We believe that people are unique and face individual challenges in their lives. The nature of therapy varies according to the client’s age and developmental level, as well as their own needs, questions, patterns, history and goals.
Our therapists work together with their clients and client’s families to establish a treatment plan to make life more manageable, functional and enjoyable. You will be an integral part of establishing the treatment plan and goals that best addresses your unique situation. Ultimately, we feel, therapy should aim to equip individuals with the tools they need to be their own therapist.
Most people occasionally feel sad or down. These feelings usually pass within a few days. However, when you experience depression, it interferes with daily functioning, causes pain and results in distress for the depressed individual and those who care about him/her. There are several forms of depression and each can usually be helped by psychological treatment. Treatment helps to decrease the frequency and intensity and symptoms and increase positive functioning. Children and adolescents with depression frequently present with irritable mood and difficulties regulating their emotions. Depression in teens also often co-occurs with other disorders such as anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, and self-injury and/or suicidal ideation/behaviors. Several types of therapy teaches skills to help children and adolescents with current and potentially future depression. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Play therapy, etc. can teach skills to address depression.
Anxiety, fears and worries are quite common among children, teens and adults. However some children, teens and adults experience these fears, worries and anxiety with greater intensity and frequency, which causes difficulties in normal daily functioning. Such children and teenagers may have difficulties with flexibility and get “stuck” in their anxiety. They also may have difficulty regulating their thinking, emotions and behaviors. Various treatments and skills can be very helpful to children and adolescents, helping them accept their feelings, become less reactive to thoughts and feelings of anxiety, and learn to act differently when thoughts and feelings of anxiety occur. No one treatment method has been proven best for every child or adolescent. CBT, ACT, DBT can be utilized with good results. Your therapist will work together with you and your particular child to determine the most useful therapy to address his or her unique symptoms.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-OCD
OCD is a form of anxiety. For many people with OCD, symptoms may start in childhood and/or adolescence. OCD is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication or both. Cognitive Behavioral therapy is useful for symptoms of OCD, This teaches a different way of thinking, behaving and dealing with situations in their environment that help them feel a greater sense of mastery and success. One type of therapy called Exposure, Response, & Prevention has proven to be particularly effective with reducing compulsions. Children and Adolescents respond well to this. It is also helpful to utilize externalization in OCD treatment with children and adolescents and is quite effective.
Divorce and Step-family Adjustment
Divorce, although a common occurrence, can have a destabilizing effect on children, adolescents and families. It can be painful and can result in a sense of loss, grief and anxiety. Individual and family therapy can be helpful in helping the child and teen process their unique experience and emotions and help them to regain a sense of stability, strength and positive life functioning. We have found that families can be helped to support their children and adolescents during this time and that family strengths can be utilized in this regard.
Many children and adolescents come to our clinic due to having experienced sexual abuse by a family member, acquaintance or a stranger. Our therapists have special training in this area. Several treatments are helpful to children who have been traumatized in this way. Trauma-focused CBT, trauma-focused ACT, etc. are commonly utilized to help children and adolescents decrease trauma symptoms and process their experience in helpful ways. We focus on making the treatment environment feel safe and secure. We attempt to make their experience with treatment a positive one that will not intensify feelings of anxiety or cause any further symptoms of trauma. We feel treatment is very helpful in enabling children and teens to successfully move forward developmentally and attain an sense of competence and mastery in their current and future lives. Parents, also, often need support in dealing with the challenges that accompany their child having been sexually abused. Our goal is to empower clients to express and acknowledge the effects of the trauma and to reduce the power of the traumatic event. We do this so that healthy choices become true options.
For some individuals coming home from an LDS mission can be a difficult transition. This is especially true if the missionary came home early or unexpectedly. Therapy can be helpful in working through thoughts, feeling and behaviors that may be causing difficulties in their functioning and their lives following missionary service.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
We find that many children and teens with autism spectrum disorder struggle with anxiety and mood issues as well. Treatment can be helpful to these children, teens and their families by helping them learn skills around managing their anxiety, increasing flexibility, and learning skills to regulate their mood. Families can be assisted in establishing behavioral programs unique to their child and family that assist with the above noted symptoms as well as help with parenting issues.