We want parents to feel trust and security that their child is receiving care that is appropriate, based on best clinical practices, and honors their family’s values. Choosing a therapist for your child and family involves several factors.
Child and adolescent therapists have specific training and interest in treating children and teens. It is important for a clinician to understand what behaviors and emotions are developmentally typical, and what are outside the norm in order to accurately diagnose, and formulate the most appropriate intervention.
Children and teens come as part of a family. Family issues may be a contributor to the child or teen’s emotional status, and so it may be important for the family to change in addition to attempting to change only the child. You may be asked to attend sessions for your child or teen. You may be offered suggestions to create changes in your parenting approaches.
Children and teens also come as part of a larger system, involving their peers, school environment, extended social relationships, media and culture. Addressing their issues involves understanding the complexities of individual, family and outside influences, and helping the young person via a variety of interventions.
Common issues we see in children and teens include anxiety, stress, depression, self-harming behaviors, eating and feeding problems, neuro-developmental issues such as Autism and developmental delays, encopresis and enuresis, poor self-esteem, academic struggles and learning disorders, executive function and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, bipolar disorder, grief, tantrums and anger management problems, difficulty making and keeping friendships, oppositional behaviors, and reactions to major life changes.
Typical treatment approaches may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.
Adults often come into therapy with specific concerns such as anxiety or depression, related to life events such as divorce, job loss, or chronic stressors, which interfere with their everyday life and happiness. We also commonly see adults with significant issues such as Bipolar Affective Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, coping with chronic illness and pain, and grief and loss.
In addition to individual therapy for adults, EPA clinicians work with couples who want to enhance healthy relationships, or to repair relationships in danger of dissolving.
Common approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Emotion Focused Therapy, among others.
A range of assessment services, including complex neuropsychological evaluations, are offered to children, teens and adults. Issues typically evaluated are Developmental Delay, Autism, Specific Learning Disorders, testing for academic placement, testing for highly capable children, evaluations for complex cognitive and learning issues (post-stroke, head injury, or brain tumor), and memory impairments.
In addition to working with life problems, EPA clinicians also focus on life and health enhancement. Sessions may involve stress management techniques, mindfulness, evaluation of life and work goals, and managing and thriving in the face of health and life changes. Coaching, which may include phone and email contact, is also available.
Some EPA clinicians also have specialized training in evaluation and management of adolescent and adult substance abuse issues. They focus on appropriate treatment for the affected individual, and support and education for family members who are also impacted by substance abuse.