Children and young adolescents are such a wonderful group with whom to work. Children soak up new information and new ways of approaching situations which helps to quicken their potential growth and lessen troublesome symptoms. Connecting with children through their natural outlets, such as during play, is shown to be an effective way to help them express and resolve bothersome feelings and to promote change.
Teenagers, seen by many to be a difficult population, are one of my favorites. I love their challenging nature and budding independence. Being a teenager is also one of the most difficult times in a person's life, with all the pressures and brain changes that go along with it. I believe that with guidance, teenagers can take charge of and conduct their lives in a positive way.
Having two children myself, I have a particular interest in working with parents. My approach to parenting is one of an attachment parenting approach based on attachment theory. Attachment Parenting International states: “The long-range vision of Attachment Parenting is to raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection.” Research supports that parenting practices are most effective when done with positive discipline - empathetic, loving, and respectful discipline that helps a child develop a conscience guided by his or her own internal discipline and compassion for others. It is rooted in a secure, trusting, connected relationship between parent and child.
It seems the societal expectation is that once we reach a certain age, we're to be all put together and have it all figured out. Unfortunately, that's an unrealistic expectation. Young adulthood is often a stressful time in life as we are trying to establish ourselves in this world. It is not uncommon to need a bit of guidance and assistance in managing the stress and anxiety that comes with this phase of life.