In addition to my clinical training, I have an extensive background in early education and have over 20 years experience working with children and adolescents. This experience enables me to quickly develop trust and rapport with them, which are the two necessary ingredients in a successful therapeutic outcome.  Parents often express surprise at their child's commitment and enthusiasm about coming to therapy sessions.  Older kids and teens frequently tell me how much they enjoy our sessions and value having a neutral and judgement free place to share their struggles and experiences as we explore new ways of thinking and coping. 

 

Children 

It is common for children to experience obstacles as they grow and develop. At times, for various reasons, children can become overwhelmed with negative feelings and emotions. As these stressors accumulate, children can have difficulty processing and coping with these feelings. This overload can cause symptoms such as changes in behavior, mood, sleep, appetite and academic and social functioning, As a result, a child's self-esteem can suffer. and they can internalize a negative self identity. If this issue is left untreated, a child can carry this negative self image with them into adulthood which can have a detrimental effect on their well being and ultimately their mental health.

It’s common for children and adolescents to experience obstacles as they grow. 

Adolescents and Teens

The transition from childhood to young adulthood is fraught with many challenges. It is a time of heightened emotion and self discovery which can be difficult to navigate. As kids mature, they begin to separate from their family unit as they explore themselves and their own uniqueness. They begin to identify more closely with peers, and parents are often left wondering what is happening to their child? Although this is a very normal and necessary transition towards maturity and individuation, the therapeutic process can help make this difficult transition smoother. It provides kids and teens an outlet to safely explore their feelings and experiences without the risk of disappointing their family members or being  judged by their peers.

 

Adolescent and teen development can be a difficult time period as kids become overloaded with school demands and expectations, maintaining friendships, navigating social pressures and family issues. High school aged teens carry the additional pressure of preparing for college admittance which often means a significant increase in academic expectations, coping with AP and honors classes and preparing for and taking college entrance exams. Teens can end up sleep deprived and in a heightened state of stress and anxiety as they struggle to keep up with the seemingly endless demands placed on them. Weekly therapy sessions can help teens process and make sense of what they are going through which can have a significant impact in reducing their anxiety and stress and improve their ability to function and cope with increasing pressure and expectations.

Heather Totten Counseling

16255 Ventura Blvd. Suite 502, Encino, CA 91436

(818) 928-5234

© by Heather Totten, LMFT - License #LMFT111114 - All Rights Reserved