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Children Counseling in Scottsdale, AZ

Parenting is hard, and sometimes we need help

Our staff of expert clinicians and mental health experts have what it takes to help children and their families work through countless issues. You are not alone, we have the experience to help with many behaviors surrounding:

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If you have ever asked yourself the following questions, we can help:

You and Your Children Don’t Have to Suffer in Silence

First and foremost, we want you to know you are not alone.

Raising children is challenging sometimes downright difficult, and often relatively thankless.

Yet, just about any parent that you ask will tell you that it’s a small price to pay.

The love and joy that comes along with children are beyond compare to, well, anything.

Part of raising children is ensuring that appropriate attention is paid to maintaining both their physical and mental wellbeing.

The mental health and development of children can be incredibly complex, and those small bodies can often have unfathomably big feelings inside.

As adults, we tend to forget that children are still learning how emotions and feelings work in relation to the world around them.

When we remember that though, we are able to put ourselves in our children’s place more easily

Does My Child Need Therapy?

This can be a difficult question to answer.

The emotions we feel as parents just considering this question can often leave us wondering where we went wrong.

There’s something important you need to know though. This may have nothing to do with you.

What are children experience in their daily lives, at school, at church, and on the playground – we don’t always see or hear about it.

When we make an effort to remember that the issues that children face are more real than we often give credence, we validate their feelings.

We also help to promote a more open emotional state where those feelings can be truly felt and experienced.

The feelings your child experiences may feel foreign to them, or they may not even know how to explain what they’re feeling.

This is normal, and it’s the primary reason that getting professional help is one of the most effective ways to help ensure children are on the proper developmental path.

It’s nearly impossible to learn to cope with a trigger if you don’t know what the trigger is, or which coping mechanism is a healthy way to deal with it.

Using one or more of a variety of different therapy options, including art therapy and play therapy, to find out the root cause of the issues and work through them going forward.

The Tiniest of Pebbles Can Cause an Enormous Ripple Effect

All of the issues we mentioned above can have a potentially lasting effect on your child’s development.

Even when perceived to be minor, they can persist and create challenges well into their adult lives.

In many cases, children can develop anxiety over seemingly simple things, and they often don’t have the capacity to articulate their feelings to you.

Working with a professional now can help prevent much more lengthy and intense recovery efforts later in life.

As a parent, you. can tell when something just isn’t right with your child, even if you can’t put a finger on it.

This can be concerning, frustrating, and even frightening, because there’s little more terrifying in this world than not being able to help your child when you feel they may need it.

Pathways Counseling Services is here for you, to make sure that you and your child can get the help you need to grow in a constructive, positive direction.

Below we’ll explore each of the issues we mentioned a little deeper. If any of them resonate with you, we invite you to contact us for an appointment.

What Does Anger Look Like in Children?

Most children will go through phases where they are stressed out or dealing with new levels or forms of emotions. 

These stages are what many people call the “terrible twos” or “dealing with a threenager.”

These are natural stages of development where children tend to test boundaries and grow their independence considerably. 

There are situations, however, where the anger may not simply be a phase.

Some of the signs that your child may have unaddressed anger issues include:

  • Experiencing “tantrums” beyond age six
  • High levels of frustration when the child doesn’t win or cannot solve a problem
  • Being advised by a teacher that the child has emotional challenges outside the norm
  • Their friends don’t want to play with them
  • They lay blame on others for their mistakes
  • Using hurtful verbiage when upset
  • Only responding to discipline
  • Expressing regret about their actions and a desire to want to do better

Signs of Anxiety in Children

The reality is just about everyone feels anxious, worried, or even panicked about something now and then. This is incredibly common during periods of significant life changes or stressful events, like starting school, moving, and more. 

In children, however, anxiety can have significant effects on their lives, from school to sleep and everything in between. Caring for anxiety in children is important for their sense of security.

Common signs that your child may be living with anxiety include:

  • Sleep disruption
  • Nightmares
  • Challenges concentrating
  • Not eating properly
  • Easily irritable or angered
    • Fidgety
    • Frequent toilet use
    • Overly-clingy
    • Frequent crying
    • Frequent stomach aches

    Caring For Anxiety

    While anyone with a child knows that they can get sad over incredibly random or seemingly minor aspects of life, depression in a child will be more significant than that.

    Once you know the signs of a child who might be depressed, it can make recognizing it much easier. 

    If your child has been showing one or more signs that they may be experiencing anxiety – once you’ve eliminated any potential physical causes – seeking professional counseling should be your very next step. 

    There are various treatments that may be used individually or in combination when caring for anxiety.

    Counseling is a common way of caring for anxiety in many cases.

    Some forms of art therapy, music therapy, and play therapy can also contribute to substantial improvement in symptoms of anxiety. In some situations, the root cause of the anxiety may be determined, which can lead to it being addressed.

    Click here to learn more about anxiety counseling for children in Scottsdale, AZ.

    Signs Of Low Self-Esteem In Children

    There are many signs that a child may be struggling with low self-esteem. These include, but aren’t limited to:

    • Starting to show faltering academic performance or delayed academic development
    • Paying more attention to the negative feedback they get from teachers or classmates, instead of the positive
    • Frequently feeling anxious, sad, or become apathetic about learning activities

    Low self-esteem in children may also open them up to being bullied by others.

    Ways To Help Children Grow Their Self-Esteem

    To help your child grow their self-esteem naturally and honestly, start by praising them in ways that help them to be proud of themselves.

    Being proud of oneself is much more critical for building self-worth than simply relying on approval from others. 

    Friendship is another major component of having healthy self-esteem, but massive friend groups aren’t the goal. Most children just need one or two close friends that accept them for who they are.

