Why Child and Adolescent Therapy?

Like adults, children and adolescents occasionally struggle to effectively regulate their emotions, behaviors, and interactions with others.  As such, the difficulties may become so severe that they negatively impact the child/adolescent's ability to perform optimally within the academic environment, within their home environment, in the community, or in their relationships with others. If left unaddressed, significant challenges in meeting developmental milestones may arise.

When working with children and adolescents, in particular, a therapist must possess a thorough understanding of child and adolescent development as well as their psychological needs.  They must additionally understand and appreciate the influence of the family and other social contexts on child/adolescent social development, emotional adjustment, cognitive development, behavioral adaptation, and overall health. 


How Does Treatment Work with Children & Adolescents?

Dr. Ellis works with children, adolescents, and their parents to understand and resolve conflicts with others, manage their stress and anxiety, regulate their moods, modify behavior, increase self-esteem, and make positive changes in their lives.  Treatment additionally assists children and adolescents in learning to better understand their feelings and difficulties. Dr. Ellis is able to accomplish these goals by providing children and adolescents with a safe and supportive treatment environment.  She additionally seeks to capitalize on the strengths and resources of the child, adolescent, and his/her family to resolve areas of difficulty.  

Because children and adolescents frequently have difficulty reflecting on their thoughts and feelings, Dr. Ellis frequently incorporates skills building exercises, playing, drawing, writing, pretending, and talking to help them comfortably share and resolve difficulties.  Depending on the presenting problem, parents may additionally participate with the child or adolescent in treatment.

Difficulties Addressed Through Treatment

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Anger Management
  • Defiant Behavior
  • Child and Adolescent Sexuality Concerns

    • Recovery from Sexual Abuse or Sexual Assault
    • Questioning (i.e., anxiety or uncertainty about sexual orientation)
    • Gender Identity Issues
    • Sexuality Education
    • Compulsive/Out of Control Sexual Behavior
    • Problems Related to Watching Pornography and/or "Sexting"
    • Establishing and Maintaining Physical and Sexual Boundaries
    • Navigating Romantic or Sexual Feelings
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Stress due to Academic Underachievement
  • Bullying
  • Adjustment to Loss (as a result of a death, divorce, family relocation, etc.)
  • Social Skills Deficits
  • Family Discord