Play Therapy for Children & Teen Counseling in Birmingham AL
Play Therapy for Children
What Is Play Therapy for Children in Birmingham AL?
Play is a natural activity of learning, exploration, and communication for children. Birmingham play therapy for children takes advantage of this innate ability to help children explore their feelings and thoughts, express themselves, and understand their life experiences. In essence, it helps them to play out what they may otherwise find difficult to put into words.
Depending on the needs of the child, therapeutic play can encompass a variety of specific approaches. There are many forms of play therapy including Child-Centered Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy, Adlerian Play Therapy, Jungian Play Therapy, Psychodynamic Play Therapy, Child-Parent Relationship Play Therapy, Narrative Play Therapy, and more.
Play therapy for Children in Birmingham AL is a sensible, research-supported, and developmentally-based child counseling approach to helping children cope with and overcome the problems they experience in the process of living their lives. The younger a child is when they begin to play therapy, the more malleable their brain structure will be. This makes it easier to build neural pathways that lead to healthy emotional regulation, well-being, and adaptive behavior as they mature into happy, well-adjusted, and functional adults.
Who Can Benefit From Play Therapy?
Generally, the appropriate range for play therapy for children is 2-12 years old, but older children with cognitive or developmental delays may also benefit. Moreover, the therapeutic play has also proven effective in treating adolescents and teens who may be going through significant life changes or peer and family relationship issues.
Exceeding Contentment Behavioral Health Inc., play therapy creates a safe environment and allows for children to open up and explore what they need to work on. It has proven to be an effective therapeutic method for a variety of children’s problems including, but not limited to, the following areas:
- Psychological issues – anxiety, grief, and loss, communication barriers, shyness, stress, dissociation and schizophrenia, emotional disturbances
- Behavioral problems – anger, aggression, acting out, poor motor coordination, ADHD, self-harming, enuresis, and encopresis
- Educational obstacles – poor organizational skills, poor planning and execution of tasks, bullying, disabilities (autism spectrum disorder, sensory impairment, intellectual impairment, deaf and physical challenges, chronic illness)
- Responses to family and relationship difficulties – family violence, abuse and neglect, trauma, parental separation or divorce, attachment disorders
Mild issues may resolve in 6-12 sessions while complex issues may take up to 48 sessions to resolve. But every child is different in terms of the amount of time they need to heal, change, and learn new adaptive skills. Multiple factors impact a successful outcome, such as consistency of visits, parental involvement, and reinforcing skills at home.
How Do Play Therapy Sessions Work at Exceeding Contentment Behavioral Health?
Our play therapy for children is about accepting the child for who they are and not looking at them as a problem. Rather, here at Exceeding Contentment Behavioral HEalth, we focus is on trying to understand where they are at and what they need at that moment in their life.
As noted before, children use play as their main form of communicating thoughts, feelings, values, and perceptions. They learn through hands-on activities. The various toys in our play therapy room are designed to allow for the expression of specific emotions and needs that they don’t necessarily have the language for. Our team of play therapists are specially trained in how to read beyond the surface of the child’s play so they can interpret that language and provide tailored support to the child and parents.
ECB Health’s goal in each session is to help your child resolve their social, emotional, behavioral, and developmental difficulties over time or to learn new behaviors and skills to cope with challenges. As they play out their negative thoughts and emotions, they don’t need to act them out anymore. Generally, children over the age of seven quickly start to understand how to take new coping skills they learned in therapy and use them in the real world.
Teen Counseling Services
Get Help for Your Teen’s Depression and Anxiety in Birmingham AL
Is Your Teen More Irritable Than Usual? Are you Worried About Your Teen’s Mood?
You may find it can be difficult to determine whether or not your teen is struggling with depression or going through teenage anxiety. Teenagers are coping with hormonal and physical changes which can impact mood fluctuations not to mention the stresses of peer relationships. Teen depression is more serious however and impacts 20% of teenagers.
As a parent, it is hard to watch your teen struggle and frustrating to not know how to help or even what to do to bring peace at home. There are some signals to help you recognize that your teen needs help. It can also be critical to get help for teen depression early on before things become destructive.
How to Recognize if Your Teen Needs Help for Depression and Anxiety
The teenage years are times of insecurity and change as they struggle to build their own identity separate from their parents. This is typical in the development of a teenager. Teens may also emphasize peer relationships more, test the limits with boundaries and act out from time to time. However, these changes are typically balanced with other signs of emotional health such as positive friendships, success in school or activities.
