Examples of behavioral concerns in children and adolescents include:
- Crying easily, being irritable, or struggling to self-soothe.
- Having difficulty managing daily age-appropriate tasks (e.g., brushing teeth; taking baths; organizing oneself).
- Having potty training, sleeping, and/or eating issues.
- Being oppositional towards peers and adults.
- Having problems relating to peers.
- Having trouble separating from his/her parents.
- Being easily distractible and hyperactive.
- Having low self-esteem
- Restricting food intake, binging, and/or purging behaviors.
- Lacking the motivation to complete school work, engage in extra-curricular activities, or family events.
Children that present with any of these social, emotional, or behavioral concerns often begin to have problems at home, school, and/or in the community and can be challenging for parents and/or teachers.
Diagnosing Behavioral Problems
At Gwynedd Psychological Services, we administer a comprehensive clinical interview with the child, parents, and collaborate with other supportive adults such as teachers, primary care physicians, or psychiatrists in order to accurately assess the child’s or adolescent’s specific social, emotional, and/or behavioral concerns. We take an integrative approach to providing therapy for children and adolescents. Specifically, we pinpoint areas in the child/ adolescent’s life that have become particularly problematic and use active, collaborative problem-solving to find solutions to a myriad of concerns, such as homework non-compliance, separation anxiety, meltdowns, and sleep difficulties.
Management & Treatment of Behavioral Issues
We also incorporate cognitive-behavioral techniques, play/art therapy, behavioral management strategies, and family systems treatment modalities to promote change. We encourage growth by understanding the child’s unique needs with “empathy beyond expectation.” In other words, we strive to help children and their families feel completely understood and non-judgmentally accepted, regardless of their concerns.
Additionally, we support children’s abilities to step out of their comfort zones and try uncomfortable, new things at their own pace. We empower and teach parents calm, firm disciplining techniques which stop power struggles, reduce meltdowns, and improve parent-child relationships.