Child counseling therapy Phoenix Arizona

Children can struggle with mood and anger issues, depression and anxiety as well as oppositional defiance. Many children struggle to do homework or listen or be respectful. Family stress can be managed and your child can be successful and happy with a few changes through counseling. Behaviors will change especially with a positive approach to counseling. Working individually as well as with parents is the best approach to create desire change. A team approach is always best in  my 15 plus years of working with family in mental health.

My approach to youth counseling: children, teens, adolescents, and families is a unique specialized approach I have created over the past 15 plus years in the field of counseling psychology

I create a safe and empathic environment for all families and children. I am truly invested and interested in your child’s goals as well as family goals. Developing rapport and connecting with the child, teen, and family is extremely important for me. My work is my passion so I foster great care and time into each family and child.

I do not label your child or teen with a disorder. I have worked with many children with a wide array of disorders including but not limited to: oppositional defiance, conduct disorders, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s , Phobias, Tourettes, and much more. I believe in working with your child and teen as well as with parents to help each child find balance. Finding balance includes: eating and healthy habits, sleep habits, communication skills, social skills, teamwork, healthy thoughts, problem solving , time management, boundary setting, empathy, compassion, building self esteem, managing stress, managing depressed mood, managing anxiety, life skills and much more. I do a lot of work with parents in the area of behavior modification: listening, respect, anger management, stress management, emotional management, etc. I work with the child as well as the parent to create a plan that is a win win for both child and parent.

Dealing with life and painful challenging events is vital to create a healthy empowered adult.

If one of the above for example is off balance so will your child’s mental and physical well being be off. For example if your child is playing endless hours of video games or you tubing or on their smart phone, or on Netflix, then they are not able to study, read, exercise, or receive adequate sleep. I have seen this for over fifteen years with youth and families. The great news is a few changes can create huge change for all.

I use a variety of techniques: Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Mindfulness, VMBR, Talk therapy, Play therapy and more to connect with children to help facilitate change. I use educational tools and games to help each child and teen in order to create desired changes.

Counseling and psychotherapy is a process of varying lengths during which a mental health counselor and a client work together to explore problems and develop the skills and mind-set needed to transcend challenges and live a life of Physical, mental, and emotional balance. The process varies depending on the individual and the mental health challenge or issues. It can continue anywhere from a few weekly sessions to months or, sometimes, years of occasional sessions..

Many children and teens are facing a variety of mental health issues: anxiety, depression, anger issues, self harm, OCD, Oppositional defiance, behavioral issues at school, social issues, emotional issues, self esteem issues as well. Children are being bullied at school as well as on the computer or via texting or social media ( instagram, snapchat, facebook etc)

It is important to talk to your children about how they feel and how they think on a regular basis( daily if possible). If your child does not express his thoughts and feelings this can be a huge red flag and you do not know what is going on inside your child’s world.

Everyone struggles with life this is a huge part of mental health and we should not be ashamed or embarrassed by it. Society tells us to be strong and do not cry and do not show emotions , however, we all have pain in our lives and it is how we cope with our pain and stress that is important. Every child and adult has stress and it is a strength to reach out for help. If a child is struggling with math we get him or her help or a tutor. If a child is struggling with : anger, stress, social skills, self esteem depression, oppositional defiance, anger, anxiety, phobias, self harm, issues with family we need to provide an outlet for support.

Research by the American Academy of Pediatricians state a parent should not hand a child an IPAD, Smartphone, DS3, Laptop, video gaming devices, games on smart phones, or other forms of media to calm ones child down emotionally or behaviorally.

Children should not be using media devices: computers, Video Games, Ipads, smart phones etc for more than one hour per day at the very most.

The content of what your child is watching is also important. Violent games and aggressive games will hurt your child’s ability to regulate mood and is connected with aggression, anger, and violence. Children under 18 months old should not use any media devices.

Early childhood is a time for brain development, sleep, learning to handle emotions, and build relationships. There is a lot of research to show that excessive media gets in the way of the above mentioned for your child. Too much media usage is linked to a child’s physical health as well. Using devices as a soothing activity may likely limit a child’s ability to self soothe and calm hi or herself down and regulate his or her mood.

Video and media use limits family connections and limits developing strong family relationships. Video chatting with your grandma is an exception to the rule or watching an educational video on learning.

Parents that spend a lot of time on media, texting, smartphones, computers, Ipads, TV, Netflix, Social media, Twitter, instgram, facebook , video games etc are correlated with more emotional and behavioral issues and a huge increase in parent child and family conflict. A great deal of media limits non verbal nd verbal communication with family members. Communication is essential in family relationships and suffers when a lot of time is spent on video games, texting, smartphones etc.

Parents can develop media use plans and contracts involving using media that specifically spell out what can be used, watched, and how much time is allotted to media use.

Many children are clicking on sexually explicit images and are being sexualized at very young ages do to the vast info on computers. Parents can block sites as well as upload a program that tells you exactly what your child is doing, web sites visited, texts that being sent etc.

A child that is not monitored can easily merge into become a teen that is texting innapropriate photos, talking about drugs, selling drugs, illegal activities, inappropriate activities, covert activities etc.

A vast amount of research shows that using a computer, TV, Video games, etc before bed time has a negative impact on the quality of your child’s sleep and will impact him emotionally, and physically as well as academically and cognitively, in a negative manner, if boundaries and limits are not set and executed.

It is important for family to take time together with al smart phones and games off including TV. There should be rules about having music on w ear buds so you can connect with your family every night without distractions.


Typically schools for children and teens have very few counselors on staff . For example at one school I attended there was one counselor for over 600 children. It was great that the school had a counselor because many schools do not have a mental health counselor. The reality is that the counselor does not have time to meet with all 600 students on a weekly basis and give them the support they may need. Finding an expert that has daily experience with children, teens and families is important for parents and for the child. Being able to work with the child and parent provides the best systemic support for your child. Letting your child know that you are working on improving your relationship with your child and you are a team player is important to show your child you are dedicated to therapy and counseling and also it is important to you that things change. Labeling the child as the “ problem” is not a good approach for life changes in mental health and in life skills including school academics and more.

You can read testimonials from families and teens that have worked with me and their experiences. You can see my web site at . You can read about my extensive experience working with children and families in many systems: school, agencies, private practice and more

Lifeworks AZ David Abrams MAPC, LPC, CAGS is passionate about helping children and families help themselves . David looks at all areas of a child’s life . He looks at : self esteem, social, family issues, academics, sleep, diet, exercise, anger, mood, anxiety, behavioral issues, emotional issues, depression, self harm, negative thinking and more and creates a plan and goals that create a win win for the child and family. David has been working with children, teens, and families for over 15 years and this is one of his specialty areas. You can read a lot more about what parents are saying about David at


Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.