Child & Adolescent Therapy Services

Therapy with children looks different than therapy with adults. When we think of therapy, most of us envision sitting on a couch talking about feelings while a therapist listens and provides feedback. While adolescents may engage in this traditional style, children are typically not yet able to reflect on their feelings or experiences in this way. Young children tend to express themselves most comfortably and freely through play.

Therapy with Kids

Therapy with kids is more interactive and activity/play-based. Using a variety of therapeutic games, toys and art, we facilitate communication in a way that is natural for children. During this playtime, important work is being done. Children work through feelings and problems during play and child therapists know how to make this process a meaningful, productive and fun experience they’ll want to come back to.

boy painting

Therapy with Teens

Therapy with adolescents is usually a combination of traditional “talk therapy” and age-appropriate activities which may include art projects, therapeutic curriculums/worksheets or games. Sessions are more often guided by the teen’s interests and preferences at this age. If they want to talk the whole session, we talk. If they want more structured activities, we can do that too.

teen boy with therapist

Skill Building and CBT

Because both children and teenagers are growing and learning, therapy is often rich with skill building. Skills taught and practiced during sessions often include calming coping skills, feelings expression, cognitive restructuring, problem solving, impulse control, and social thinking skills. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the therapeutic approach most often used with children and teens. It is effective in helping them realize the connection between thoughts, feelings and behavior and empowers them to make positive choices in each of these areas.

What Will be My Involvement as a Parent or Caregiver?

Parent/Caregiver involvement is an important component of therapy with young children. They typically join sessions for the first few minutes to share recent observations or concerns to be addressed in the session and to celebrate progress made since last session. Near the end, they are invited to join again for a summary of our therapeutic activities, insights, skills learned during session and discussion of ways to support our collaboratively developed therapeutic goals at home and at school.

What Will be My Involvement in Therapy for My Teen?

For teenagers, therapy provides a confidential, unbiased, safe space where they can explore thoughts, feelings, choices/consequences, and goals. While parents/caregivers are encouraged to participate in the initial assessment and treatment goal setting, most return sessions are between the therapist and teen only. Parents may join therapy sessions as needed with teen consent. We encourage adolescents to share their thoughts, feelings, and skills they learn in therapy with their families at home. Parents are encouraged to share any concerns with us through email prior to sessions, so we may best address any recent issues. As there are limits to confidentiality, we will inform parents of any safety concerns we may become aware of.

Should My Child or Teen Start Therapy?

Children and adolescents participate in therapy for a variety of reasons including but not limited to the following:

  • Life transitions (moving, divorce/remarriage, starting a new school, difficulty adjusting to life changes)
  • Anxiety/worries (separation, social, generalized, panic, OCD-type thoughts/behaviors)
  • Depression (may present as irritability, emotional outbursts, lack of interest in activities, fatigue)
  • ADHD (impulsiveness, hyperactivity, attention problems)
  • Behavior issues (oppositional defiance, anger outbursts, temper tantrums, aggression)

Whether these issues are recent/emerging or chronic/worsening, therapy can help!

Contact Molly

If you would like to make an appointment with me feel free to email, text, or call me. Or you can set up an assessment or 15-minute free consultation.

Molly Selby, MSW, LCSW

Molly Selby, MSW, LCSW

(217) 962-1464