Therapy for Children and Adolescents

Unhappy Child? We Can Help.

Children and teens don’t always know how to ask for help—leaving parents and professionals to advocate for them. Even when kids act resistant at first, most are surprised by the down-to-earth, respectful and fun approach we take to counseling kids. Don’t be surprised if your child or teen asks you how soon they can come back to Cherry Hill! We’re happy to provide support and guidance for yourself and your family no matter what struggle your child or teen is facing.

How Can We Help With:

Acting Out

Children and teens often have trouble understanding and expressing their emotions, which usually leads to acting out. Whether caused by stress, depression, impulsivity, dealing with a family crisis, social problems, a need for attention, or due to a more neurologically-based problem, ‘acting out’ is a typical response that the Cherry Hill counselors are prepared to address. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use at Cherry Hill Counseling to work with acting-out children and teens:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • “No Talk” Therapy
  • Family Systems
  • Strategic Therapies
  • Attachment Theories
  • DIR Floor-Time
  • Art and expressive therapies

Interventions

  • Anger management training
  • Emotional regulation skills
  • Parent management training
  • Sandplay
  • Communication skills
  • Collaboration with teachers
  • Social skills training
  • Behavior plans
  • School behavior report cards

School Refusal

The most common diagnoses associated with school refusal are anxiety disorders— panic attacks, social anxiety, and traumatic experiences to name a few. Defiant behavior, family crises and poor school performance, among other issues, may also contribute to refusing school. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use at Cherry Hill Counseling to address school refusal:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • “No Talk” Therapy
  • Family Systems
  • Strategic Therapies
  • Attachment Theories
  • DIR Floor-Time
  • Art and expressive therapies

Interventions

  • Anger management training
  • Emotional regulation skills
  • Parent management training
  • Sandplay
  • Communication skills
  • Collaboration with teachers
  • Social skills training
  • Behavior plans
  • School behavior report cards

Divorce and Custody Trauma

Often caught in the middle of a family divorce or custody dispute, children and teens may attempt to determine who’s right and who’s wrong, overlook their personal needs to please their parents and, ultimately, end up feeling unsure about who to trust. It’s our commitment, here at Cherry Hill Counseling, to provide your children with a “safe harbor” to freely express themselves without fear of a parent’s disapproval. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address high-conflict divorce and custody disputes:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • “No Talk” Therapy
  • Family Systems
  • Strategic Therapies
  • Attachment Theories
  • DIR Floor-Time
  • Art and expressive therapies

Interventions

  • Anger management training
  • Emotional regulation skills
  • Parent management training
  • Sandplay
  • Communication skills
  • Collaboration with teachers
  • Social skills training
  • Behavior plans
  • School behavior report cards

Self Harm

Many adolescents attempt to soothe their emotional pain through different forms of self-harm. Often introduced by other kids and social media, adolescents may use self-harm to find temporary distraction from their emotional pain only to face larger self-esteem issues along with dangerous and other long-term consequences. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address an adolescent’s self-harm:

Theoretic Approaches

 

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Art and expressive therapies

Interventions

 

  • Self-care skills
  • Social supports
  • Habit replacement
  • Emotional regulation skills
  • Distress tolerance skills
  • Accountability
  • Music, journaling, drawing
  • Social skills training

Experimentation with Drugs or Alcohol

Curiosity and peer pressure are quick catalysts for experimentation with drugs or alcohol in adolescents and teens. While sometimes deemed as a ‘normal’ phase for high-school-aged teens, experimentation with drugs or alcohol often leads to lifelong struggles with addiction. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address an adolescent’s experimentation with drugs or alcohol:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Reality Therapy
  • Strategic Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Art and Expressive Therapies

Interventions

  • Coordination with Support Services
  • (Alcoholic Anonymous sponsors for example)
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment
  • Parenting support
  • Coordination with probation officers if required
  • Home drug testing
  • Values and goals assessment

Extreme Mood Swings

Strong emotions can dramatically impact a child or teen’s attitude and behavior. Disorders such as bipolar disorder, dysthymic disorder, mood swings associated with puberty, and relationship changes contribute greatly to the emotional distress that can be experienced in childhood and adolescence. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address extreme mood swings experienced by children and teens:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Reality Therapy
  • Strategic Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Art and Expressive Therapies

Interventions

  • Coordination with Support Services
  • (Alcoholic Anonymous sponsors for example)
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment
  • Parenting support
  • Coordination with probation officers if required
  • Home drug testing
  • Values and goals assessment

Adoption or Guardianship Changes

Children and teens who have joined their families through adoption or guardianship often present with many difficult behaviors including lying, stealing, aggression, defiance, and lack of eye contact. They are often unable to express empathy for others, resulting in poor relationships with their parents and peers. These children are sometimes labeled with Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and/or Reactive Attachment Disorder. However, their behaviors are likely a result of neglect, trauma, and/or significant breaks in their attachment to caregivers at a young age. At Cherry Hill, we utilize the following theories and interventions to address these attachment-related behaviors:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Attachment Theories
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Interpersonal Psychology
  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

