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Child & Adolescent Therapy

Child Services

Does your child have difficulty managing big emotions? Struggle to listen and follow directions? Does your child have trouble developing appropriate social skills & peer connections? Do you feel stuck as a parent trying to address these concerns? 


If so, you are not alone! Many children struggle with their social and emotional development, and as a result parents can feel overwhelmed and helpless when trying to figure out how best to support their child. The good news is that there are services available to promote healthy development in your child and provide you with the knowledge & skills needed to feel confident in supporting their child’s mental health. 


When children learn how to manage their mental health early on it sets them up for success in the future. Being mentally healthy during childhood means meeting developmental milestones, learning healthy social skills, and developing sustainable ways to cope with life’s challenges and uncomfortable emotions.

Parenting and Behavior Management Services 

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (children ages 2-7) 

SCAW offers Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for families of children ages 2-7, who struggle with emotional and behavioral difficulties. PCIT is an evidence-based treatment supported by the American Psychological Association that focuses on improving the parent-child relationship, increasing child compliance, and reducing problem behaviors. PCIT is a play-based intervention that involves both the child and their caregiver(s). Caregivers receive live coaching via one-way-mirror from their therapist as they interact with their child. Through these interactions parents learn how to shape their child’s behavior and develop consistent approaches to discipline.


PCIT is designed for the following emotional and behavioral disorders: 

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 

  • Attachment Disorders


Even if a child does not have a diagnosis for any of the above conditions, PCIT may still be a suitable intervention. PCIT is designed for children who exhibit disruptive and aggressive behavior that significantly impacts their functioning, relationships, development, and pose a challenge to adults (caregivers, teachers, etc.) managing these behaviors.

Parent Coaching (Children 7+) 

For families with children over the age of 7 who experience behavioral challenges, SCAW offers 1:1 Parent Coaching. Parent Coaching is focused on providing parents with concrete tools and strategies to effectively manage their child’s behavior and increase the frequency of positive interactions between parent and child.

Additional Mental Health Services 

Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety and Depression are common mental health conditions among children that impacts their self-esteem, relationships, and behavior. Learning how to identify the signs and symptoms of these conditions is an important first step in addressing them. 


Some common symptoms of anxiety in children include: 

  • Excessive fears and worries that are disproportionate to the situation 

  • Fears and worries getting in the way of normal day-to-day activities (school, peer interactions, sleep) ​​

  • Negative thinking 

  • Physical symptoms including stomach aches and headaches

  • Frantic efforts to avoid the anxiety-producing situation 

  • Irritability and anger

  • Difficulty concentrating 


Some common symptoms of depression in children include: 

  • Continuous feelings of sadness and hopelessness

  • Social withdrawal

  • Negative thinking

  • Fatigue and low energy

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt 

  • Crying spells 

  • Trouble enjoying activities one once loved

  • Changes in sleep (excessive sleep or sleepless nights) 

If your child has any of the above symptoms, they would likely benefit from therapeutic services. We provide evidence-based treatment from a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) approach for children experiencing Anxiety and/or Depression. Treatment involves helping children understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, how to identify their feelings and unhelpful thoughts, and develop problem-solving and coping skills to manage life’s challenges.

Any disruption to the family dynamic can be difficult for a family. Some common reasons families seek therapy include:

  • Conflict

  • Substance abuse

  • Miscommunication

  • Behavioral problems in children

  • Conditions such as depression, eating disorders, and/or anxiety

  • Sexual abuse

  • Grief and loss

Caregiver Involvement 

In working with children in a therapeutic capacity, our clinicians will elicit cooperation and engagement from the caregiver(s). Caregiver involvement in treatment is crucial in maximizing the child’s gains and assuring the child feels supported. Caregivers play a critical role in reinforcing the skills children learn in therapy, by prompting their child to use skills outside of session and reinforcing their efforts with praise and positive attention. Additionally, caregiver involvement increases their own confidence and competence in managing their child’s mental health. Level of involvement is dependent on the age of the child, their needs, and the treatment modality being used.

Multidisciplinary Approach 

It is common for the clinician working with your child to request contact with other adults in the child’s life. This could include teachers, members of the child’s school team, pediatricians, speech and occupational therapists, and other caregivers for the child (grandparents, nanny, etc.). The purpose of utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach is two-fold. First, it allows the clinician to gather collateral information about the child’s behavior in other settings. Second, it allows the clinician to provide education and strategies to those interacting with the child, so that the therapeutic approach is consistent & reinforced in multiple settings (ex: at home, school, and childcare). 


If you have a child who could benefit from any of the treatments described above, please feel free to reach us at 206-785-1953 to talk more about how our clinicians may be of help to you and your child.

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