AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Depression 

Childhood and Adulthood

Childhood Depression:

Depression in children may vary and is often undiagnosed and untreated because symptoms may be passed off as normal emotional and psychological changes. Learn the signs and symptoms of depression, how it may be affecting your child, and how you can help. 

Symptoms may include:

  • Irritability or anger
  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feeling rejected or "not fitting in"
  • Changes in appetite -- either increased or decreased
  • Changes in sleep -- sleeplessness or excessive sleep
  • Vocal outbursts or crying
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Physical complaints (stomachaches, headaches) that don't respond to treatment
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Impaired thinking or concentration
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

"It is easier to build up a child, than fix an adult" -Fredrick Douglas

Adulthood Depression: 

For adults, it is normal to feel down and stressed at some point in your life. If the feeling of sadness begins to impair your daily living, relationships, work/school performance, you may be suffering from clinical depression. There are different Types of Depression . It is important to have a full assessment by a professional to determine if you may be suffering from one of the following types of depression. 

1) Major depressive Disorder

2) Persistent Depressive Disorder

3) Bipolar Disorder

4) Seasonal Affective Disorder 

5) Psychotic Depression

6) Peripartum (postpartum) Depression

7) Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

8) 'Situational' Depression

"Although the world is full of SUFFERING, it is also full of OVERCOMING of it"- Helen Keller

 

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Anxiety Disorders:

Social anxiety, Panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone may experience at some point in their life. But children who suffer from an anxiety disorder experience fear, nervousness, excessive shyness, and start to avoid places and activities. 

Symptoms of anxiety disorders:

  1. Being easily fatigued
  2. Difficulty concentrating
  3. Irritability
  4. Muscle tension
  5. Sleep disturbance
  6. Restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders Include:

1. Social Anxiety

2. Panic Disorder

3. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

5. Specific Phobias

Anxiety Disorders are treatable with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, relaxation therapy, and Mindfulness training. Therapy will provide your child with coping strategies that will help them for the rest of their lives. If children learn to think positively at a young age, it will improve their functioning as adults.

Anxiety disorders also often co-occur with depression as well as eating disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and others. To learn more, Please don't hesitate to contact me

"Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than Action."- Walter Anderson

Is Your Child Defiant or Unruly?

Is your child's bad behaviors escalating at home or school? If your child’s behavior continues to escalate despite all your best efforts, you may want to see a professional to rule out other factors. Some children who are chronically defiant, constantly breaking rules, or having trouble handling frustration may be experiencing ADHD, Asperger’s Disorder, anxiety or depression....  

Behavioral therapy will set up conditions wherein children can "unlearn" inappropriate behaviors and learn new, more appropriate behaviors. 

"Just because your pain is UNDERSTANDABLE, doesn't mean your behavior is ACCEPTABLE".-Dr. Steve Maraboli

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects about 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why.

Kids with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what's expected of them but have trouble following through because they can't sit still, pay attention, or focus on details.

The good news is that with proper treatment, kids with ADHD can learn to successfully live with and manage their symptoms.

Different Types of ADHD: 

1. Inattentive Type

2. Hyperactive-impulsive Type

3. Combined Type

"I'm sorry I wasn't Paying attention to what I was thinking"- Shelley Curtis

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Grieving Children

Children experience many emotions when they are grieving the death of someone close to them or trying to come to terms with the serious illness of a family member. Depending on the child's age, they may show sadness only sometimes and for shorter periods. Children may also complain of physical discomfort, such as stomachaches or headaches or they may express anxiety or distress about other challenges, such as school or sports. A child’s grief may seem to come and go. They may also not want to express their emotions to the people close to them, who are also experiencing the grief. It may be beneficial for the grieving child/teen to start therapy to move beyond their grief and find effective ways to cope with painful changes.

In treatment, clients will learn about the stages of grief and learn coping mechanisms that reduce feelings of blame and grief. Therapist may also describe normal grieving and the differences in grieving among individuals.

Here are the stages of grief:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

"Grief is NOT a disorder, a disease, or sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical, and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for LOVE. The one cure for grief is to GRIEVE". -Earl Grollman  

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Divorce, Custody, Family Changes

Co-parenting, separation, Domestic violence, DCF involvement  

The psychological effects of divorce on children are more extreme when they’re forced to endure a long, drawn-out custody battle. These children suffer from a variety of psychological problems like denial, guilt, low self-esteem, physical problems, depression, anger, panic, destructive or even criminal behavior.

Because parents are often consumed with their own feelings during a divorce, they might overlook the emotional state of their children. Children may not be sure which parent they should "choose," and they might also worry that they are the cause of the divorce. Therapy can be important for children who are experiencing such enormous changes in their families. 

"Sometimes when things are falling apart, they might actually be falling into place"