Life challenges aren’t always easy for adults, so imagine how hard it must be for a child when he/she is faced with new situations, demands and expectations. It is common for the child to experience emotional ups and downs characterized by feelings of sadness, fear and anger. These reactions tend to be short-lived and usually do not significantly interfere with the child’s life. However, occasionally a child’s response to life’s pressures may become severe, and the parents’ attempts to help their child may be unsuccessful. At times such as these, professional assistance may be necessary.
Divorce is not only an emotionally upsetting experience for parents but for children as well. Unlike adults, children react to this situation in a variety of ways. If a child’s reaction includes uncharacteristic school failure, fear of sleeping alone or heightened anxiety when separating from a parent, it indicates that normal functioning has become disrupted.
Of course, there is far more serious indication that psychological treatment is needed when a child’s symptoms are severe or the behavior is extreme and potentially life threatening. This would include situations in which a child is experiencing significant anxiety related symptoms, setting fires, assaulting others, or is severely depressed.
Each parent reacts differently when confronted with the idea that his/her child needs psychological treatment. Some parents tend to feel guilty and blame themselves for their child’s problem. Others may experience confusion regarding their child’s need for treatment. That’s why getting parents involved in their child’s treatment is paramount.
Jennifer Nahrebeski, LMHC, M.S.E.d, is well experienced in working with a variety of children who have been diagnosed with Autism, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Bipolar, Asperger’s Syndrome and learning disabilities. Jennifer has 15 years of specialized experience in treating children who have anxiety and difficulties in traditional settings. Issues include, but are not limited to: making friends, test taking anxiety, discipline problems in school, failing grades, skipping school, legal issues, bullying, verbal and physical abuse.
She’s trained to work with children and families and develops individualized treatment plans appropriate to each child’s specific needs.
Jennifer considers parental involvement to be a crucial component of every child’s treatment. From the first session, parents get feedback concerning their child’s development, behavior, relationships, and habits and they are closely consulted regarding the goals of treatment. With her down-to-earth approach, Jennifer views parents as her partners in the treatment process and rely upon them to provide critical feedback regarding the effectiveness of interventions as they are developed and implemented.
Therapy offers children the opportunity to identify, discuss and understand problems and to develop necessary coping skills. Therapy also provides the opportunity to address parental concerns, educate parents regarding their child’s unique needs, and assist them in meeting these needs in an appropriate, effective fashion. Finally, it is important to recognize that without appropriate and timely treatment a child’s problems may become severe and lead to more serious, long-lasting difficulties.