Stephanie Haymaker, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
 
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Working with children and adolescents requires the three "E"s -- Empathy, Expertise and Energy.  Children need to know that they will be listened to with respect and compassion.  Children are savvy consumers and are willing to address their problems when approached in a safe and structured therapy setting.  They are often able to participate in creative solutions to their problems.
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My work involves cognitive-behavioral interventions with an appreciation for unique individual and family concerns.  The best approach is one that is goal-oriented with a clear and comprehensive assessment to initiate the process.  I utilize a variety of play techniques for younger children to facilitiate expression of feelings and thoughts, depending on the needs of the child.
 
Adolescents come to therapy for many reasons.  Issues to be addressed often include mood instability, irritability, anxiety, acting out behaviors, disordered eating and sexual identity concerns.  Each patient is given a treatment plan tailored to their age, level of functioning and unique constellation of issues.  

The therapetic relationship is an essential part of this process. Many teens are brought to therapy not of their own choice.  I have worked with resistent teens for many years and have found ways to help them feel comfortable enough to participate in therapy.  Some teens need individual therapy to have a safe place to process feelings and explore new ways to cope. Others are better served in family therapy with a  focus on family patterns of communication and/or problem solving skills.