However, depression may show up as irritability, consistent high reactivity or sad mood, high sensitivity to rejection, failure and perceived criticism, consistent complaints of physical aches and pains, withdrawing from friends, major changes in sleeping and eating patterns, extreme sensitivity to criticism, no longer interested in activities previously enjoyed, self-injury and persistent low energy. Teen depression can also be associated with an eating disorder. If your teenager has thoughts of death or suicide, it’s important to seek help right away. This could indicate a very serious situation and it’s important that your teen is evaluated by a professional.
In addition, destructive behaviors can be another sign as well as struggling in a particular area of life such as school or friends. It can also be critical to seek help during times of major change even if your teen isn’t showing obvious signs of teen depression. This can help prevent issues from becoming worse. Major changes that can be quite disruptive to a teen include death in the family, divorce, moving or changing schools, or illness in the family.
Birmingham Teen Counseling Can Build Self-Esteem and Instill Coping Skills
Counseling at Exceeding Contentment Behavioral Health, Inc. can be an important factor to help your teen cope with difficult emotions, such as feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, identify unhelpful thinking patterns, build self-confidence and self-respect, and grow and mature. Learning tools now can prevent more serious problems from developing and benefit your teen in adult years as well.
Through teen counseling here at Exceeding Contentment Behavioral Health, Inc., our professional therapists explore root causes and set realistic goals in order to ensure positive changes. This may include changing destructive or problematic behaviors, learning effective communication and problem-solving skills, and building social skills and self-esteem. By understanding root causes, symptoms can be reduced while developing a solid sense of self.
Therapy can also help reduce conflicts in the family and help your teen learn how to cope with difficult emotions and situations in a healthy and productive way. This can be an invaluable tool as your teen is faced with more challenging and stressful situations. This can also impact the family as a whole as your teen learns the impact of behavior on others.
Teen Counseling Birmingham AL Can Help Your Teen:
- Cope with peer pressure or bullying
- Reduce conflict and destructive behavior in or outside of the home
- Recover from an eating disorder or problematic eating behaviors
- Manage teen depression or anxiety
- Build self-confidence and make friends
- Deal with family changes such as divorce, separation, or addiction
- Learn to cope with a traumatic event or loss
- Cope with the ups and downs of teenage life
- Make healthy decisions and have self-respect
Getting Started with Play Therapy for Children or Teen Counseling in Birmingham AL
Exceeding Contentment Behavioral Health’s therapists in Birmingham AL are experts in counseling for adolescents and can determine what treatment strategies will be most effective as well as who else might need to be involved. Typically, therapy sessions for children and teens may start off more frequently and then reduce in frequency once skills are learned and practiced on a regular basis. Once progress has been made and maintained for a consistent period of time, therapy is no longer needed.
Take the next step. Contact us with questions or to book an appointment for children’s play therapy and teen counseling services in Birmingham, AL.
Chat With An Expert.
We’re dedicated to providing relief for our clients, but more importantly we provide counseling that goes to the root to create lasting positive change. Just like the most resilient trees have strong roots, the most resilient people have healthy root beliefs, inner stories, and resources that help them stand tall through any storm. You have strong places inside of you already. Our therapists help you harness those resources for resilience, growth, and deep self-acceptance.
We’ll help you identify and overcome patterns/beliefs that aren’t serving you so that you can:
- create strong relationships with friends, family, co-workers and your partner,
- experience relief from anxiety, worry, or depression
- overcome the impact of trauma
- recover from addiction
- experience emotional growth and transformation,
- and live your whole life with more ease, confidence, and courage.
Why Choose Us
Each counselor has an area of specialization from which they practice. There are many reasons for this, but the most important reason is that when you work with a therapist who specializes, you receive a higher quality of care, quicker results, and someone who understands your unique issues. Having a good fit is important. When you give us a call, we will find out about your needs and match you with the therapist(s) who specialize in your area of concern. We sincerely care about your well-being and want the process to be easy for you.
Therapy Tailored to You
When you call our office, we will help you find a match with the therapist who is best suited to your needs and therapeutic goals. Our goal is to ensure that you are not only matched with a specialist, but also with someone who’s style and treatment approach fits with your needs. Research shows that counseling works when clients are matched with the right-fit therapist.