Beginning today I will share with you some of what I have learned over the past 25 years working as a psychotherapist specializing in work with children and families. We will explore topics that frequently arise in my practice, including parenting issues, limit setting, divorce and children, learning challenges, ADHD, anxiety, and many other issues. Please feel free to send me your questions or topics that you would like to see addressed.
I recently published my Fall 2011 Newsletter on recognizing when children could benefit from mental health services. Parents frequently call to ask me how they can tell if their child needs counseling. Here is a partial list of symptoms to watch for:
For young children look for regression to an earlier developmental stage, such as toileting accidents after a long period of being toilet trained, sleep problems, an increase in nightmares or fears, an increase in whining or clinging.
For school age children look for any of the above symptoms plus increased oppositional behavior, increased worry and crying, over reacting, distractibility or hyperactivity, a decrease in school performance, an increase in physical complaints, compulsive behaviors.
For adolescents look for the above symptoms plus avoidance of family and peers, a loss of interest in things formerly enjoyed, anger, increased moodiness, talk of suicide, anxiety, issues related to food, such as overeating, forced vomiting, overuse of laxatives, destroying property, fascination with fires, harming others or animals.
You can read the entire newsletter with a more extensive list of symptoms to look for on my website: www.gretchenwoosley.com.