Healthy Mind Sacramento Child/ Teen Therapy
It’s rough to be a kid or teen right now (understatement of the century?!) We provide your child a safe space to talk in privacy and practical coping tools they can carry with them throughout life. Our Sacramento Child/ Teen therapy practice specializes in:
Kids and teens with these issues often have it pretty hard. They may feel different than their peers. They often have trouble fitting in, and may have difficulty with social interaction, schoolwork, and feelings of overwhelm. Is your child escaping into their room for hours on end of screen time? We want to help your child build self-reliance and resilience.
Neurodiversity Child/ Teen Therapy Specialists
At Healthy Mind Sacramento, we are neurodiversity-affirming and celebrate the uniqueness in all of us. We take a family systems approach to therapy. This means we believe it is important to address how your child or teen is functioning within the entire family system. People do not function in life in isolation, but within the context of their family. We believe is important for parents to take an active role in their child’s treatment. Our therapists typically ask a parent to join for the full session the first session or two. Thereafter, it is helpful for parents to join for part of the session. How much time we spend working with the child alone vs. with the child and parent together depends on the age of the child or teen (teens may participate independently). We often treat LGBTQ+ kids and provide a safe space for nonbinary, gender-fluid, and gender-transitioning children and teens.
What will my child/teen do during therapy sessions?
The focus of sessions can differ depending on why your child is coming in for therapy. Here are some of the techniques and therapeutic approaches we use most often in our Sacramento child/ teen therapy:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: for kids and teens with depression and anxiety, this approach is great. It involves helping them access their thoughts. Oftentimes, patterns of thinking that are not quite based in reality will emerge (e.g. “I can’t read well so everyone thinks I’m dumb and I will never have any friends my whole life”). These thoughts can be pretty catastrophic! We work with your adolescent to replace the thoughts with more realistic and affirmative ones (“yes, I have trouble reading, but I have had a friend before and I will probably have a friend again”).
- Exposure therapy: for kids who have anxiety issues and are fearful or avoidant of certain things, we do graded exposure therapy. This involves creating a “fear ladder” of scary things. First, we learn coping thoughts and breathing exercises to help deal with scary/anxiety-provoking situations. When ready, it is time to try the easiest (bottom rung) situations on the fear ladder. Gradually, together, we work our way to the top of the fear ladder. The child learns that nothing bad really happens when confronting a scary situation.
- Social Interactions: for kids and teens with difficulty interacting with peers or anxiety about talking to others, we work on anxiety reduction and ways to learn how to connect with peers.
- ADHD and executive function coaching: For teens struggling with school performance, we teach strategies for improving organizational skills, staying on task, dealing with procrastination, keeping on top of homework and more! These skills will help your child in college and beyond.
What if my child or teen won’t talk during therapy?!
This happens. Don’t worry, it’s pretty common and natural. If you were a tween or teen and were brought to a total stranger and told you were supposed to talk to them for an hour, would you say, “Sure!” Maybe not. Sometimes the first few sessions the child does not wish to participate or feels uncomfortable. When this happens, we usually try something like taking a walk while we chat or playing a game. Typically, as a child grows more comfortable, they will begin participating.
Feel free to get in touch to schedule an appointment (in-person or via video) for Healthy Mind Sacramento Child/ Teen therapy.