child Therapy

Child Counseling offers children and adolescents a safe space to work through their thoughts and emotions. With the help of a specialized therapist, children can resolve problems, modify behaviors, and make positive and lasting changes.

Does your child have trouble dealing with their emotions?

Is their behavior sometimes disruptive to your home life? Have they experienced sudden loss or trauma?

As they grow, children and adolescents develop social skills and emotional intelligence. This awareness helps them to develop into healthy, happy, and successful individuals. But some children have trouble processing their emotions and this often leads to behavior that negatively impacts their school life, home life, and overall well-being.

Effective Forms of Therapy for Children and Adolescents

The following are a few different types of psychotherapy available to children and families. Each offers unique approaches and techniques to bring about positive outcomes. Sometimes a therapist may choose to use just one specific treatment, and other times he or she may find a combination of various treatments is the best approach.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is the most natural form of therapy for children. Through play, children are able to process current and past events utilizing their language of play, alongside a trained play therapist.

Family Therapy

We believe that in order to create change in a system, the whole system needs to change. We offer family therapy to allow the family system to work through problems, improve communication, strengthen relationships, and promote healing.

Sandtray therapy

Sandtray therapy is a hands-on therapeutic approach that allows children to express their understanding of themselves and the world around them utilizing miniature figurines within a sand-filled tray.

Wondering what to expect when your child begins therapy?

Are you thinking about bringing your child but not sure what to expect?

Maybe you’ve been to a therapist yourself and wonder if your child does the same things you did?

Are you worried your son or daughter will hate going to therapy?

We know starting counseling can be scary for both you and your child. At Brittani Persha Counseling, we want both you and your child to feel comfortable in our office. Every single child and family’s treatment plan looks a little different. However, there is a general process that our therapists usually follow for your child’s treatment. Below is a basic outline of what child therapy usually looks like at our office for children preschool aged through pre-teens. The therapy process does look a little bit different in teenagers, so you may want to check out our teen therapy services page if your child is middle school or high school age.

our Child Counseling Process:

We follow the BPC Child Counselling Process that we have created after countless therapy sessions with little people to support their therapy experience best.

During this initial therapy session, you and your clinician will meet without the child/teen present. Your therapist has several goals in this intake session. They will gather relevant background information, define the counseling relationship and discuss the details of informed consent. The counselor will gather information about your family’s biological, psychological, and social history and how this is impacting your current situation. We will then collaborate to identify treatment goals together. Basically, we get the boring stuff out of the way before your child comes in.

Together, in the next two sessions, your child will participate in play therapy with their assigned child therapist. During this time, the therapist and your child will be able to establish a supportive relationship. At the same time, the trained clinician also observes and formulizes her assessment. As a parent, you will be invited to join in a portion of these mental health assessment sessions as needed to aid in the process.

Once the assessments are finished, the assigned mental health clinician clinician will go over the clinical assessment results and the recommended plan of treatment. They will explain this information to both you and your teen, so you both know what to expect over the course of your teen’s mental health treatment.

From this point forward, your teen’s treatment will be based off that assessment and treatment plan you and your clinician discussed. You can expect your therapist to consider both your concerns and the information your teenager shared. The rate that their behaviors, feelings and thoughts change will depend on many factors including your teen’s motivation, the issues being targeted and even the involvement of family therapy sessions.

Once the assessments are finished, you and your child’s clinician will go over the clinical assessment results and the recommended plan of treatment. This way, you know what to expect over the course of your child’s mental health treatment.

Through play therapy children recreate, in play, the experiences that are contributing to their anger, fear, sadness, or frustrations that are currently influencing their behavior. The playroom is a place where children are free to explore and express themselves. When facilitated by a trained play therapist, play becomes the focus of emotional healing.

Our child therapy services include play therapy, family therapy, parent-child relationship therapy, parent counseling services, sand tray therapy, and coping skills development. Your child’s therapist will help them identify ways of thinking and acting that fuel your child’s emotional symptoms. Counseling sessions will also spend time exploring your child’s development and beliefs that are contributing to their negative coping patterns.

