Choosing to adopt can be a challenge for parents because it requires a new type of relationship with the adopted child. Parenting is a lifelong job, and the right guidance and support are imperative. New environments might be challenging for an adopted child, and it is the responsibility of the parents to notice any form of behavioral change. In the event a child has some troubling behavior, therapy is one of the best directions a parent can take.
Finding an Adoption-Competent Therapist
Finding a child therapist who is adoption-competent will assist in tackling issues such as attachment, grief, anxiety, and trauma. When considering adopted children, past experiences might influence their behavior; therefore, a therapist with expertise in adoption can help to determine the source of trauma. The therapist can assist the child with past experiences and also guide parents on helpful ways to live together. If the child experiences anxiety issues, therapists can often offer anxiety therapy.
The Right Approach to Therapy
Child therapists should be dedicated to working with the family to ensure the adopted child receives the right care in the best possible environment and feels secure. An adopted child may have attachment issues that could bar them from creating a relationship with the adoptive family. Child therapists who have a history with adopted children understand the intricacies and challenges adopted children face and are in a better position to offer counseling sessions that will help them to adapt to their new environment. Thus, choosing an experienced therapist is essential in the treatment process.
Weighing Therapy Options
There are many different choices when it comes to deciding on the therapy style that works best for a family. Parents can opt to utilize child therapists with experience in behavioral challenges to help with any specific issues that the child might have. Family therapy is another avenue that allows a therapist to balance the needs of the adoptive family and the child. Group therapy brings together individuals with similar problems to helps them navigate through. A child therapist who understands adoption needs will help make the coping process more manageable, so parents should not shy away from seeking help after adoption. At Cross The Bridge Counseling, we offer therapy and counseling to kids and teens struggling with anxiety, ADHD, Asperger’s, and social skills. We are dedicated to the emotional well-being of our clients and their families, also providing adult therapy and couples counseling. To find the adoption-friendly therapist for your family, get in touch with us at (845) 342-5789.
For teens, an inability to manage negative emotions can lead to trouble. Problems at school may arise, issues in personal relationships might develop, and the resulting anxieties could impact a teen’s overall demeanor. Luckily, there are multiple techniques that can be used to bridge the gap between parents and children and help alleviate these difficulties. The following tips can aid teens struggling with anger management, and also help their parents support them in the short and long term.
Recognize the Triggers
Depending on the individual, there are certain stimuli that can cause extreme emotions to erupt without warning. These are referred to as triggers; when teens and their loved ones can identify what triggers anger or stress, then they can learn the proper actions to remove themselves from particular situations or understand how to cope. Frequently occurring triggers in teens can include feeling misunderstood, mounting responsibilities and expectations, raised voices, and being told “no.” Understanding the catalysts of negative behavior can help parents and their children work toward better options for managing subsequent reactions.
Identify the Source of Anger
Triggers aren’t always the source of a teen’s anger. In some cases, there are additional factors that contribute to intense emotions, such as problems at home or low self-esteem. When attempting to control aggressive behavior, parents should emphasize that angry feelings are normal—violence is not. Focusing on helping a teen become more self-aware may draw attention to underlying issues. A private discussion can be helpful for pointing them out. Ask the following identifiers: Who? What? When? Why? Make sure the answers are as specific as possible. Once the sources of anger are identified, encourage the teen to explore constructive alternatives for addressing his or her feelings.
Provide Time to Reflect
It can be beneficial for teens to set aside time to reflect on their triggers and sources of anger, as well as how they choose or have chosen to deal with them. In dissecting the scenario, teens can determine their level of satisfaction with their actions, predict what they should do in a similar situation the next time it occurs, and consider opportunities for personal growth based on what they learned. Ultimately, it is the continual practice of reflection that will begin to aid teens in the ongoing process of anger management.
At Cross The Bridge Counseling, we understand that regulating emotions can be tough. We offer counseling services for parents and families struggling with anger management. We also provide a range of therapy options for teens to aid with depression, anxiety, social skills, and other issues. Get in touch with us by calling (845) 342-5789 or contact us online today to discuss options for therapy at either of our Hudson Valley office locations.
Although it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious now and then, intense or chronic anxiety can be a debilitating experience. Dealing with persistent feelings of worry and nervousness can make life difficult, but therapy can provide the tools necessary to cope.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Feeling anxiety before an exciting or daunting experience like a performance, a test, or a first date is normal. However, many individuals suffer from intense or chronic anxiety that is overwhelming and recurring. Some deal with anxiety that is “out of nowhere”—that is, they are simply anxious without a stimulus to be anxious about. Anxiety sufferers may also have intrusive or obsessive thoughts and can even have physical reactions to their anxiety such as racing heartbeats, trembling, dizziness, sweating, and insomnia.
