the end of therapy, the Adolescent Therapist will take the opportunity to say goodbye to the teenager and parents by offering her thoughts, feelings and words of hope and encouragement for the future.

questions about parent & family counseling

What is Parent Counseling?
If your child is struggling with emotional difficulties or behavior problems, or if he or she has gone through a difficult or traumatic situation, as a parent you are likely to be feeling:
  • worried or concerned about your child
  • powerless or helpless because what you are doing may not be working and you don't know what to do to change things
  • angry and frustrated with your child's behaviors
  • confused and uncertain as to what is really the best way to parent
  • guilty or ashamed that somehow you may have failed as a parent
  • discouraged and inadequate because your child is experiencing problems
Parent counseling is a way for you to reduce your stress levels and to increase your sense of confidence when interacting with your child.

How can Parent Counseling help?
  • You will be supported in identifying and expressing your feelings related to your child's difficulties so that these feelings will not interfere with your parenting
  • You will be supported in exploring various ways of interacting with your child that will improve the relationship between you and your child
  • You can learn new parenting skills and behavior management strategies
  • You will be updated on your child's progress if he or she is involved in play therapy; you are provided with the general themes the child is expressing in play therapy and ideas to work adaptively with the child at home; additionally, you will have an opportunity to provide me with information about significant changes in your child's behavior as well as to update me on important events that have occurred between play sessions
  • You can learn specialized therapeutic parenting techniques, such as advanced listening and comforting techniques, if your child has experienced a stressful or traumatic event; children exposed to a trauma usually need therapeutic parenting following the trauma; normal parenting practices are often not sufficient to help the child heal and recover from the trauma
  • You will be supported in dealing with other issues causing stress in your life that may be impacting on your ability to help your child

How do your own experiences as a child impact your parenting?
When you become a parent, your experiences with your own family when you were a child serve to guide you in your current role. You may be repeating the same parenting behaviors as your parents or caregivers used on you in spite your best intentions. Alternately, you may have consciously decided to parent in completely the opposite way from how you were parented as a child. While some of these parenting behaviors may be useful and adaptive, some of them may not be.

It is important for you to be aware of how and where you learned your current parenting strategies. Then you are able to make decisions about building on your current healthy parenting skills and discarding and replacing the more unhealthy parenting approaches.

What is Family Counseling?
Your family is more that just a group of individuals sharing a particular physical space or relational ties. Your family can be considered a system in itself, with its own rules, roles, and power structure. Family members collectively form a whole, or system, that can experience a wide range of difficulties. What affects one member of your family is likely to affect all others in the family.

The relationships between members of your family are deep. Individuals in your family are tied to each other by powerful emotional attachments that will persist over the lifetime of your family. Family counseling focuses on the relationships and interactions between your family members.

What are the Benefits of Family Counseling?
  • You and your family members can change unhealthy patterns of interacting and communicating with each other to more functional patterns of interaction
  • You and your family members can strengthen relationships between each other
  • You will understand how your childhood family relationships and extended family relationships can impact your current family relationships
  • You will learn how a healthy family structure contributes to healthy family relationships
  • You will learn to encourage separateness of individual family members, while still maintaining and developing connectedness between family members

questions about filial play therapy

What is Filial Play Therapy?
Filial play therapy is a unique counseling approach where you and your child work together to improve child and family problems. You are taught basic play therapy skills so that you can become involved in the therapeutic process with your child. This empowers you to become the primary support for your child.

Filial play therapy has been successfully used with many child and family problems including:
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Anger and aggression
  • Relationship problems
  • Trauma
  • Abuse/neglect
  • Single parenting, step-parenting
  • High conflict divorce
  • Adoption/foster care
  • Family substance abuse
  • Chronic illness
Filial play therapy has been researched a great deal. It has wide applicability with very consistent research results indicating significant improvements in children's problems and parents' skills as well as significant decreases in parents' stress levels.

What are the Benefits of Filial Play Therapy?
  • You will learn basic play therapy skills so your child will be able to benefit from the therapeutic aspects of play long after professional services have ended
  • Your child will develop a more positive perspective of you as a parent
  • You will be able to understand your child better
  • Your child's problem behaviors will be reduced or eliminated
  • You will learn new parenting skills
  • Communication with your child will be opened up and improved
  • You will develop self-confidence with your child, thus reducing your stress and frustration levels
  • Your relationship with your child will be strengthened
  • You will learn about the importance of play for your child
  • Your family's ability to have fun together will be enhanced
  • You will develop coping skills for future problems

questions about group therapy

What about Group Therapy?
We offer Group Therapy to adults, teenagers and children. The goal of group therapy is similar to individual therapy; just in a different environment. Not only do you receive feedback and support from your group therapist, but also from your peers. Please note that a half-hour screening meeting (evaluation) is required before group sessions. This is to ensure the best group placement and to discuss therapeutic goals.

Children's Groups

Children's Groups are very effective to treat children with behavioral problems, poor social skills, low self-esteem, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Using therapeutic games with younger children, the goal of my groups is to increase your child's emotional intelligence. There are five elements of emotional intelligence:
  • Social skills
  • Empathy
  • Identifying feelings
  • Containment of feelings
  • Perseverance
**Parental involvement is key to a successful outcome for your child. Our therapists will meet regularly the parents of the children in the group to discuss their children's progress toward their goals. In a group setting, we will explore parenting issues and search for techniques that will work with the children.

**Children groups meet weekly for an hour. To ensure each child receives a rich group experience, we only allow six children in a group. The parent meeting is quarterly with each parent having the option to meet individually with the therapist at any time.

Adolescent Groups
Like children's groups, the prime goal of adolescent groups is to enhance your teen's emotional intelligence. Unlike younger clients, though, teens are more focused on talk therapy than play therapy, although there are times when teens engage in activities appropriate to their age.

Group therapy provides a safe place for adolescents to talk about "everything." Let's face it, teens feel there is just about nothing they can discuss with their parents and that robs them of a needed adult perspective. Group offers them a safe place to talk about their concerns and receive feedback from the adult therapist. At the same time, your teen will be challenged by his or her peers when the group detects that she or he is being less than honest with them and himself, or making a bad decision. As with children, parental input is key to successful adolescent therapy and always welcome.

Adult Groups
Adult groups are weekly and run 1.5 hours. Members of the group share problems and issues they are facing. Group is beneficial to deal with low-self esteem, feeling awkward in social situations or problems with interpersonal relationships. Group therapy also is effective in working through depression, anxiety and similar emotional challenges. Because there are strict rules governing confidentiality, group therapy provides a safe place for you to overcome the challenges affecting your life. You must be prepared to give at least a three-month commitment to allow time to build the supportive relationships you will gain in group therapy.

questions about theraplay®

Questions about Theraplay® - Coming Soon

questions about art therapy
Questions about Art Therapy- Coming Soon

questions about questions about EMDR

Questions about EMDR - Coming Soon

questions about clinical hypnotherapy

Questions about Clinical Hypnotherapy - Coming Soon