We will strive to help both you and your child recognize and intervene early in negative cycle. This way, your child can learn new patterns to meet their needs more effectively.

As your child shows progress in healing, you can expect several changes in their behavior. Your child will be able to better express emotions, ask for what they need, and cope better when their emotions are overwhelming. As your child begins to heal and you as the parent report things are going better at home & school, child counseling sessions will gradually be reduced.  Sessions will likely change to every other week until all of your child’s goals are met and treatment is complete.

You as the Parent will have a monthly parent counseling session, where we dedicate time to going over treatment updates, check in about how things are going at home, and provide direction on how to handle different challenges.

While every child’s course of treatment is different, most children’s course of treatment lasts from 6 months to a year. We will review you and your child’s goals as well. We want to ensure you are satisfied with your counseling experience during the final counseling session. Your therapist will make sure the work we have done together has met your expectations. Your therapist will also outline a plan going forward. We know it is important your child is able to retain what we have worked on together and want to help you plan for this. It’s important you are parents feel confident you can implement all you have learned going forward.

Who is Therapy Right for?

At every age, children can be faced with life’s challenges. The following are some of the events and scenarios that can impact a child’s mental health and well-being:

  • The death of a loved one
  • Bullying
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Moving or attending a new school
  • Divorce
  • Social anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Eating disorders

Play Therapy

At BPC, we believe in the Power of Play. Play therapy is the least intrusive and most natural form of therapy for children. Since children usually express themselves in non-verbal ways, we use our play therapy training as a medium for finding clues to what is happening in your child’s inner world. Also through play, your child is able to fully express past events.

Through play therapy, we help your child process these issues by utilizing play as the child’s language. We do this because children are often not able to use direct language and instead utilize metaphors in play to express themselves. Often, a large part of the healing occurs in the therapy environment where a child can safely reenact issues and form new responses. The good news is, as your child overcomes their obstacles their symptoms will decrease. This will bring greater harmony and understanding to your family as a whole.

As mentioned above, children encounter their world at an experiential rather than cognitive level. This is because the frontal lobe of the child’s brain – which is the rational part – is not fully developed yet. Because of this, children use symbols and metaphors when expressing themselves. In play therapy, it is our job to experience what it is like to live in your child’s world. Then I can reflect with words what feelings their play is expressing. This modeling can teach your child to learn that feelings have names. He or she can begin to learn that naming their experience helps others better understand and help. In other words, it is my job during play therapy, to be your child’s frontal lobe.

Whether your young child has anxiety, is acting out, just seems upset or has any other social/emotional/behavioral concerns; play therapy can help. As child behavior specialists, we understand that children have complicated emotions just like adults. We also understand that the best way to teach them these new coping skills is through their first language: play.

Over time and with practice, he or she can strengthen their own ability to tap into the full brain. This helps your child act in more rational and effective ways. And kids LOVE coming to Play Therapy!

Even young kids need help sometimes.  Play therapy offers the perfect avenue for helping young children express and cope with their emotions.  We see kids as young as two years old who live in the Houston, TX area.  As mental health professionals, we know that even toddlers, preschoolers and parents of very young children needs help sometimes.  Our skilled child therapists will work closely with you as the parents. The therapy office is a fun, safe atmosphere for your young child to explore their emotions as well.  If you’re looking for a counselor who specializes in helping young children, Brittani Persha Counseling is the child counseling for your family!

If you are interested learning more about our child counseling services, schedule a free 20 minute phone consultation today to speak directly with one of our trained therapists. Our goal as a Houston, TX child therapy clinic is to find out if BPC is the right fit for your family.

Child Therapy for Anxiety

Maybe your child has always been anxious, but now their worries seem to be intensifying. Getting ready for school is becoming more difficult. There always seems to be something at school that your child feels nervous or anxious about about. Maybe your child tends to be a perfectionist. They are unable to cope with they do not get things “just right.” Your child is constantly seeking reassurance and rely on approval of others. As a a parent, this can become quite exhausting. Anxiety can even cause physical symptoms. Your child may be experiencing more physical pain, such as stomach aches and headaches.

