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Child and Adolescent Therapy

Pediatric Mental Health Therapy

Parents often feel helpless and heartbroken when their child struggles with anxiety, depression, anger, academics, or difficulty making friends and socializing. No matter what challenges your child faces, the compassionate team at Whole Wellness Counseling in Ithaca, New York, and Orchard Park, New York can help by providing pediatric mental health therapy. We specialize in getting to the heart of the problem and creating treatment plans in collaboration with parents and caregivers that fit each child’s unique needs. 

Why is pediatric mental health therapy important? 

Children and teens face many issues that influence their mental health. In addition to having recently experienced a global pandemic, they may face bullying, academic stress, mental illness, and trauma. Significant changes in how children typically learn, behave, eat, sleep, or handle their emotions can be a sign of a mental health disorder. Among the more common mental disorders that can be diagnosed in childhood are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and behavior disorders. Half of all serious mental health conditions begin in the teen years. Even if your teen doesn’t have a mental health disorder, they may benefit from guidance and counseling if they have a hard time socializing or they struggle with identity, peer pressure, perfectionism, or life transitions. 

What problems are addressed during pediatric mental health therapy? 

The licensed therapists and coaches at Whole Wellness Counseling diagnose and treat conditions, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Stress
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Trauma and grief
  • Substance use/abuse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Body and gender dysphoria
  • Screen addiction
  • Other mental health conditions

What signs indicate the need for pediatric counseling?  

Children and teens often need counseling when their emotional outbursts or behavioral problems are severe, occur frequently, or seem out of proportion to the situation. Other warning signs include:  

  • Frequent anxiety or worry
  • Loss of interest in their favorite activities
  • Anxiety that holds them back from activities
  • Staying away from friends and social activities
  • Meeting online friends but not making friends in person
  • Hyperactivity (constantly on the go, unable to sit still, talking constantly)
  • Making self-critical comments (saying they’re worthless, no one likes them, etc.)
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Aggressiveness and anger
  • Paranoia or excessive secrecy
  • Mentioning they want to die
  • Declining school performance
  • School refusal

What should I expect during pediatric counseling? 

After completing a psychological assessment, your child’s therapist will recommend the treatment that will most benefit your child. The Whole Wellness Counseling team specializes in many effective therapeutic techniques, from play therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and health coaching. Our therapists will also work to teach you about your child’s diagnosis and unique challenges. We want to equip you with evidence-based tips on techniques you can use at home to support your child. Call Whole Wellness Counseling today or request an appointment online if your child or teen needs counseling.