Therapy for Children and Adolescents in Amsterdam
The reasons for seeking therapy for children and adolescents are various. For example, young children sometimes experience difficulties in adjusting to the school\kindergarten environment for the first time, and many teenagers experience depression or other mood disorders when entering and during adolescence.
We as adults sometimes underestimate the hardships of being a child, and later on an adolescent, especially in this day and age where uncertainty and unexpected events are an integral part of our everyday life. Growing up in a digital-based world can be frightening and confusing, and many children and youth need assistance in handling the emotions and stresses that arise.
In addition, the psychological effects of the covid-19 pandemic still exist to this day, and many children and teenagers face emotional issues caused by the isolation and panic experienced worldwide. For instance, some children spent critical years with no interactions with their peers, causing them to have social difficulties, especially with regards to creating new connections.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Children and Adolescents
CBT is a form of psychological treatment focused on identifying and changing maladaptive and negative thinking patterns that cause emotional distress and behavioural difficulties. In therapy, the therapist helps the patient identify underlying negative automatic thoughts or assumptions that effect behaviors and emotions. Once these thinking patterns are detected, the therapist helps the patient challenge these thoughts, to help him\her understand that their beliefs about themself and their environment do not necessarily reflect the reality. The therapist also helps the patient build healthy and positive thinking patterns. CBT can be used for many problems and disorders such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, eating disorders, phobias and more.
In art therapy, children are encouraged to express themselves creatively, and the emphasis is on the process of creation which is more important than the quality final product. The effectiveness of art therapy as a tool for treating children is two-fold: 1. The art piece and the creative process that led to it help the child express thoughts, emotions and conflicts in a non-verbal way. By doing so, art therapy helps the child communicate with the therapist. 2. Children's mental well-being is positively impacted by the child's involvement in drawing, painting, and sculpting, since the process itself is therapeutic. The therapist is involved in the art creation process, and helps the child express themselves with the given materials. When the piece is done, the therapist helps the child process the emotions and feelings that arose during the creation activity or that are apparent in the final art piece.
Play therapy is a psychodynamics tool which focuses on children's ability to express themselves through play. As children play, they exercise several emotional and cognitive abilities, such as thinking, planning, imagining, memory, hopes, and experimenting. During the development of children, playing is a good way to express their experiences and emotions, allowing them to better communicate with others. The way the child plays is regarded as a reflection of their personal experience. Children also benefit from playing as a means for processing unresolved conflicts and traumas. Through play therapy, the child is able to share their emotions with the therapist and to receive his/her support and guidance.
Parent Counseling in Amsterdam
Many parents find themselves feeling helpless facing every-day situations with their children. For example, some parents may find it difficult to set boundaries; Others may find the emotional and behavioral changes their children experience as they enter adolescence too overwhelming; Some parents may have a general feeling that they are ”not good enough” as parents.
Parent guidance is a therapeutic advisory tool where parents can bring up the difficulties they or their children are facing, and develop practical skills to assist them in improving their role as parents and the many challenges of parenting.
Usually, when a child starts therapy, it is highly recommended to have a one-monthly parent counseling meeting. With that, it is also optional to have weekly parent counseling sessions without the child being involved.
The treatment plan will always revolve around the child and his/her needs, and the obstacles that arise in the parent-child relationship. It is highly recommended for both parents to be involved in the parent guidance sessions.
In our parent counseling sessions, we will discuss the difficulties and obstacles that arise in your relationship with your child, analyze which behaviors may negatively affect that relationship, and build helpful and healthy strategies to help you improve it while helping your child grow into a healthy adult.
Therapy for Young Adults in Amsterdam
In my clinic I provide psychological therapy for young adults (Aged 18-26).
During the transition from adolescence to adulthood, many difficulties and emotional conflicts may arise.
As a young adult who is now responsible for your own life and development, you may feel anxious or confused. Many young adults start their academic and professional journey as students, and the pressure to achieve good grades combined with the need to maintain a healthy and fulfilling social life may cause stress and even depression.
Being an international student living away from your friends and family, having to adjusting to a new culture, trying to create deep social connections with other students (while being aware that these may have a “deadline” when you finish your studies) - all of these may add to your unstable emotional state.
As an expat who lived and studies in the Netherlands, I am familiar with the hardships of being a young adult in a foreign country. Moving from a very warm and sunny country to the cold and
rainy Netherlands, I also experienced firsthand the effects of limited exposure to sunlight on one’s emotional state.
If you are feeling anxious, stressed, depressed, or simply feel the need to get professional help,
I invite you to contact me, so that together we can find the suitable steps and support you need in order to improve your well-being.