Children and Adolescents | Apex Counseling

Children and Adolescents

ADD / ADHD

ADD / ADHD

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ADHD-like symptoms can range from mild to overwhelming and can differ from person to person. ADHD is typically considered a diagnosis given to children but can it can evolve throughout one’s life without treatment. Without treatment, symptoms may evolve into different issues negatively impacting an individual’s personal and professional life such as setting goals, managing time, being organized and maintaining a job.

 

Symptoms of ADHD can include:

• Forgetfulness

• Challenges with listening and retaining information

• Struggles with homework or listening in class

• Struggles with sitting still for periods of time

• Decreased ability to finish tasks

 

Children with ADHD may struggle troubled relationships, low self-esteem and poor school performance but should not be classified as having ADHD just because they’re different from their siblings or friends. Children who are experiencing problems at school but get along well at home or with their friends may be struggling with something other than ADHD. The same is true for those who may be struggling at home while their schoolwork and friendships remain unaffected.

 

At Apex Counseling Services, we have professional counselors and therapists who are eager to help those suffering with ADHD-like symptoms. We believe individuals with ADHD can function at high levels and experience great success in their work and relationships. Call us today at (614) 751-1090 or visit the links below to learn more.

Anger Management

Anger Management

Nobody likes to feel angry, but we all experience the emotion from time to time. Given that many adults find it hard to express anger in ways that are healthy and productive, it is unsurprising that angry feelings often bubble into outbursts for children. Feeling anger is a normal, healthy emotion when one knows how to express it appropriately. For some children, they struggle with their emotions and may display extreme anger in place of fear, loneliness, sadness or jealousy. Counseling can help children develop awareness of the root causes of their anger while learning ways to effectively discuss what they are feeling.

 

Over time, they will be able to challenge their own thinking and develop a sense of patience and self-control. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to role model the behaviors they wish the children to illustrate.

 

Contact us today if you believe your child is struggling with anger issues. We can help.

Anxiety

Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mood disorders among children and adolescents in the United States, affecting approximately one out of four children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in the right amounts.

 

For many children, however, excessive amounts of anxiety can present itself in a variety of forms, including:

• Social Anxiety

• Separation Anxiety

• Panic Disorder

• Food Allergies

• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Although the forms of anxiety are similar to those of adults, children exhibit their symptoms differently than adults. Some symptoms of anxiety in children might include:

• Difficulty in friendships

• A drop in grades or effort with schoolwork

• Refusing to go to school

• Being overly self-critical

• Somatic symptoms like headaches or stomachaches

• Agitation

• Avoidance of certain people or places

 

We offer different approaches to treat children with anxiety effectively. These approaches will vary based on the child’s needs and can include play therapy, family therapy, parental education and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Autism

Autism

A child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have trouble understanding the world around them as there is a difference in the way their brain develops. Because ASD is a spectrum disorder, it can range from mild to severe. Although there is no cure for autism, early recognition and treatment can make a difference.

 

Signs of ASD include:

• Tantrums

• Poor social skills or play skills

• Have no speech or delayed speech

• Desire to be alone

• Avoid cuddling

 

There are a variety of treatment for ASD. Treatment options include:

• Occupational Therapy

• Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

• Floortime

• Verbal Behavior

• Speech Therapy

 

If you, your child, or someone you know has ASD, it is important to be patient and kind. Remember how hard it might be for the person with ASD to understand how to be a friend.

Autism Spectrum Disorders affect the entire family, including the siblings and parent of the individual with ASD. Siblings may feel neglected because of the amount of attention their special needs sibling receives. Parents of a child with ASD know their world has changed and often struggle with their child’s diagnosis, the associated behaviors and the intensity of recommended treatments.

 

If you are a parent of a child with ASD looking for support options, please call. We are here to listen and direct with kindness and personal attention through individual and family counseling.

Depression

Depression

Depression in childhood/adolescence can manifest differently than it does in adults and many cases of depression in children go untreated or diagnosed. Depression during these early years can have devastating effects on a child’s behavior, friendships, school performance, and family life. When depressed, children are more likely to have physical or bodily symptoms such as restlessness, aches/pains, anger or irritability as they may not have the expressive abilities and/or emotional attunement to talk about their emotions. Though some symptoms of depression in children and teens can be similar to those of adults, they can also exhibit unique characteristics.

 

Some other signs to look for in your child include:

• Loss of interest in usual fun activities

• Difficulties with concentration

• Sleep increase/decrease

• Withdrawal from social or usual pleasurable activities

• Running away from home or talking about running away from home

• Self-injurious behaviors (such as cutting)

• Increased sensitivity to rejection

• Thoughts of death or suicide

 

If your child is experiencing some of these symptoms, there help is available. Our child and adolescent clinicians are available to work with children and parents at each of our locations. If your child is experiencing any suicidal thoughts or impulses, please go to your nearest hospital emergency room or call Netcare Access at 614-276-2273.

Divorce / Separation

Divorce / Separation

A divorce or separation may be a common experience for today’s couples and families, but that doesn’t make it any less distressing, especially when children are involved. Children of all ages often have on-going questions, confusion, conflicting feelings, and even the most compassionate and attentive parents may struggle to meet all of their child(ren)’s needs. In addition, children may be afraid to ask or discuss these thoughts and feeling with their parents. How a child understands and processes things, particularly a complicated issue like divorce, will depend on their social, emotional and cognitive development. We are here to offer age-appropriate professional support for your child to not only thrive, but survive during this difficult transition.

