Children and Teens

It isn’t easy being a kid todayLongmont Counseling for Children and Teens

Kids today face a lot of challenges that previous generations didn’t face. More and more we hear about situations where a child has committed suicide as a result of bullying. This bullying is no longer limited to the schoolyard, and now can take both in person and online. While this is an extreme scenario, the truth of the matter is that children are bombarded with external messages telling them who they “should be.” These messages can have an adverse effect on their sense of well-being.

When did it get this hard to be a kid?

Don’t be hard on yourself as a parent. It’s hard to be a growing, developing human being in the 21st century. Kids today are having to navigate new terrain without much having much personal history or life experiences to draw from. This can make it equally hard for you as the parent or caregiver for a child or teen who is struggling in some way. You want to help them, but it’s all new to you, too.

They may be trying to:

 

That sounds like my kid. I think they need help.

It can be painful to see your child having a difficult time. You may believe that your child or teen could benefit from working with a counselor. Below are some ways that counseling can be helpful for children and teens:

 

I’m beginning to see how therapy may benefit my child, but…

 

The Benefits of mental health music therapy for children and teens

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

“… As a trained music therapist, Faith wanted to use her knowledge and talent to address the goals of the children with special needs as well as to further the growth and development of all our students, using music as a medium… Our class would not have been the same if not for Faith’s compassionate and gentle approach in working with those around her” – Katie Riker, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Children

Challenge: D was in a youth residential treatment center, due to mental health issues. His mother used drugs and had abandoned him with his grandparents when he was a young child. We worked on goals related to attachment and healthy self-expression.

Treatment Plan/Results: We would improvise together on the piano. We sat side by side on the piano bench and played at opposite ends of the piano. As we played, his fingers would come closer to where I was playing. We would playfully “chase” each other on the piano. He would also share his thoughts and feelings with me.

Teenagers

Challenge: J’s parents were divorced, and his father was in prison. After experimenting with drugs, and getting into some legal trouble, J was living in an adolescent residential treatment center.

Longmont Counseling for Children and TeensTreatment Plan/Results: J and I worked together on goals related to self-esteem and grief. He expressed wanting to learn how to play “Come Sail Away” on the piano, because the song reminded him of his father. We worked together on the song for a few weeks. I watched his self-confidence visibly increase as he continued to develop proficiency with playing the song.

Challenge: L was a teen girl referred to me because her parents were worried about her cutting herself. In our work together, I came to learn that she was struggling with her identity, which included her sexuality. She identified as bisexual, but she worried that her family wouldn’t accept her if they knew.

Treatment Plan/Results: The goal of our work together wasn’t for her to “come out” to her family. We instead used music and singing to boost her self-esteem and self-confidence around the fullness of her self-identity. She enjoyed singing, and selected a variety of songs from different genres that she wanted to sing. These songs allowed her to “try on” different personas, and singing helped her become more grounded and comfortable within herself. Her feelings of depression decreased and she felt comfortable sharing with me her concerns about her family and relationship issues she had at school.

My experience as a therapist working with children and teens

My experiences working with children and teens is diverse and spans over 12 years. As an educator, I’ve worked in both private schools and within the public school system. These experiences have ranged from early childhood education, special education, and ESL. I also completed my clinical training at a youth residential treatment center in Denver.

Along with this, I remember how difficult my own growing up experience was. I struggled as a child and teen- even dropping out of high school my junior year. Yet, I somehow managed to make my way all the way through graduate school to thrive in creating a life that is in alignment with who I am. It was hard, and I recognize that I was lucky in many ways. Because of this, I strive to be a caring adult role model for other young people being who are being challenged by life.

Ok, I’m Convinced. What Do I need to do next?

Contact us to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation if you think that your child or teen could benefit from the music therapy and counseling services offered by SoundWell Music Therapy. We’ll be happy to arrange a time when we can talk more about your particular situation and to schedule an initial session.

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