Interventions

  • Emotional Regulation Skills
  • Social Skills Training
  • Parent Education and Support
  • Written Autobiography
  • Family Therapy (using Dyadic Developmental Psychology model)

Trouble Making and Keeping Friends

Stunted social development in children and adolescents can be gauged by his or her trouble making and keeping friends. Whether the adolescent is experiencing social anxiety, low self-esteem, or an unwillingness to attach to others emotionally, addressing his or her trouble making and keeping friends is often a useful lead-in to a deeper issue. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address an adolescents trouble making and keeping friends:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Strategic Therapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy

Interventions

  • Communication skills
  • Social role-playing
  • Social game theory and analysis
  • Understanding body language
  • Social behavior mapping
  • Problem-solving
  • Superflex Social Thinking Curriculum
  • Interpersonal Therapy

Bullying

Most prevalent among middle schoolers and teenagers, bullying can profoundly impact an adolescent’s life. Persistent bullying can lead to increased depression and anxiety, decreased self-esteem, increased exclusion from peer groups, and profound loneliness. Technology and social media have also provided new avenues for bullying. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address a child or teen’s problems with bullying.

Theoretic Approaches

  • Strategic Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Strategic Therapy

Interventions

  • Assertiveness training
  • Emotional regulation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Social role-playing
  • Interpersonal problem solving
  • Understanding body language
  • Social behavior mapping
  • Bullies to Buddies Curriculum
  • Superflex Social Thinking Curriculum

Legal Issues

When faced with legal issues, adolescents often dont know where to turn for help. There are expansive underlying causes that could contribute to an adolescent being forced to face legal issues, and many of them stem from emotional instability or lack of feeling safe. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to help an adolescent face legal issues:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Family systems Therapy
  • Strategic Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy

Interventions

  • Coordination with probation officers if required
  • Coordination with other supportive services
  • Impulse control skills
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessments
  • Parenting Support
  • Anger management training
  • Personal values and goals assessment
  • Educational Behavior Plans
  • Parenting support

Academic Achievement

The pressures of school can sometimes be too much for even the smartest adolescent to bear, leading to profound academic underachievement. When an adolescent isnt able to focus, engage, or enjoy school because of undiagnosed emotional problems, outside stressors, or other students, academic underachievement is often a key to understanding the larger problem. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address academic underachievement in children and adolescents:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Family systems Therapy
  • Strategic Therapy
  • Reality Therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy

Interventions

  • Educational Behavior Plans
  • Parenting support
  • Coordination with teachers and school social workers
  • Coordination with tutors
  • Coordination with educational advocates
  • Study habits and techniques
  • Identifying motivational challenges
  • IEP/504 planning

Suicide Threats

Suicide threats from children or adolescents are no laughing matter. When an adolescent threatens suicide, they could be feeling unsafe, abandoned, unwanted, and insecure, or they may be dealing with an even more serious emotional disorder. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address suicide threats from adolescents:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Safety assessment using both
  • objective and subjective measures
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy
  • Art and Expressive Therapies

Interventions

  • Testing using the ISO-30
  • Structured diagnostic interview
  • Referrals for needed level of care
  • Coordination with psychiatric hospital therapists
  • Follow-up counseling
  • Distress tolerance skills
  • Communication skills

Past or Current Abuse

When a child or adolescent has experienced, or is experiencing, any form of abuse, cries for help are often either muted by behavioral issues or completely non-existent. Feelings of isolation, unwillingness to participate in normal activities, or delusions about the abuser can all be signs of past or current abuse. Here are a number of theories and interventions we commonly use to address past or current abuse of children or adolescents:

Theoretic Approaches

  • Safety Assessment
  • Safety Planning
  • Family systems
  • Play Therapy
  • DIR Floor-Time
  • Art and expressive therapies
  • “No Talk” Therapy
  • Strategic Therapy
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy

Interventions

  • Mandated reporting when necessary
  • A “duty to warn” if someone is in danger
  • Communication skills
  • Sculpting and art therapies
  • Assertiveness training
  • Role-play
  • Sand play
  • Behavior plans
  • Parent support and training
  • Children’s books and storytelling
  • Understanding feelings
  • Doll play

What You Can Expect In Your Session

  1. A “safe harbor” for your kids to speak freely and express themselves
  2. A comfortable environment including play, music and activities
  3. Skills training for specific needs such as: social skills, emotional regulation, coping skills, and conflict management
  4. Training for parents on how to be “therapeutic” parents, when the usual parenting is not enough
  5. A counselor’s support to help your child or teen bring up family problems to parents

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