    Is My Child Depressed? Child Depression Signs

    While anyone with a child knows that they can get sad over incredibly random or seemingly minor aspects of life, depression in a child will be more significant than that.

    Once you know the signs of a child who might be depressed it can make recognizing it much easier.

    Child depression signs include:

    Common treatments for child depression include using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in conjunction with playtime, stories, and even workbooks, or formal lessons.

    The goal is to help the child feel at ease, so they can benefit from the therapy.

    Common Issues Children Deal With In School

    Children are forced to process a lot of stimuli, and school is a major source.

    School is also a major source of developing stress and anxiety for many children, due to the countless issues they need to deal with daily. 

    Children, parents and teachers have had to make quick adjustments to how the teaching process functions. The way everyone used to interact has dramatically changed in the last few years. Things had to change, literally overnight and nothing was there to guide everyone.

    Children are frequently concerned now with things like:

    • Feeling safe
    • Bullies
    • Fitting in
    • Expressing themselves
    • Finding their place as individuals
    • Learning how to learn
    • Connecting with peers and more.
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    These elements are only exacerbated by issues such as learning, anxiety, and behavior disorders. That’s precisely why our counselors are trained in school guidance counseling.

    Helping Your Child Cope With Divorce

    Divorce is one of the most stressful life events for adults, and ranks near things like job loss and the death of a loved one. 

    With intense effects like that on fully-grown adults, you can imagine how deeply traumatic divorce can be for any children that are involved. 

    Here are some ways of helping your child cope with divorce:

    • Stay involved in their life
    • Put serious effort into co-parenting
    • Support your child in spending time with the other parent
    • Don’t talk negatively about the other parent in front of the child
    • Maintain open and honest communication with the child
    • Work with the child to express feelings in healthy and productive ways
    • Try to stick to routines
    • Reinforce that everything is going to be alright, even though things are changing
    • Maintain self-care

    Grief In Children

    Grief is complex, and for children to work through it can require the assistance of professionals as well as one or more forms of therapy.

    Grief in Children vs. Grief in Adults

    Grief is experienced very differently by children than adults.

    Young children often can’t comprehend the permanence of it, and it can take until the age of five to nine that they begin understand death with more finality.

    While adults may feel a sense of obligation to attend a wake, funeral, or other memorial services, a child might be frightened by the event or even the concept of the event, and should not be forced to attend.

    Grief Can Be Confusing

    In addition to the shock of losing a loved one, there are also often other emotions that the child either cannot recognize or cannot process.

    During this time, they can also feel like many of the other family members have suddenly changed as well since they are all grieving and are interacting with the child in a drastically different emotional state.

    Signs Of Grief In Children

    Common signs of grief in children include:

    • Depression
    • Disruption of sleep patterns
    • Sudden fear of being alone
    • Regression
    • Excessive imitation of the deceased
    • Claiming to see or talk to the deceased for extended periods
    • Isolating from friends and family
    • A sudden drop in school performance or attendance

    If your child is experiencing any of these signs, please know there is help available.

    Experiencing Trauma

    Stressful events or life changes can create trauma. 

    While many types of trauma result from being involved directly in a traumatic event, this isn’t always the case. 

    Particularly with children, simply witnessing a traumatic event or hearing about it on television can be enough to leave lasting effects on their development.

    Your child may have heard and wondered why they were not in class for awhile and didn’t understand if it was going to be dangerous to go back to school again.

    For example, with as many school shootings that are being reported on in the news, more children than ever before are experiencing signs of trauma. Even when they haven’t dealt with them first-hand, the trauma response can be intense and hard to deal with.

    What should you look for, as a parent, to know if there is some significant trauma going on in your child’s life?

    Signs of Trauma

    Trauma can result in a massive range of signs and symptoms, so even if your child doesn’t display common signs like these but you believe they have trauma, the best thing to do is speak with a professional. 

    That said, common signs of trauma include:

    • Denial, disbelief
    • Challenges concentrating
    • Fatigue
    • Irritability, emotional instability
    • Elevated heart rate
    • Feelings of anxiety, panic, or fear
    • Muscle tension and pain
    • Guilt, shame, and blaming themselves for what happened
    • Isolating from others
    • Insomnia
    • Feeling sad, hopeless, or even numb

    Healing Past Trauma

    Symptoms from trauma can last days, weeks, months, even years depending on the severity and the type of trauma.

    In many cases, even after a considerable amount of time without symptoms, they can return for a period.

    Failing to cope with trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can make the symptoms more persistent and intense.

    The most successful trauma healing happens when therapy is combined with aspects of mindfulness and self-care.

    Has My Child Been Abused?

    Countless children are abused every day by those who are entrusted with their care. No matter the type of abuse, child abuse frequently results in the child feeling guilty, confused, and likely ashamed.

    Unfortunately, most children will generally be hesitant or even afraid to disclose the abuse to anyone, even close friends, particularly if the abuser is someone close to them. 

    Each specific type of child abuse carries unique symptoms, but some general red flags indicating abuse include:

    If you or someone you love is talking about suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. Call 988 – Suicide and Crisis LIfeline.

    Bottom Line – Expert Help Can Change Your Child’s Life

    No matter how unique or challenging you think your situation may be, there is no reason that you need to go through it alone.

    Daily life doesn’t have to be as difficult as unresolved trauma or other mental illness can make it.

    Don’t be afraid to seek the support and help you and your child need.

    Your child, your family, you all deserve to have the life you strive for together. Finding the right resources does not have to be a difficult and scary process.

    Schedule online. It's easy, fast and secure.

    By working with an expert local counselor, you can help your children to learn healthier ways to handle emotions and healthier ways to communicate with your children about those emotions.

    Contact us today to see how we can help you

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