 

Through counseling, we provide a safe place for you and your child(ren) to face difficult subjects including:

• Why is this happening?

• Did I do anything wrong?

• Will they get back together?

• What if I don’t want you to get a divorce?

• What will our family be like now?

 

We utilize a variety of therapy styles that are proven to minimize the long and short-term effects of the divorce on a child. During our time with your child, we may process what it’s like to share anger, grief and loss, manage a new schedule, and create a new concept of family. Changes of any kind are hard. If you are seeking support, call us today. We are here to help.

Grief / Loss

Grief / Loss

Childhood grief is a complex reaction to a real or perceived loss. Grief in children can occur due to:

• Transitions (moving, changing schools)

• Death (of a family member, friend, or pet)

• Prolonged separation from a caregiver (divorce, marital separation, work/school commitments, deployment)

 

Grief typically looks different in children and adolescents than it does in adults because kids mourn more through their behaviors than they do verbally. Some children may exhibit one or more of these signs:

• Inability to sleep, loss of appetite, prolonged fear of being alone

• Withdrawal from friends

• Sharp drop in school performance or refusal to attend school

• An extended period of depression in which the child loses interest in daily activities

 

If your child is struggling after experiencing a loss, you do not have to be alone as the parent or caregiver. Our counselors can assist in identifying and appropriately expressing the complex emotions surrounding loss. We use a combination of techniques, including play therapy, to help children process and manage their symptoms of grief. Call today at (614) 751-1090 to learn more.

Play Therapy

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a type of counseling that utilizes toys to communicate with and help people, specifically children, to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges. This therapy is believed to help children improve their social integration, growth & development, emotional modulation, and trauma resolution. In cases where verbal communication does not accurately express a child’s feelings and emotions a therapist may strategically use play therapy to assist children in helping them express themselves. Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy which can be beneficial for children suffering from life stressors that could include death, divorce, chronic illness, physical or sexual abuse, or relocation. Play therapy is a treatment typically used for children ages 3-12, however teenagers and adults have benefited from the use of play therapy. If play therapy is a good-fit for your child our therapists may use toys, pictures, drawings, or role play to communicate with your child. Our play therapists have the appropriate educational requirements and are well-trained in child development to effectively communicate and help children through play therapy.

School Related Issues

School Related Issues

Our therapists have the appropriate training and education to help children improve their academic and personal life. Our therapists will use talk therapy as method to help teenagers choose their career paths and plan for college. They will also discuss any behavioral, physical, or mental health challenges they believe your child is experiencing. If your child is struggling, or might be struggling at school, call us today. We can help.

 

Mental illness can have a negative impact on a child’s performance in school. A few factors can impact children’s mental health issues including:
  • The Pressure to Succeed – This is especially critical in teenagers who are expected to make a major decision about further education such as choosing a college or career path. Teens might feel an overwhelming burden to succeed which can ultimately lead to anxiety and depression.
  • Social Media & Technology – This is an increasing issue amongst children and teenagers today. Children can post anonymous remarks about peers on social media which can be devastating to the effected child’s self-esteem and personal well-being. Students also may feel the pressure to maintain their social image online and compare their popularity with their self-worth.
  • Lack of sleep – Many teens do not get enough sleep which can lead to mental health issues. Lack of sleep amongst teens can cause troubles thinking during tests leading to poor grades, car accidents, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Lack of exercise – Exercise can improve self-esteem, concentration, and can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Bullying & Harassment – Bullying can occur in different forms consisting of physical, relational, or cyber. Physical is usually an aggressive method consisting of kicking, punching, pushing, and threatening violence. Relational is usually in the form of spreading rumors and damaging a child’s social image. Cyber is using technology to damage or hurt a student’s image, this usually can have a larger impact on the effected since it spreads to a larger audience much faster.
Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse is a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. This can result from using a substance in a way that is not intended or because you are taking more than what is prescribed. These substances can include alcohol and other drugs (illegal or not) as well as some substances that are not drugs at all. If substance abuse problems are ignored, they are likely to get much worse. We believe that there are a wide variety of complex issues to consider when it comes to substance use, abuse, diagnosis and treatment. Friends and family may be among the first to recognize the signs of substance abuse and early recognition increases the chances for successful treatment.

 

Some signs to watch for include the following:

• Declining grades

• Disappearing money or valuables

• Aggressiveness and irritability

• Significant change in mood or behavior

• Forgetfulness

• Giving up past activities (sports, homework, hanging out with new friends)

• Feeling depressed, hopeless, or even suicidal

• Getting drunk or high on drugs on a regular basis

• Getting in trouble with the law

• Drinking and driving

• Taking risks, including sexual risks

• Suspension or other problems at school or in the workplace for an alcohol or drug-related incident

 

Treating substance abuse often requires treatment in a rehabilitation program and depends on both the person and the substance being used. You may want to consider the use of outpatient individual counseling for a variety of reasons, including if:

• Attempts at intensive inpatient, intensive outpatient or rehab have not worked

• You would like to explore issues that may be contributing to your use

• You are looking for professional support for relapse prevention

• You wonder if you are seeing some early signs of a substance abuse problem.

 

It’s important to know that there are steps you can take to get on the road to recovery. We realize that lasting change occurs in stages and we will work with you regardless of whether your motivation is high, feels non-existent, or varies day to day. Your readiness to change is critical and change is possible. Call us today to find out what steps you can take now.

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