Therapy for Children
Newport Beach, California
Newport Beach, California
If your child is struggling with any of the following, then therapy may be helpful: staying focused, doesn’t seem to be enjoying life, avoids time with friends and family, has had a drop in grades, or is often worried about danger or being judged. Most parents will do anything to help their children. None of us want to see our sons and daughters struggle with worry, sadness, or loneliness – and yet so many children experience these issues. In fact, approximately 10% of children in the United States struggle with some form of mental illness (Planczyk et al, 2015). Early detection of mental health issues in childhood is critical for helping kids make a rapid recovery. Specialists at the OC Psychology Center are ready to help with child focused assessment and psychotherapy services for families in need. If your child struggles at home, at school, or with their peers, we can help.
Parents often ask us whether or not their children will benefit from therapy. So, we came up with a list of common issues that we help kids and families work through:
Frequent arguments or conflict in the family
Acting out or non-compliance (rule-breaking)
Sadness or loss
Agitation and irritability
Poor academic performance
Difficulty making friends
Inattention and not getting work done
Excessive use of electronics
These problems are common, but also harmful. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, childhood mental health problems lead to increased risk of problems in adulthood, such as addiction, criminal activity, and unemployment (Brimblecombe et al, 2015). If you live in the Orange County area and your child is struggling socially, emotionally, and/or behaviorally, do not wait. Contact us at OC Psychology Center today to schedule your first appointment! Our mission is to help children and families find answers, overcome hardship, and move towards a brighter future. We do this through assessment (testing and diagnosis) and psychotherapy (treatment). To read more about our assessment services, check out our pages on psychological testing and diagnosis. To learn more about our child therapy services, read on!
Therapy is the first line of treatment for children with emotional or behavioral issues (Bodden et al, 2008). Psychotherapy for children typically involves working on increasing emotional awareness, enhancing communication skills, and making specific behavioral changes. Goals are often set by parents and the psychologist, but often we try to incorporate any goals the child may have. A few examples of goals in child therapy might include:
Increased feelings of self-worth
Decreased frequency of rebelliousness or disruptive behavior
Motivation to build authentic peer relationships
Decreased dependence on video games for emotional coping
Willingness to follow directions given by parents and other adults
Child psychotherapy is a collaborative effort, which means we work together with children and their families to take on difficulties as a team. Yet, individual sessions are designed to give your child space to process and work through their difficulties in a confidential, non-judgmental space. Kids (particularly teenagers) tend to feel uncomfortable opening up about feelings of anxiety and depression with their parents, and so this provides them with an avenue for being vulnerable and open about their problems.
Our children are our most valuable resource. Here at the OC Psychology Center, located in the Newport Beach Irvine area of Orange County, we recognize the importance of providing your family with the upmost quality of care. To this end, we aim to accomplish three tasks during every course of child therapy.
First we want to Identify the Problem. This helps us understand parent and child perspectives on the problem, develop diagnostic impressions and set realistic goals. Meanwhile we begin establishing a strong therapeutic alliance and cultivating a safe and non-judgemental therapeutic space to promote self expression.
Second we provide education about and begin applying meaningful and effective change strategies. This typically begin by providing developmentally appropriate psychoeducation to parents and children. Then we focus on teaching application of new skills focused improving coping skills by increasing adaptive expression of emotions, developing new behavioral habits, learning new ways of thinking and problem solving and teaching self-compassion and non-judgemental awareness of self and others.
Third we work with parents and children to develop reinforcement strategies that maintain new learning and progress made during therapy. We aim to model and promote a growth mindset in children and parents in order to increase adaptive coping abilities and resistance to stress post-treatment. We also teach strategies for parents and children to collaboratively monitor progress after therapy has ended and learn tools to prevent relapse when under stress.
Our treatment utilizes evidence-based techniques to enhance your child’s wellness and restore functionality to the family. We primarily use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, as the research most strongly supports those techniques for pediatric issues (Cohen, Berliner, & Mannarino, 2010; Ishikawa, Okajima, Matsuoka, & Sakano, 2007; Sze & Wood, 2008). In addition to CBT, we also draw from Psychodynamic, Family Systems, and Humanistic approaches in our treatment process to analyze deeper issues that may precipitate problematic behaviors.
Sometimes parents may feel nervous or uncomfortable at first when seeking treatment for their kids – we know what that is like. Our clinical services aim to promote comfort, are individually tailored and held to the highest standard of care. We strive to help you and your child overcome barriers to well being through evidence-based psychotherapy and assessment.
Our child therapy specialists help children (and parents) learn new ways to feel better. We teach families new techniques for communication, behavior management and emotional regulation.
Want to learn more about our team of child, adolescent and young adult behavioral health specialists? Select a provider below to learn more about the credentials and specialties of each provider.
Learn more about child therapy, teen therapy and young adult therapy for treatment of ADHD, depression, anxiety and learning problems, and how our counseling services and psychological testing can help.