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Dawn Nelson de Ramirez, MS LMFT
Often, typical "teen" and "child" issues such as acting out, parent child conflict, academic issues and social difficulties can be addressed within as little as 5 sessions. My approach is to help you and your child get through the rough patch. Most of the time issues that need to be addressed do not require years of therapy. I never close a door.....when our sessions end you are always welcome to come back in when you have hit another bump in the road. I also provide a "check in" to see that your child is staying on track. Its not uncommon for previous clients to drop in 6 months to a year later for a couple of sessions when they are struggling with another issue. I am here to provide you with the tools necessary to navigate these difficult times.
I am seeing younger and younger kids seeking counseling for anxiety, depression and self harm. Many of these kids come from good families that have done their best to help them with typical childhood issues. Unfortunately, many kids need more than their parents are able to provide.
When family conflict, divorce, death, illness or other major life transitions disrupt a child's environment it often leaves the child feeling less secure and more prone to feelings of stress and anxiety. Small children project stress and anxiety in a variety of ways including but not limited to sudden behavioral changes, outburst, crying, hitting, bed wetting etc. Counseling can help both the parent and child understand what is happening, how to channel their fears and acquire better tools to cope with the changes.
My approach to counseling children is from a personal and professional perspective. I have 3 children of my own and understand the unique challenges and demands that children face. I also have seen in my professional experience how bad counseling and over "therapiing" kids can make things worse. I don't believe most children should be in therapy long term unless there is a specific trauma experienced. I think kids need to learn the tools and then through the help of their parents apply them between sessions. It not only teaches them to apply the tools it teaches them how to build up tolerance and practice what they are learning. I want kids to learn that they have the skills within them to deal with the difficulties they are experiencing.