At BPC, our skilled child therapists are trained a variety of treatment approaches proven effective anxiety treatment. Because we specialize in working with children as young as preschool, we have become really good at helping children. Anxiety is a common problems for children, but it’s something we help children overcome every day.

Anxiety is a powerful emotion that can evoke all sorts of responses. The body sends a signal to the brain and the brain’s response is to scream: “You are in danger!” This fight or flight mechanism helped us immensely during our caveman days, when we needed these signals to survive an attack from a wild animal. But in most situations these days, this response is a false alarm. Even though it’s a false alarm, this fear can feel very real! Heart racing, shortness of breath, trembling in arms and legs, tingling in fingers are just a few examples of what can happen when anxiety takes over. These reactions – in and of themselves – can be so scary to children that they actually increase the anxiety, making it debilitating.

What’s more, often times the anxiety cannot be explained or rationalized away. Our instinct is to tell children:

“You’ll be okay. It’s just a short book report. Everyone has to do it.”

“There is nothing to worry about – Mommy will never forget to pick you up from school.”

“We are not going to get into a car accident! I will even drive extra carefully so you won’t have to worry.”

​”Just relax. You will be okay.”

These statements are really well intended. You are trying to help your children, but it just seems to make their anxiety worse. The unfortunately truth is that for kids who really struggle with anxiety, these explanations are just not enough. Regardless of what “fact” we see as adults, their worries and fear seem very real to your child. Telling themselves to relax or that their fears probably won’t happen might not make them feel much better.

Fortunately, there is help for anxious children. Children have the ability to gain an awareness of their feelings and become empowered to gain control over this powerful emotion.  The counselors at BPC are experts at providing mental health services for children.

As a Houston child and family therapy clinic, BPC uses a blend of play therapy, mindfulness practices, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, and innovative “brain-based” strategies coming from the latest in neuroscience.  Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Theraplay techniques are also sometimes indicated for children with anxiety.

How Counseling Helps Your Child:

  • Reduce nervous feelings
  • Learn tools to “boss back” their anxious thoughts
  • Gain confidence in social situations
  • Learn relaxation tools
  • Improve sleep habitats and transitions

How Counseling Helps the Parents

Parent and family counseling sessions will give you resources and tools to help your child take control of the anxiety.  Your child’s therapist will give you phrases to use for those times when you just don’t know what to say. As a parent, you will be supported and provided all the tools you need to help your child in all the ways you want to. Parent counseling sessions and anxiety treatment for your child can help your home become a peaceful, happy place again.

  • Excessive anxiety and worry
  • Inability to control fears and worries
  • Difficulty sleeping due to anxious thoughts
  • Physical symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches
  • Extreme fears in social situations
  • Perfectionistic tendencies  and performance anxiety
  • Difficulty separating from caregivers
  • Irrational thoughts about something happening to primary caregivers

Families who may not be ready for child anxiety counseling at BPC include, but are not limited to, parents who:

  •  Do not want to engage in the therapeutic process
  • Want a “quick fix”
  • View their child as the problem
  • Are not able to commit to 6-12 months of care
  • Want a therapist to “fix” their child

Your child and your family does not have to live with the constant fear and worry that are currently consuming so much of your life. If you want support in coping with anxiety and live in the Houston and Katy area, we can help! Our goal as a Houston, TX child therapy clinic is to find out if BPC is the right fit for your family.

Child Therapy for Behavior Problems

We see children struggle with behaviors for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes the behavior change is sudden, but often it escalates more slowly over time. Sometimes we’re able to see the behavior began around the time of a sudden change at home, like a move, custody change, adoption, death of a family member, or another major event. Other times your child struggles more to “keep their cool” because of another mental health problem such as ADHD, anxiety, or depression. Regardless of the cause, our child behavioral therapy helps children and parents throughout the Houston, TX, area.

Our expert child behavior specialists understand children. We speak their language through play and carefully selected therapy interventions. In addition, we support you as the parents and the entire family unit. We’ve helped many other children with behavior problems through our counseling services, and we want to help your family as well.

