Counseling for Children,
Adolescents & Families


Children, Adolescents, & Families

Children and adolescents move through several stages of development, and each stage presents new challenges. It is normal for children to misbehave at times because they are in the process of learning. Some children and adolescents have more difficult challenges, either internally (within themselves) or externally (in the environment). Also, some children are just “strong willed” and are a challenge. All children are unique, and what works for one parent may not work for another. A common goal most parents share is for the child or adolescent to retain a sense of self and to become a healthy, happy adult who functions well in society.

The first step in counseling is the intake/assessment to identify the problematic area that is impacting the ability to do well at home, in school or internally. Many times, it is a combination of factors and the interaction that occurs between them. The second step is to develop a few realistic goals based on the problem. The third step is to work toward the goals to improve functioning and then to transition out of counseling.

Marcella completes the intake process with children and adolescents in a three-step process. The first session is with the parent(s) alone to obtain a complete history and parental perspective of the problem. The second session is with the parent(s) and child together. Towards the end of the second session, she will meet with the child alone. After the second session she meets with the child alone and may periodically meet with the parent.

Children and adolescents need to feel comfortable in counseling. Marcella frequently uses play therapy, drawing or metaphor within her sessions when appropriate to help a child work through an issue that is difficult to verbalize. It is very much focused play or drawing and has an underlying purpose in the session.

Below are some of the issues I frequently address in child and adolescent counseling:

  • Adjustment to Deployment
  • Adjustment to Parental Separation/Divorce
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Aggression/Anger
  • Anxiety/Fears
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Bereavement
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Depression
  • Excessive Parent/Child conflict
  • Internet Bullying/Social Media Issues