Child family Counseling and Therapy in Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale Arizona

I have worked with children and teens with a variety of mental health disorders: conduct disorders, ADD, ADHD, Autism, Depression, anxiety and much more. One vital piece is not only helping the child but making tips to parents on best approaches to communication as well as helping create a behavioral system in the home that works. Below are a few areas that I work with and how I approach my client’s. Conduct disorders at times have a brain wiring biological approach so it is important to be patient and open to re wiring your child’s thought patterns. 

Conduct Disorders are a common mental health Disorder in children and teenagers. It is characterized by severe aggressive behaviors( physical aggression, property damage, theft, and violating others  rights) and antisocial behaviors. Conduct disorders aree under studied and the physical and mental burden on parents and society is said to be over 8 times that of conduct disorders.

Conduct disorders are associated with a higher risk of depression and anxiety for children , teens, and adolescents. Conduct disorders in teenagers and children are also associated with a higher risk of substance use and substance abuse disorders. Over fifty percent of children with conduct disorders develop antisocial and or borderline personality disorders as adults. This gets typically passed on to their children many times. An ounce of prevention through counseling and mental health services can be worth a great deal.

Children and teens can work on emotional regulation , stress, and anger management as well as problem solving during challenging interactions with parents, self, and peers. 

Working with parents on how they approach the child or teen is important. For example instead of saying your child “ is a bad kid” or your child is intentionally fighting with you..a different approach is required.

A parent can tell themselves( to yourself) my child’s brain wiring needs re wiring. This will help the parents anger and frustration and not add fuel to the fire. Encouraging your child or teen to : cool down, reframe thoughts, use progressive relaxation, VMBR and more can encourage change. The teen needs a lot of patience to rewire his or her brain from parents and support systems.

Communication skills may need to be changed. How one talks to the child or teen is important. Asking instead of ordering or demanding is very important. Developing a stronger relationship with your child or teenager is important. There are many ways to approach an improved relationship. A professional can help you modify your approach as well as create a behavior modification system for your child or teen adolescent.

Many parents are aware that exercise is good for physical health and mental health, however, recent research shows that small amounts of exercise boosts the function of a gene that increases the connection of neurons and the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

Exercise is inexpensive and or free depending on what exercise you want your child or teen to sign up for or practice. A parent can encourage a child to : bicycle ride, walk, run, jump on a trampoline. A child or teen can do dance videos or dance. There is martial arts and sports like: tennis, basketball, baseball, track, wrestling, cheerleading, volleyball, football and more that are great for your child or teen ( physically, mentally, and emotionally).

Exercise like taking 4000 steps will prime your child and teens brain for learning so it does not have to be hours of exercise. Even in small amounts of exercise show the growth of dendritic spines for synapses that help the brain learn and use memory.

One in Five Children and teens in Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona, Chandler Arizona and the USA have a mental health diagnosed disorder and or learning disorder according to a large National survey. This can include and is not limited to Attention Hyperactive Deficit Disorder, ADHD, ADD, Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, Conduct Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, OCD, Panic attacks, separation anxiety, and more. The ages of this study took children and teenagers that were from birth till 18 years old. The above statistics are the median however in some states the rate of mental health disorders are as low as 7 percent and as high as twenty two percent depending on the area.

The latest research shows that over sixty percent do not seek support or assistance from a: Child and teen psychotherapist, Fanily Psychotherapist, Child psychologist, family psychologist, or a social worker in the field of counseling psychology.

Over eight percent of mental health disorders begin in childhood. Children with mental health issues and learning issues are at risk of poor outcomes in school and in all aspects of life. Research in 2017 state there are 20 million children and teens that are impacted by mental health disorders before the age of eighteen.

An estimated 39 percent of all adolescents have had an anxiety disorder according to research. Almost 9 percent had severe impairment with their anxiety disorder.

Of all the children and teenagers that have an ADHD diagnosis almost seventy percent were taking medication and there were 30 percent that were not taking medication for their ADHD diagnosis.

Approximately ten percent of adolescents were diagnosed with major depressive disorders.

All disorders should be assessed by a mental health professional.

I have been working with children and teens for over 18 years as well as families. There are many disorders that our society can label your child with including: ADD  Disorder, ADHD Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorders, Generalized anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, OCD obsessive Compulsive Disorder, PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, Depression Disorder, Dysthmia Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Adjustment Disorders, Non suicidal Self Injury Disorder.

My approach is a strength based approach. I believe it is vital to work with the parents and well as work individually w the child or teen to make desired change. The child’s most important person in their life is usually the parent and the parent is most involved and is the eyes and ears of hot is going on in your child’s life.

I do not label children and teens. In my opinion labeling a child can create a huge stigma of : disability, dysfunction, and disease. The reality is your child is  whole and may have areas that need improvement but he is not a label and he is much more than a diagnosis. Many youth will use their diagnosis as a reason not to excel or get better in life and this is why I have never labeled a child in almost 20 years of working with youth.

My approach is helping a child overcome issues, stress, challenges etc that are impacting him or her and the family. I believe we should focus on how we can : get homework done, How we can be respectful, how we can honor our Mom and dad, how we can exercise, How we can excel in school, how we can find a balance in our lives.  I believe it is important to look at a child’s sleep patters, eating habits, exercise, school, social patters, self esteem, and other habits and find a balance in your child’s life.

 Many children and teenagers are struggling with untreated mental health issues. Most children and teens are not screened for : depression, Anxiety, oppositional defiance, conduct disorders, ADHD, substance dependence and abuse, Grief and loss and more. These disorders are impacting the stress in your home, your relationships, work, and happiness. Your child may be struggling socially and academically as well.  It is important to address theses meant health and emotional and or behavioral disorders early on so your child or teen can grow up to be a well balanced healthy and successful adult. If left untreated the challenges in adulthood become magnified ten fold or more destroying relationships and children and careers.

US statistics state that over 200,000 children in Phoenix and Scottsdale have a serious mental health issues that needs treatment. These numbers would increase for Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Peoria, Buckeye, Ahwatukee, Arizona children and teens that need counseling treatment and or other mental health services in the valley of the sun. This not include less serious mental health issues for emotional, social, and behavioral disorders that are not extreme or serious however may be having a negative impact on a child or adolescent teen in Phoenix Arizona or Scottsdale Arizona.

When mental health issues are left untreated they can lead to alcohol and drug abuse, difficulty maintaining a job, difficulty staying in school, challenges with relationships, and challenges with the law.

Teenager and children with even mild or signs of depression, anxiety( social, Phobias, Generalized anxiety, PTSD) and/or behavioral issues( conduct disorders, ADHD, defiance disorders) were more likely to have severe problems that significantly reduced their ability to lead; healthy, balanced, and successful lives as adults, according to many research studies.

Learning tips and tools to manage: stress, anxiety, anger, depression, as well as teaching parents tools that can help their children be balanced , successful, and happy is vital.

Family counseling and therapy, Parenting tips, combined with child and teen counseling and therapy has shown the best results in research with children and teens with mental health, emotional, and social challenges.. www.lifeworksaz.com has expertise working with children and teens and families for over 15 years inArizona.

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