  • Learn who they are on the inside
  • Develop unconditional love for themselves
  • Gain awareness of their feelings
  • Learn tools to verbalize their emotions instead of acting out

Together, we will work to help your child to improve their behavior at home and at school.  We will also help them to improve their social relationships, and form stronger connections with loved ones.

“Anger is sadness’s bodyguard.”

Play therapy supports your child, through their natural means of communication of play, to express their anger along with what is underneath their anger. This expression offers great insight for the therapist and child. Children are also able to experience the relief of expressing their feelings. Through play therapy children begin integrating positive behavioral coping skills.

Your child will participate in weekly, 50-minute play therapy sessions. Behavioral Therapy is about giving your child power to overcome the frustrations they cannot yet verbalize.

Therapy for children with behavioral issues is best for those who need to learn more effective ways to express and manage their troubling feelings.

Often, the behavior of a child masks the emotions they are experiencing underneath. It is our job to work together to support your child in expressing their feelings in a healthy and healing way. Once we can determine what is at the root of their behaviors, we can better understand how to help your child communicate their unmet needs.

Your child will benefit from Behavioral Therapy at our counseling clinic if your child is:

  • Having consistent meltdowns and is not able to manage behaviors
  • Getting in trouble at school because they refuse to follow rules
  • Aggressive or violent
  • Impulsive and lacks self-control
  • Experiencing conflict with others and has challenges at school, daycare, or in other activities

Families not ready for our counseling services include, but are not limited to, parents who:

  • Do not want to engage in the therapeutic process along with the child
  • Want a “quick-fix”
  • View their child as “the problem”
  • Are not able to commit to six to 12 months of care
  • Want us “to fix” their child

Your family will benefit as we work together throughout the counseling process to understand what is driving your child’s problem behaviors. As therapy progresses and your child’s behavior improves, you’ll gain a sense of freedom from the chaos acting out behavior is causing in your lives. Ultimately, your child will gain a sense of peace and self-control as they move toward a happier life. Let our child behavior specialists begin helping you and your family today.

Child Therapy for ADHD

You see that your child struggles more than other kids their age in school. Their grades have been falling lately and encouraging them to do their homework is a daily struggle. Their teachers have noticed too. It feels like you’re in constant communication with the teacher and hearing reports of how difficult your child is to manage in school. They tell you that your child is having difficulty paying attention in class and staying on task. Sometimes their absent minded behavior distracts other children as well.

We can help you determine if the behaviors you’re noticing are symptoms of ADHD or if there’s something else causing them. At BPC, you will get support and advice that will guide you through a diagnosis of ADHD. We want to provide your child with skills that will help them succeed and thrive throughout their life.

  • Enhance ability to focus
  • Develop time management and organizational skills
  • Increase motivation and decrease procrastination
  • Manage overwhelming feelings
  • Learn healthy ways of expressing feelings
  • Learn frustration tolerance
  • Manage impulsive behaviors
  • Manage hyperactivity
  • Gain a deep understanding of the symptoms of ADHD
  • Understand which symptoms are affecting your child the most
  • Learn to help your child regulate their emotions
  • Decrease stress at home

At BPC, we support children with symptoms of ADHD and their families by using effective and evidence-based techniques. We help children understand what ADHD means and how their brains work. We help parents develop parenting skills to meet the unique needs of a child with an ADHD diagnosis.

Together, we will work to help your child learn skills to manage the symptoms of ADHD that are affecting their ability to thrive.

  • Difficulty focusing in school
  • “Spaces out” in school or when spoken to
  • Can be forgetful
  • Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Is easily side-tracked
  • Has difficulty staying seated at school
  • Tends to fidget or tap
  • Often talks excessively
  • Interrupts in conversation

Families who may not be ready for child anxiety counseling at BPC include, but are not limited to, parents who:

  •  Do not want to engage in the therapeutic process
  • Want a “quick fix”
  • View their child as the problem
  • Are not able to commit to 6-12 months of care
  • Want a therapist to “fix” their child

In these cases, we can provide you with appropriate referrals to other services in the Houston area.