Receiving Therapy for Anxiety
Therapy is a collaborative process where patients and therapists work together to determine the cause of anxiety and develop concrete methods to mitigate and cope with anxiety. Although most patients only see a therapist an hour per week, the process of therapy is ongoing. Therapists will often invite patients to practice their new skills while they are away. According to the American Psychological Association, the majority of patients who seek therapy for anxiety experience reduced or eliminated symptoms in eight to ten sessions.
What Therapy for Anxiety May Look Like
Every therapist has a slightly different technique and method when it comes to treating anxiety. After performing an evaluation, many use a common form of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. In this process, patients learn how to identify thoughts that may be at the root of anxiety, challenge thoughts that may arise during feelings of anxiety, and use healthy coping skills or behaviors to mitigate the feelings. Receiving treatment for anxiety may be daunting, especially if you feel anxious about the process. Our therapy staff at Cross The Bridge Counseling has years of experience treating anxiety in children, teens, and adults, and is available for therapy at our two locations in Middletown and Rock Hill, NY. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (845) 342-5789 today.
Before attending their first counseling session, most children will have lots of questions, even if they don’t quite know how to ask them. They will probably be dealing with a range of emotions, including anxiety, uncertainty, and even the fear that they’ve done something wrong. Parents who discuss counseling with their children before it begins can help them feel more comfortable. This may lead to more meaningful and productive counseling sessions.
Be Straightforward and Honest
The most important component in any therapy setting is trust. What a parent chooses to talk about will largely depend on the age of their child, but being honest is critical because recovering from deception at the beginning of the process will be very difficult.
Make certain that children understand they are not going to counseling because they need to be “fixed” or as a form of punishment. Parents, this is a good time to take responsibility for some of the changes that may need to be made in the family—explain that the entire family is facing these challenges together so that everyone can get the help they need.
Let Them Make Decisions and Ask Questions
Children who feel like they are being forced to participate are unlikely to open up. Before counseling begins, parents should explain that their child only has to give the sessions a try and that if they don’t like them or the counselor, then they don’t have to continue. Also, parents can encourage their children to ask them about counseling and admit when they don’t know the answer to a question. For children, feeling that they have a say in the process and aren’t in this alone makes a big difference.
Early childhood counseling can help kids with a variety of issues, from developing social skills to anger management. Since 1998, Cross The Bridge Counseling has provided these therapeutic services as well as a range of evaluations and assessments to children and adults in Middleton and Rock Hill. If you’re interested in speaking with one of our therapists, get in touch with us at (845) 342-5789 to learn more.
Stress and anxiety are buzzwords in nearly every industry. While they may be used interchangeably in casual conversation, they are in fact quite different in how they are triggered, experienced, and treated. Stress is a normal part of life, whereas anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in America, affecting 40 million adults, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Understanding the differences is the first step to taking control of both.
Causes of Stress vs. Anxiety
Most people experience stress in everyday life, from juggling projects at work and paying the bills to toting kids to soccer and getting dinner on the table. It may be true that these responsibilities can be stressful, but it is also true that they are stressors that, in these cases, provide motivation to accomplish goals in every aspect of life. On the contrary, anxiety is sometimes triggered by stressors and sometimes comes from seemingly nowhere. It typically undermines productivity.
Signs and Symptoms of Stress vs. Anxiety
Stress can behave like pop-up ads, forcing people to tackle the task at hand. But not too long after the event, their system is back to a normal state. Sometimes the work of handling the tasks can have negative results, such as sleep disturbance, forgetfulness, back and neck pain, low energy, and gastrointestinal problems. Anxiety runs in the background, causing a constant state of worry. Common symptoms include hypervigilance, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and an exaggerated startle response. Anxiety can also result in psychosomatic symptoms such as headaches or dizziness and physical symptoms like shortness of breath. Most notably, anxiety can cause impairment at work or within interpersonal relationships.
Coping With Stress and Anxiety
Knowing how to manage stress can be the difference between it having a motivational or detrimental effect. Using calming techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, journaling, and down-tempo music can all contribute to a healthy experience of common stress. The same methods can be applied to coping with anxiety, along with sleep regulation, proper nutrition, and refraining from caffeine or alcohol.
If stress or anxiety continues after trying to cope, there are several resources that can help further. Talk therapy can be beneficial for both stress and anxiety, helping to identify triggers and strategize solutions. For uncontrolled anxiety, a doctor may recommend antidepressants to help alleviate symptoms and offer long-term relief.