Does your child have difficulty managing their emotions?
Are you looking for parenting support?
Has corona virus impacted their emotions, behaviors, or social skills?
Is your child experiencing bullying?
Are you finding it difficult to communicate with your child?
– Excessive arguing with family members
– Depression, low self esteem, isolation
– Anxiety, fears, repetitive behaviors
– Negative self-talk or low self-esteem
– Separation anxiety, clinginess, excessive crying
– Verbal or physical aggression
– Extreme emotional responses
– Nightmares or night terrors
– Tantrums and head banging
– Changes in family structure
– Illness, separation or death of a loved one
– Social isolation
– Increased parental stress or anxiety
– Changes in school routine or parents work schedule
Parents possess tremendous power to influence the well-being and emotional health of their children. Sometimes parents struggle with how to help their children with emotional and behavioral concerns that arise.
One of the most challenging stages of a person’s developmental life is childhood. During this time, children undergo tremendous physical, emotional, and cognitive changes. At Ally Psychological Services, we understand the bumps and hurdles children face as they grow and mature. We also understand that parenting is not easy. Each child is different and unique. Some children are more resilient and take changes in stride. Others require more support to adjust.
You are an invaluable part of your child’s world. We believe parents need to be involved throughout the process in order to help their child continue the progress made in sessions.
Sometimes you will be asked to sit in for part or all of a therapy session, other times it may be necessary to work privately with your child for a number of reasons. We will always keep you informed and involved in any steps that need to be taken to assist in helping your child find the success and happiness you want for your child.
Because parents are an important part of the therapeutic process, you will learn valuable skills, tips, and tricks that will help you feel calmer, more in control, and more connected when navigating your child’s challenges.
There are many ways to help children cope, heal, and overcome challenges. Our team has years of experience and education in effective modern methods used to create positive, lasting changes in kids and to help their parents too.
At Ally Psychological Services, children are given the opportunity to explore a wide range of developmental issues. Our clients learn to develop coping skills which will aid in addressing the unique hurdles they will face throughout their lifetime.
Typically, the youngest children we treat are 3 years old. If you have questions about treatment options for a specific issue or age range, let’s talk about it on a free consultation call.
No. We are therapists, not psychiatrists. We help your child learn how to understand and cope with issues internally without resorting to medication whenever possible. If the therapist feels that medication is clinically appropriate to achieve treatment goals we will work collaboratively with your child’s medical provider or refer you to a medical provider to help support treatment goals. If your child is currently prescribed medication, we work closely with providers to ensure therapy and medication management is in alignment.
Prior to the first intake appointment, parents/caregivers are asked to complete a thorough history of the child to gather important information about the child’s current and previous struggles, including medical and educational history. During the first session a thorough intake will be completed with the parent/caregiver without the child present if the child is under the age of 14.
The evidence-based therapy interventions we commonly use are play therapy, Cognitive-Behavior therapy, social skills instruction, and Mindfulness training as a means of helping your child work through troubling emotions or behaviors. The goal is to help children learn new strategies to manage emotions, thoughts, and relationships in a more effective way. Parents who take an active role in therapy learn how to help support their child in practicing these new, more effective ways of managing their emotions and communicating with others.
It may be helpful to say something like, “We are going to visit a friend that is a helper for children who may have lots of different feelings about lots of different things. The counselor may ask you questions, but most of the time, you will play together. If you don’t feel like talking, that’s okay.” It is important to be honest with your child about why they are seeing a therapist and when the appointment will take place.
Oftentimes children are not able to verbally communicate their thoughts or feelings. Play therapy is an effective treatment intervention that helps children express their emotions, improve their communication, and solve problems. Play therapy capitalizes on children’s natural ability to express their feelings and resolve conflicts through play. At Ally Psychological therapists use various modalities, including storytelling, puppet play, drama, painting and drawing, and board games.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a therapy which uses research-based techniques to educate the child about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and practice interventions to change negative emotions, thought processes, and reactions. Another way of stating it is “learn, practice, do”. This technique can be used to address a variety of problems such as angry outbursts, reducing stress and anxiety, understanding others perspectives, reducing compulsive behaviors, reducing aggression, increasing prosocial behaviors.
Mindfulness is an approach that helps increase our awareness of ourselves. It assists with quieting the mind, reducing stress, addressing impulsivity, alleviating anxiety and pain management. Mindfulness helps one connect their body and their mind in order to experience life more fully.
Therapy for your child is worth every session.
It’s never too soon to have your child talk to a therapist if you’re noticing your child is struggling with emotions and behaviors. A child can never have enough positive support in their life to help them overcome life’s challenges. If these issues are left unattended they can take hold and become more ingrained, developing into larger issues later in life.
Oftentimes your child does not know how to ask for help.
Dr. Jennifer McLaren (Dr. Jen) strives to provide a safe, non judgmental space where children and parents can feel open to talk about difficult things that are happening with their family or in their home environment. It is important to feel comfortable with your therapist and from the first initial phone consultation with Dr. Jen you will feel assured that she has the knowledge and experience to help your child.
With over a decade of experience in the field of counseling Dr. Jen has helped numerous families overcome severe emotional and behavioral concerns and learn how to thrive.