Child Or Adolescent Issues Category

Art therapy with Autistic kids

Recent studies on children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have revealed that seventy percent of children with ASD between the ages of 10 and 14 have also been diagnosed with another disorder, anxiety related disorders are named as the most common one!

Behavioral therapists working with kids with ASD admit that anxiety is an inevitable factor of lives of kids and teenagers with ASD. However, studies have shown that combining behavioral and art therapy techniques with kids with developmental disabilities and autistic traits, will improve communication skills and will increase interpersonal interaction in them; which results in reducing social anxiety.Therapy serves as an outlet to express emotions and thoughts, and also helps kids with ASD to make sense out of daily events...

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Mindfulness for Kids

Mindfulness is usually reserved for adults, but it does not have to be. Children of all ages experience stress and tension physically, the inability to focus or concentrate, as well as distressing emotions (i.e anxiety, anger, sadness). The great thing about children is that they can adapt easily to mindfulness as well.

You may be asking, what is mindfulness? How can I get my child to sit still long enough to practice? The best way to conceptualize mindfulness is the ability to be present and to be in the here and the now. It is a way of observing, describing, and fully engaging in the moment. Now, how can we get our children to fully engage in the moment? Here are some techniques:

1. Be mindful of the breath: Observing the breath is the simplest way to start mindfulness. For example, if I tell you to not think of the color red, you are definitely going to think of the color red. So if you help the child think about breathing, it will be easier for them to focus on their breath. If y...

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7 Ways To Teach Your Child Meditation

Meditation is, in fact, a handy tool that is worth knowing how to do. In this fast paced, high-tech culture, it is easy to keep going, missing the finer details of life only to gain the bigger reward. As adults, we know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the discipline required to meditate! Meditation is the slowing down of things; the clearing of the mind; paying attention to details; observing life and self; being grounded and present in the moment; being aware of the thread that makes the fabric. Meditation is awareness. In order to teach awareness, you must first become aware for yourself. Children are naturally more aware than adults so it may be easy for them to ease into the practice.

Here are some ways to teach your child to meditate. Because children naturally have a short attention span, give them activities that are fun for them to do, as well as quick, and simple.

1. Lead by example: Develop your own meditation practice. Children learn instantly if they...

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Children in care: 5 ways psychologists and therapists can help them achieve their potential

Written by Dr Dorothy Ojarikri, Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Director of UK Private Psychology.

The number of children ‘looked after’ by the state in foster, residential parental or kinship care rose to over 91,000 across the United Kingdom (UK) partly due to public concern about recent child deaths and serious child maltreatment. It is ironic that UK children in care are described as ‘looked after’ as for decades they have been identified as experiencing higher rates of education, mental health, offending and other problems than other young people. As psychologists and therapists working in clinical practice it is tempting to believe we can resolve these problems with therapy. But psychologists and other therapists do have a vital role to play in supporting young people in care to build psychological resilience and reach their potential by working with children in care more broadly and systemically and I make the following recommendations:

1. Provide r...

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Help children process the news of a divorce! Part #2

Adolescents’ reaction to the news of divorce could be anywhere within the spectrum of intense anger, sadness, and depression to no reaction at all. Adolescents who express their feelings accuse their parents of “ruining their life”, “ being selfish” and “ inconsiderate”. They may also act up as being the “victims of their parents’ decision”. As a result, their grades at school may drop, they may start missing classes, refuse to go to school, and hang out with the troublesome kids at school and justify their behavior as the consequence of the parents’ separation.

On the other end, adolescents who do not show any feelings may seem to be taking the news of the divorce very well; nothing changes in their behavior or school grades and they continue to be the same. However, every teen will react to the separation in some explicit way; although it may take them days or even months. Parents need to be prepared for a backlash an...

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Help children process the news of a divorce! Part #I

Children have different reactions to their parents’ separation, which is in accordance with their developmental stage.

Pre-schoolers may cry, ignore the news, pretend they haven’t heard anything and ask for permission to go play, or show no emotion at all. But, no matter what their initial reaction to the big new is, it does not mean that they are fine with it. Most of the time, their emotional and/or behavioral reaction to divorce unfolds within time.

“Play” has a critical role in processing difficult information for kids. Pre-schoolers’ play may demonstrate families (of animals, dolls, cars, etc) with themes of going on trips, fights, yelling at, leaving, loneliness, and empty houses, which allows kids to practice control over their feelings regarding divorce and separation, i.e. they control who leaves, when they leave, etc. Adults process the same difficult information through talking to friends, family, and therapists and through critical thinki...

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Dating Tips For Single Parents

For many single parents, casual dating can be frustrating and annoying. Looking for a new partner, however, can be downright frightening. In fact many single parents who are gun shy after divorce go in one of two directions. They either convince themselves they are better off not going beyond getting their feet wet (at best) or they deny and minimize their fears, which can lead to making reckless plunges.

Why? Well, the chronically painful realities of divorce that involve children may be likened to having a chronic and debilitating illness like arthritis. Instead of periodic flare ups of painful inflammation of muscles and joints we are left dealing with periodic flare ups of our children’s painful struggles to come to terms with our divorces, flare ups of our own painful struggles to come to terms with divorce and episodic painful dealings with our divorced spouses. The evolution and stabilization of split off family units do not come about without mourning obsolete family uni...

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Parental Authority And The Criminal Justice System

For six years I assessed the mental health treatment needs of adults who were caught in the revolving door of a state criminal justice system in New England. To piece together the histories of these clients, I spoke with inmates' parents whenever possible. These interviews showed me how parents had lost control of their children: victims of parental indifference and abuse were primed to demand reparations from a community that was about to pay dearly for what these children felt robbed of growing up. One doesn’t behave in respectful ways as an adult when fed a steady diet of disrespect as a child.

The abdication and/or abuse of parental authority incubates the development of antisocial traits. The antidote to the behavioral viruses these traits spawn is a parenting philosophy built on a bedrock of benevolent authority. Benevolent authority is put into action as consistent and continuous dialogues with our children where we actively listen to and clarify what we hear, reflect back...

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Sand Tray Therapy in Orlando at Groundwork Counseling - Therapy for Children

Sand tray therapy is a safe and non-threatening way to build self esteem, manage feelings, and improve communication for children, teens and adults. Since it is fun and playful, participants learn and internalize coping strategies while they play.

At GroundWork Counseling, sand tray therapy provides a method of communication and discovery that is beneficial to those children that do not respond to more traditional forms of therapy, or for young children who process best by play-based approaches. By creating a story in the sand, the child is able to release emotions, feelings, and conflicts that are affecting them without having to verbalize. The sand tray provides a safe and fun environment to bring about self-awareness.

During sand tray therapy, the therapist becomes a silent observer watching the creation and listening to the creator’s story and acts as a facilitator to guide the process. Most people, especially children, enjoy sand play, as they can create and tell their own...

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Play Therapy at Groundwork - Orlando Counseling for Children

Play therapy is a process that allows a child to use play to work through thoughts and feelings and learn to cope with them without having to verbalize. Children often lack the ability to formulate words for their thoughts and feelings.

Therapeutic play provides developmentally appropriate means of expression and communication for children and offers the opportunity to express themselves at their own pace with the assurance that they will be understood and accepted.

Children are referred to therapists for play therapy to resolve problems, or because they misbehave, or act out at home and school. Play therapy allows trained mental health practitioners who specialize in play therapy, to assess and understand children’s play and to help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems. Play therapy allows children to change the way they feel about problems and resolve their concerns.

The field of play therapy is growing and is represented by the Association fo...

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