From helping you and your child work through difficult emotions, navigate behavior issues, improve communication, and address addiction problem, we offer a variety of counseling and therapy services designed to help you and your child thrive. At Whole Child Neuro, we provide child and teen counseling, play therapy, family therapy, addiction counseling, and parenting counseling services out of our office here in Encino. Please feel free to continue reading to learn about our individual counseling and therapy services, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free initial consultation. We’re here to help your child unlock their full potential!
We work with children, teens, parents and families on issues including:
- Social difficulties- trouble making and keeping friends
- Behavior difficulties
- Explosive, angry outbursts
- Low self-esteem and confidence
- Divorce, separation and other big transitions
- Addiction to drugs and alcohol
Child & Teen Counseling
Maybe your child has been struggling with their anger. They may be easily frustrated, have tantrums and outburst or ignore everything you have to say. Or your child might be experiencing anxiety, be afraid to try new things, have fears and get caught in a cycle of worried behavior. Or maybe your child has started to withdraw from the things that they used to enjoy, has been isolating themselves from peers, and your child seems irritable and cries easily. Or maybe your child struggles with focus, impulsivity and friendship issues. Or maybe your family went through a recent life transition, such as divorce or starting at a new school or they experienced a trauma.
Maybe your teenager has been struggling. The teenage years can be rough on parents and teens alike. As teens start to differentiate themselves from the family and navigate social relationships and pressures, they may feel out of place, irritable, depressed or anxious. Furthermore, middle school and high school are times where academic pressures increase. These are all factors that can wear on a teen’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Also, as teens try to grapple with their independence, family communication may deteriorate.
At Whole Child Neuro, we can help your child or teen navigate through these difficulties. We utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), collaborative problem solving techniques, and other approaches in our work with children, teens and families. We help kids and teens recognize that anger is a secondary emotion that often masks another feeling underneath, help them identify and anticipate triggers to their anger, and help them identify and communicate negative emotions more effectively. We help kids and teens develop coping strategies to their anxiety, help them conquer their perfectionistic tendencies, and build relaxation and mindfulness skills to calm themselves should their worries surface. We help kids and teens build their self-esteem and self-confidence, help them communicate their thoughts, feelings and emotions, help them reframe negative thinking patterns, and help them develop coping skills to improve focus, stay on task and decrease impulsive behaviors. We help kids and teens process trauma, regain a sense of control, and look to the future with hope as they heal the past. Every child is unique, and every counseling session will be catered to the specific child and his or her situation.
Play therapy is an excellent form of therapy for young children experiencing social, emotional or behavioral difficulties. Some kids may be going through a stressful life transition, such as a move, adoption, birth of a sibling, changes at home or school, or a loss. Others may feel irritable, angry or distressed without a known stressor.
Play therapy is a developmentally sensitive model that acknowledges that children typically communicate through play. In play therapy, we can help a child feel comfortable and safe and create a setting of trust. Your child will be in a playful environment (we often use toys, arts and crafts supplies, and games, as well as more structured activities) where they can explore their feelings, express what is underneath the surface, process trauma, and learn social skills. This gives children the opportunity to problem-solve, explore different ways of reacting and change maladaptive behavior.
In addition, parent consultations are an important addition to play therapy, where you will gain a better understanding of what your child might be going through. We will also provide you with specific tools, parenting strategies, and communication skills to build upon the individual work we do with your child.
Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy, which aims to improve family interactions and communication. Family therapy may be useful in a variety of situations, and multiple family members may be present in a given session, depending on the circumstances. Family therapy may be a tool to help a child overcome family events which are perceived to be traumatic (for example, a child may be upset after a new baby brother is born). Family therapy may be useful to help a teen cope with her parents’ divorce. Or family therapy may be effective in addressing communication issues within the family (yelling, screaming etc.). Each therapy session will cater to the family’s individual needs, and we strive to help improve communication between family members while resolving conflicts between them.
At Whole Child Neuro, we believe that children do well if they can, but that some kids are lacking the skills to handle certain demands and expectations. We help families explore and understand behaviors, such as screaming, hitting, crying, whining, pouting, sulking, withdrawing, attention-seeking and poor motivation as being the result of lagging thinking skills, rather than defiance. We then train families in the Collaborative Problem Solving Approach, which focuses on addressing behavior issues by teaching children the underlying skills that they lack, rather than through reward and punishment. The focus is on helping kids and parents communicate and resolve problems in a collaborative, proactive and mutually satisfactory way. The goal is to foster a non-punitive, collaborative relationship between parents and kids that decreases conflict, improves communication, enhances the parent-child relationship, builds empathy, and improves perspective taking.
Addiction counseling is a form of treatment designed to address addiction to drugs or alcohol. We strive to pinpoint the causes of an addiction, identifying triggers that can lead to drug or alcohol abuse. From there, we can create a treatment program designed to overcome and manage the addiction. We help develop better ways to cope with stressors that do not involve the use of a substance. We will also help explore the emotions underneath the substance use, such as shame or hurt and address them at the source. We will provide emotional support as the individual navigates through their specific treatment program. We aim to create a lifelong plan to keep an individual from falling back into addictive habits.
Parenting Counseling and Training
Parenting is difficult! Many parents feel as you do, challenged by difficult behaviors and stressful environments. We work with parents to provide counseling, training, and therapy services designed to help parents to effectively support their child or teen as they navigate through their lives. We understand that every child is different, and each child may have any number of issues throughout their growing years. We’ll work with you to understand your concerns for your child, and we aim to help you as you help your child grow, all the while improving the relationship between you and your child.
We provide parenting counseling and training for parents who need support processing their own experiences of becoming a parent, unresolved trauma, grief and loss. We help parents break negative patterns of communication that they may have learned growing up. We help parents understand their child’s behavior issues as lagging skills that need to be taught and help them communicate more effectively with their child.
We work with couples who disagree in their parent styles and values, or work through a stressful event that has caused tension or strain in the relationship. Couples will learn to communicate their needs, negotiate roles and values, and heal any hurt feelings.
We also help parents navigate co-parenting while going through a high-conflict divorce and custody issues. We work with parents on developing parenting plans, address differences in child-rearing practices, find solutions to concerns about role sharing, address boundary and triangulation issues, and help parents communicate more effectively. Parents are empowered to function in ways that best nurture their children’s growth and development.