Child and Teen Counseling

Sometimes as adults we have trouble navigating through life or are met with trauma, anxiety, grief, depression, anger management issues, or family/relationship conflict. Our children and teens face difficulties and complications as well. Therapy provides a safe space for kids and teens to open up, talk about, and work through the obstacles they are facing. It is a place for them to feel validated and develop the tools to work through their issues, both those they are facing now, and the tools to work through any issues they may face in the future.

Every day, children and teens are facing new obstacles and learning how to interact with peers and authority figures. Whether your child is struggling with academic success, behavior in school or at home, anxiety, depression, past trauma, disordered eating, communication, self-esteem, stress, grief, or understanding their own emotions – we are here to help. Through therapy your child will learn the skills necessary to face and overcome their unique obstacles as well as the skills to face new experiences in the future. Ultimately, through overcoming these obstacles, therapy can help strengthen the bonds of your family.

Meet our Child and Adolescent therapists:

Drew Erickson – children and adolescents

MFT #118881

Drew Erickson child therapist teen counseling adolescent counselor

As a former elementary school teacher I have seen the way in which our high-pace, high expectation culture affects young people. From social anxiety to stress from grades and homework, its not hard to recognize the challenging minefield that is growing up in today’s world. Much of the focus a child’s development has been around physical health while minimizing the need for mental support and education.
Using a client-centered approach I invite children to be influential in their own therapeutic experience. Together, we collaborate in setting goals so that therapy does not feel like something that is imposed on them. But rather a valuable, even enjoyable activity in their week. Mixing play and conversation with multimedia and neuroscience, young people will learn about themselves and become more aware of their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  Sessions are often structured with one on one time with me as well as parent – child time. At home activities can be used to reinforce and practice skills learned in session.
The first question I often ask when meeting young people for therapy is:  “Do you know what my job is?”. Often children feel as if they are in trouble, or even at the doctor’s office! I want all my clients to feel welcome, informed, and valuable no matter their age.

Book an appointment with Drew today. 

Sarah O’Leary – adolescents

AMFT #123449

sarah child teen adolescent young adult therapy school academic stress eating disorders

Sarah accrued hours at the UCSD Eating Disorder clinic working with adolescents and their families. Sarah works from a biopsychosocial perspective. She works to get a holistic view of each teen that comes for a therapy session with her. Your teenage years are formidable – and complex. You are exploring yourself, the world, and future opportunities. You are breaking away from past roles and creating new ones. You are learning about yourself in a new way – your inner world and your outer world. You are exploring new relationships, and re-examining existing ones – peers, friends, teachers/coaches, family. All this exploring and learning is on top of your school work, sports, and extracurriculars! That’s a lot!

Sarah is here to cultivate a safe space where you can be unequivocally yourself. To feel fulfilled and successful in your daily life, and be able to set goals for yourself. This takes time to figure out! And there will be a lot of changes along the way. You’re not in this alone. Together, Sarah works with her adolescent and young adult clients to meet goals they create together.

Sarah provides tools and helps garner skills that can be applied in a variety of situations, for the rest of your life. That might sound extreme, but what you are learning now can be implemented throughout your life! That includes facing stress, working through distress, overcoming anxiety (including social anxieties), and improving your mood. This also includes learning about and understanding your emotions, self-regulation, and coping skills. This is creating healthy habits, and healthy views of yourself and the world. These tools and skills work to improve self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love. Additionally, relationship and communication tools that can be implemented with family, friends, teammates, work, or romantic partners.

Book an appointment with Sarah today.

Young Ju – children

MFT #88568

Young Ju San Diego Male Therapist family counseling teen therapy Korean

Through the use of a culturally and trauma-informed approach, Young helps identify and interrupt patterns of behavior and thought that can be harmful to individuals and their relationships. With children, Young uses play and art therapy to engage them in their world, allowing expression and communication in their language.

With teens, trust and authenticity need to be established and experienced before any real progress can be made. Young creates an atmosphere of safety and trust by engaging them with a frank, authentic, and playful approach.  Similarly, through art and activities he helps them express themselves in a safe environment, while allowing them to explore their own thoughts and feelings. Young works primarily from a Solution-Focused and Cognitive Behavioral approach with teenagers.

The parent-child relationship can become challenging due to the many changes that children experience in their development.  In these times, Young utilizes the importance of collaboration between child and parent, and so conducts family therapy as much as possible.

Young uses Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for youth healing from trauma. This is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events.

Book an appointment with Young today.

Child and Adolescent Therapy can help your child improve communication skills and improve classroom or home behaviour. Teen and child counseling can help your child (and family!) overcome learning obstacles, improve self-esteem, and learn how to create effective boundaries. If you think your child is struggling, but seem to be facing a wall in your communication, it may be time to reach out and get help.

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