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Minakshi Goyal, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." -Maria Robinson
First Responders Parents Teens
Information for Parents

Parenting today is more difficult than ever! Demands on our time from our employers, financial responsibilities, family obligations, and societal pressures bombard us daily. We are struggling just to stay afloat and time for ourselves seems impossible to find. Many parents go to bed at the end of the day mentally and physically drained, only to begin the routine again tomorrow. So when our children are struggling and we are unable to communicate with them to find simple solutions to their complex problems, we begin to feel angry, frustrated, and helpless. We wonder, “is this normal and will my child grow out of this stage, or is this a more serious problem?” Our instinct is to protect them. Whether your child is an adolescent or a young child, I can help you decipher normal developmental tasks and problems that are occurring from ones that require more serious attention.

Teens and Adolescents:

The teenage years are rough and turbulent for not only the teens, but also for parents. The truth is that adolescence is more difficult than ever for teens to successfully navigate their developmental task of developing their identity and focusing on their academic achievement. The environmental stressors that are present in schools and society are not only increasing in quantity, but also can be more dangerous to their health and well-being than ever before. While many prime time TV shows geared towards adolescents seem ludicrous and exaggerated to adults, they do depict well the added pressures and distractions that our kids are facing.  Issues such as:

  • Drugs/Alcohol
  • Body Image/Eating Disorders
  • Relationships, Sex, and its associated risks
  • Depression and Suicide
  • Anxiety and Phobias
  • Cutting and self harm
  • Texting, Sexting, and other Social Networking Sites
  • Competition surrounding academics and achievement
  • Bullying and Peer Pressure
  • Time Management
  • Learning Disorders and ADHD

can tremendously impact the self-esteem and mental health of teens. You may be noticing changes in the behavior, communication, and habits at home. Teachers, school counselors, or other school professionals may be talking to you about your childs behavior in school. You might be noticing things like falling grades, being consumed by his/her body, intense mood swings, anger and aggression, or being constantly distressed or preoccupied. Your child may be suffering from anxiety, depression, low motivation and a reluctance to talk to you or any other adult. I can help you and your child get through this difficult time. I work with teachers, counselors, physicians, and other professionals as needed, and with your permission. You and your child do not have to travel this road alone!


Children, especially young children require their parents and caretakers to be physically as well as mentally present at all times. Just like teens, young children are dealing with environmental stressors that confuse them. Young children are especially vulnerable because they are physically smaller, less experienced, and more unaware of potential dangers. They often do not possess the ability to put into words their emotions and experiences. (see Children and Play Therapy for more information about this). They act out their frustrations in different ways. Some of these ways include:

  • Becoming aggressive with others
  • Refusing to talk to shying away from others
  • Changes in eating, sleeping, or bathroom habits
  • Having emotional outbursts and tantrums
  • Not being able to make connections with their peers at school
  • Experiencing separation anxiety regarding school
  • Physical complaints such as tummy aches, headaches, or other pains

And just like with teens, many of these issues can be normal developmental issues that children experience as a part of growing up. In other cases, it can be a sign that there is a more serious underlying problem. Many parents complain that their children do not listen and feel powerless and embarrassed in social and public situations. Whatever your concerns may be, I can work with you to assess your child and family's needs, and determine with your input if additional support could help you.

How to talk to kids about therapy

When talking to your children about attending therapy, it is best to be honest and communicate with them at their level.  It is important not to blame them or make statements alluding to it being their fault. 

Avoid saying things like,  “you have to go because you won't stop hitting and biting at school.”

Also avoid using the word “doctor” when talking to children about visiting a therapist because children associate going to the doctor with getting shots or having to be physically examined.  Therapists are not doctors and will not physically examine anyone in the family.

Instead, say something like “we are going to meet someone who can help us figure out how to make things better.  Her name is Mina and she is just going to talk with us for a little while today.  She said that she will have some toys and things for you to play with in her office and we will be there together so you don’t have to be scared.”

For older children, again, avoid blaming them for having to see a therapist and let them know that it will be a safe place for them to figure out how to make things better.  The process will be easier for children and teens to accept if they feel hopeful about things getting better with help instead of alienated and blamed.

For more information on how to talk specifically with your children and family about attending therapy, please call me to discuss so that I can assist you in developing a plan that is unique to your needs.  

Welcome Treatment Approach Services Resources FAQ Contact Me