Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of problems do you address?

Due to our many years of experience in working with children and families, it is difficult to list all the concerns we address. The range of our expertise includes: read more >>read less <<

  • behavioral difficulties that interfere with school success
  • peer relationship issues
  • attention and impulse concerns
  • infant and child attachment concerns
  • issues with younger children, such as nightmares, bedtime, and toileting
  • depression and anxiety concerns
  • suicidal assessment related to depression
  • grief and loss issues
  • adoption issues for children, parents, and families
  • intense or perfectionist children
  • discipline concerns or frustrations with ineffective discipline methods
  • family concerns linked to a child’s way of interacting
  • negativity and poor self-esteem in children and teens
  • families experiencing divorce
  • children with health concerns or chronic medical conditions

If you want to know if we have experience with your child’s specific concerns, call us to discuss your needs: 801-576-6444.

How do I know if my child needs therapy?

Here are some things that indicate your child may need therapy: read more >>read less <<

Uneven Development: Your child may be bright and doing well academically, but is socially or emotionally behind. In a young child, delays may show up as a lack of or a delay in play skills.Unusual or Intense Behavior: Therapy helps sort out the need or anxiety underlying unusual behavior so that both the behavior and the core reason for the behavior can be resolved.

Aggressive, Angry, and Consistently Irritable Behavior: These responses often point to a limited or delyed set of skills for coping with stress. They are primary indicators of depression in children and teens.

Depression: Although depression is generally thought of as extreme sadness, it often shows up as anger and irritability in children, as described above. Children may also withdraw from family or friends or lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed.

Anxiety: A child with anxiety may have intrusive thoughts or poor concentration, be easily startled and fidgety, or feel easily overwhelmed. While certain worries are common for children, a child may need help if worries begin to affect his or her success, happiness, and well being. Anxiety can look like other conditions, such as ADHD and sleep deprivation.

Challenges at School or with Peers: Attention/impulse concerns and behavioral difficulties that interfere with school success and peer relationships often require assistance. Boys usually receive more therapy for these kinds of concerns, but it is not unusual to see girls in about the 4th or 5th grade with “sudden” school difficulties. Girls with undetected attention problems are often able to maintain school success until scholastic demands increase in the upper elementary grades.

Divorce or Significant Loss: Grief and loss issues may be difficult to detect from a child’s outward behavior. Traumatic losses include the loss of the familiar (including both parents in the home, death of a loved one, friends, pets, living environment, schedule shifts, etc.) and the loss of influence (numerous adults and/or outside forces determining what the future holds for the child).

Struggling to Parent a Particular Child: All parents struggle at some point. And every child is different. This is what was makes him/her unique, but it can also sometimes make parenting more difficult. Because of personality or temperament differences, some children are just harder to parent.

Other Indicators: Other symptoms that may indicate a need for therapy are sleep issues, wetting or soiling concerns, unexplainable or unpredictable behavioral and emotional outbursts, frequent mood swings, and ongoing nightmares.

(Note: This is not a complete list of indications for therapy. Please call us at 801-576-6444 with questions.)

How long is therapy going to take?

We have found through experience that usually it is your child who knows when therapy is finished. read more >>read less <<

This may seem like a surprising answer because children usually like coming and parents may think that their child just likes to come “play” with a friendly adult. With teens, parents may think that their child enjoys having someone to talk to. But therapy in any form, including play therapy, is work. More often than not, as things improve, the child will say, “I don’t think I need to go to therapy any more.” Not only is therapy an individualized process, so is ending therapy.
How do I talk to my child about coming to therapy?

It is best to emphasize you are seeking help not only for your child, but also for yourself as a parent. read more >>read less <<

Our family approach makes talking to your child about coming to therapy much simpler and eliminates blaming. We encourage you to kindly describe what you have noticed in your child and why it is concerning. Then, it is important to discuss how you as a parent feel like you’ve tried some things that haven’t worked or to describe your behavior that has not made things better. When parents explain to a child that not only will the child get help, but they want help as well, it shifts the focus from blaming or sending the message “There’s something wrong with you” to we all need some ideas and it is good to get some help. For example a parent might say, “You know how sometimes you get really mad and throw a big fit when you have to do something you don’t want to do. Then I get mad and yell at you sometimes. It doesn’t feel good for you or for me. We need some ideas to make things better. I know someone who helps kids and parents figure out a better way.”