At BPC, we believe that a child with ADHD is not a “problem” and that they can learn skills to manage ADHD symptoms and succeed throughout their lives. We believe that families can grow together and create a peaceful home. You don’t have to continue struggling to parent a child with symptoms of ADHD. If you want to take the first step towards a happier child and a better-functioning family, we can help.

Child Therapy for PTSD & Trauma

Your child does not seem like themselves, but it is hard to put your finger on what is behind their change in behavior. You wonder if it has to do with something your child witnessed or experienced. Or maybe some recent big changes in their life. A death of a loved one. Witnessing domestic violence. A victim of physical &/or sexual abuse. Parents recently divorced. A recent car accident. Moving to a new city. Medical trauma. Trauma can take many, many different forms.

All children respond differently to the experiences they go through in life. Some children are able to recover without therapy and others need the support of a specialized child trauma therapist to guide them towards healing.

At Brittani Persha Counseling, we have several therapists trained in varies evidence-based trauma treatment modalities, and really specialize in helping children as young as two all the way through adult recover from trauma. Your child can heal. We aim to find the right treatment approach and therapist to meet your child and family’s needs. We feel privileged to support children in the Houston and Katy, TX area towards healing.

In the past, there was this idea that “Children are resilient.  No matter what they experience, they can overcome.” While there is truth to a child’s resiliency there is also great danger in “sweeping it under the rug.” Children who have had a traumatic experience or who have suffered a loss may appear as though everything is okay.  They may tell you they are fine, and they may avoid any discussion of the topic.  In reality, there is often a lot going on under the surface.

Here are just a few examples of the  short-term symptoms of PTSD in Children:

  • Acting out in social situations
  • Anxiety or fearfulness
  • Hypervigilence
  • Chronic or recurrent physical complaints
  • Difficulty with focus
  • Irritability
  • Learning difficulties/disabilities
  • Nightmares and sleep issues
  • Startle easily
  • Temper tantrums
  • “Spaciness” or seeming to detach from reality

Fortunately, children do have the ability to adapt and heal. While we do not want to assume children will do this on their own, treatment builds upon their resiliency and can allow for healthy healing to occur. Children can grow up to be healthy, functioning members of society even after experiencing the most horrific traumas as children. For more in depth information about childhood trauma and a helpful guide for parents check out our blog, Tackling Childhood Trauma: How Should Parents Respond?

At BPC, we use a blend of Play Therapy, Mindfulness Techniques, Theraplay, Sand Tray, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and EMDR and Family Therapy Integrative Model (described below). These child counseling techniques are evidenced-based and research has proven them helpful in treating children and teens with trauma. Our counselors value your child and family, so we use treatments that work. Typically, after beginning treatment children begin to feel a difference in a matter of months. Learn more about our child counseling process and what the therapy process looks like at Brittani Persha Counseling. Over years of experience, we have fine tuned a counseling process that involves and supports the whole family to promote lasting change for your child’s mental health.

One of the most powerful and well-researched therapies used to treat trauma and its lasting effects is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – also known as EMDR. EMDR dramatically reduces PTSD symptoms and often in ways that transitional therapy methods do not. You may have heard heard that severe emotional pain (trauma memories, anxiety, depression, etc) requires a long time to heal. This is a common belief people have about PTSD, and it’s true that we haven’t always had treatment approaches, particularly for children.

However, research suggests that EMDR therapy may be ablate soothe the aftereffects of a unexpected tragedy, witnessing a violent act, traumatic changes in ones life and persistent anxiety in much less time the other trauma treatment modalities. Here is a short video further explaining EMDR. If you are interested in learning more about EMDR check out EMDR Therapy.

First of all, our child counselors help parents view behaviors through a trauma lens. As mental health professionals, we work with children and families to learn the tools to understand & cope with strong, scary emotions. Next, your therapist works with you and your child to resolve the pain that has been weighing them down. Your child can heal and you can develop the relationship with your child you have been yearning for.  If you want to take the first step towards healing your child’s trauma and live in the Katy and Houston Area we can help!