CHILDREN & TEENS
We offer psychological help for children and adolescents, for everything related to their personal difficulties in the various stages of development.
We also help parents help their kids better.
What is developmental therapy?
There are many misconceptions about the idea of offering therapeutic support to children: many people fear that the child will feel problematic, or fear losing importance as a point of reference for their child. Instead, the session with the therapist represents a very pleasant moment even for the little ones, who feel they have a space of their own to be able to bring up the emotional issues that they are unable to communicate at home and which often manifest themselves with a series of problematic behaviors in the family or at school.
Also in the intervention on the developmental age, we move within the framework of the attachment theory and the final objective is always to help children express their emotional needs to parents and help parents to support them, in order to build a safe attachment style.
The method of investigation and intervention, the involvement of parents in the process is adapted to the age and specific needs of the child.
Difficulties in preschool age
From an early age, children can implement some behaviors that can make us assume that there is an underlying emotional malaise. For example, too often or exaggeratedly, difficulties may arise in tolerating small separations and detachments from the mother, or in tolerating frustration in the face of nos and prohibitions imposed by parents, who refuse to eat certain foods that may be difficult to control the sphincters or to use the potty etc.
Our psychologists can help parents understand whether these behaviors are a child's way of communicating an emotional difficulty and can provide educational strategies for coping.
Difficulties during primary school
In ages 6-10, the manifestations of anxiety become much more varied: some children throw tantrums, others begin to suffer from various somatic disorders, as if to recall attention constantly; others, on the other hand, tend to show themselves too autonomous and independent, almost as if they are unable to ask for help, but then they wet the bed when they are left alone.
In this stage, children begin to feel the weight of expectations, in school or in sports and relationships with other children become more important and present in their thoughts.
Some children may choose to avoid the performance demands by isolating from the group and from the family, they may spend a lot of time with video games or watching videos and are unable to talk about their feelings. Others may develop problems in eating, sleep disorders and attention and/or scholastic difficulties that do not depend on a specific learning disability.
In all these cases, children often need a specialist to open up about their fears to, so to slowly learn how to tell their mum and dad. Our team is highly trained to conduct a survey on the emotional state of the child, adapting the setting to the age, with activities presented in the form of games. The goal of the path will always be to allow children to find a point of reference in their parents so to turn to them in case of difficulty, having learnt how to communicate their feelings and having rediscovered the safety of an environment that can protect them.
Difficulties in preadolescence and adolescence
Puberty and adolescence represent the most difficult developmental stage, in which they need to learn how to define themselves as individuals, more and more independent from the family. It is necessary to question family values and rules to find one's system, but there is still a dire need for reassurance and approval from the parents. In this important moment of revolution, children and parents both proceed by trial and error, towards a difficult redefinition of borders. So, tregressing is part of the growth process, but it shouldn't, however, give rise to antisocial behaviors, (e.g. theft, excessive use of drugs and alcohol); they want to manage their own diet, but not to the point of endangering health. The therapist, being outside the conflict with parents, represents the figure who helps teenagers understand who they really are and what they want to achieve.
Almost all teenagers experience feelings of inadequacy towards peers, which can lead to problems of self-esteem or body image. Teenagers feel constantly judged: by their parents, by friends, by the extended group on social networks and, above all and for the first time, by peole they are sexually attracted to. Therefore, The mood swings and difficulties in emotional regulation are common, but when sadness, apathy, or shyness are turning into a depressive episode, social isolation, perfectionism, eating disorders or even into self-harming behaviors, it is absolutely necessary to involve a psychologist.
Non all teenagers agree to be helped by a therapist, whan the idea comes from the parents; in these casesm we can also support the parents alone, so to act indirectly on their children's malaise by providing the most appropriate educational strategies to be able to help in the best possible way.