Tried everything you know to connect with your teen? Worried that he or she won’t be able to build a healthy, happy life? Wondering why parenting strategies that worked great with one child don’t reach another? When your child is struggling, sometimes even the basic things you used to take for granted can seem out of reach. If your relationship with your child has become filled with worry, tension, frustration, disappointment, or anger I’d like to see if I can help.
Family functioning can be thrown off by communication patterns, power dynamics, how intense emotions are handled, or learning and behavior challenges. Sometimes I help families address short-term adjustments like grief, dealing with a divorce, adjusting to a new move or a new school, or creating a plan when family member is ill and each member needs to contribute more. However, the work that usually changes longer term family functioning will include working communication skills, reactions to each other, and developing new ways of handling old problems.
Parents also reach out to me to understand what their child needs when they are dealing with anxiety, depression, perfectionism, or learning differences. Often parents may have obtained a psychological evaluation, but don’t know how to find the right balance between boundaries and expectations. Common questions include:
- If she’s anxious and I push her to do her homework, will it make it worse?
- Is he just playing me, or can he really remember to (call, complete the task, turn in homework, etc.?)
- He says he is too depressed to go to school, and playing video games is the only thing that makes him feel better. Should I let him play so he can get through the depression?
- I’m afraid she’ll hurt herself if I don’t do what she wants. Is she just manipulating me, or do I really need to be careful?
Just like developing the skills to manage attention span, anxiety, depression, or learning differences is challenging for your child, discovering the path to best supporting him or her is challenging for you. I can work with you to develop an accurate understanding of your child, your family dynamics, and support you in working through your own feelings. I also have a strong history of conducting psychological evaluations and can help you understand how to translate the results into meaningful work for you and your child.
Our family life can be the largest contributor to our happiness, and the largest stressor when it’s not going well. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to invest in making it as strong and rewarding as you can.