Parenting and Behavior Issues

Mom and Daughter


Parenting is one of the greatest joys in life. From the time your child is born, your heart grows bigger. It can also be a huge stressor. If you are just stepping into your role as a parent, you may be struggling to adapt to this new role and shift your life to adjust to this new little person. You may be feeling depression or your relationships may be struggling.

If you have been a parent for awhile, your child or teen may be showing behavior issues and defiance that you don’t know what to do with. You may be struggling to maintain power in your role as a parent. This may mean you are giving in too much to your child and he or she is “running the show.” It may also mean that you are letting your temper overcome you and you are yelling more at your child than you would like. Either way, it’s not working! Your child or teen isn’t listening and you need help.

What will therapy look like? 

Therapy will be customized based on your child or teen and the issue he or she presents with. It will include parent training and a personalized behavior plan to be utilized outside of sessions. Both parents should be included in sessions for the best outcome.


  • Play Therapy: Play is a child’s primary means of communication. A variety of therapeutic toys will be presented to allow your child to express his or her feelings and process any issues. Play therapy is different than playing at home. It allows your child to “play out” what is going on in his or her life.
  • Art Therapy: A variety of art modalities (e.g., paint, clay, drawing) may be utilized to allow your child to express his or her feelings, without needing to use words. Difficult feelings, such as anger, can be expressed easier using art.
  • Sand Tray: Using figurines and objects, your child creates a scene in the sand (usually representing “their world”). This allows your child to recreate and process something going on in his or her life.
  • Engagement with Parents: Parents will be brought into sessions to learn new behavior strategies and to engage in play with their children.
  • Talk Therapy: Utilized with older children, or during play.


  • Talk Therapy: Therapy may be all talk therapy or a combination of the below methods, depending on your teen and how open he or she is.
  • Sand Tray: Allows your teen to open up and express him or herself deeper without using words (see child description)
  • Art Therapy: Art activities may be used to allow a deeper expression of your teens feelings.
  • Games: Used to create a strong therapeutic relationship and to allow your teen to feel comfortable to open up.
  • Engagement with Parents: Sessions may partially include parents. Behavior outside of session will be reviewed with parents to check progress and work as a team.


  • Parent Trainings: Examples of topics include behavior strategies, effective communication, and strengthening your relationship.
  • Co-Parenting: Learn to compromise as a couple or co-parent on parenting strategies.
  • Groups: Parenting groups with other parents are sometimes offered. Please check to see when the next group will be starting up. 

How will you help my child or teen’s behavior issues?

It will start with creating a relationship with your child and you as parents. I want us to be able to work as a team to have the best chance of success at reducing your child’s behaviors. You will learn to be looked at as an authority figure and gain respect from your child. Your child will learn that there are consequences to his or her behaviors and how to get what he or she wants more effectively, without behavior.

What behavior issues do you work with?

Examples of issues I work with:

  • Tantrums
  • Aggression
  • Defiance
  • Talking back to parent
  • Yelling
  • Breaking house rules
  • Refusing to do chores
  • Crying
  • Low engagement with family

If your child or teens behavior is not appropriate for 1:1 or family therapy, I will do my best to give you a referral.

How long will it take until I see improvement in my child’s behavior? 

It all depends on the severity of the behavior and how much effort you put in during and outside of sessions. Expect to see an increase in your child’s behavior during the first week or so as you begin to implement new strategies in the home. This should peek and then decrease if you push through these behaviors. This is just your child trying to test the limits and fight the new structure and rules.