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Specialties

Westside Behavioral Care / Children (ages 1-9)

Children (ages 1-9)

Children and Mental Health (Ages 1-9)

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental health is an important part of overall health for everyone, including children. Many adults who have mental disorders could have shown symptoms during childhood and adolescence that may have gone unrecognized or misdiagnosed.

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A licensed therapist or counselor can help children and families understand what is going on to effectively address issues that arise and provide the necessary support. Early treatment can help prevent more serious issues from arising in the future. In fact, when some adults reflect back on their childhood during therapy sessions, they tend to remember symptoms of their then-undiagnosed disorders and how it affected them when they were younger.

Common Reasons and Signs to Take your Child to Counseling

Concerned parents may hear from others that warning signs are “just a stage” or that “the child will grow out of it,” but that is not always the case. There are many reasons parents choose to take their children to therapy. Some of these reasons look similar to those seen in adolescents and adults. Here are some of the more common reasons and signs that lead parents to begin child counseling:

  • Constantly bring up things they fear and worries they have
  • Change in sleep routine- sleeping too much or too little
  • Experiencing nightmares regularly
  • Struggling at school or academically declining
  • Change in appetite- eating too much or too little
  • Acting violently towards things, other individuals or animals
  • Obsessively repeating tasks in fear that something bad will happen if they are not completed
  • Thoughts or attempts of hurting themselves or suicide
  • Being extremely irritable and easy to anger
  • Complains of physical pain, although having a healthy medical report
  • Withdrawing from social activity or friends they used to enjoy spending time with

Types of Childhood Therapy

There are various types of therapy that a therapist may choose to move forward with, depending on the child. These offer individualized options to help treat and prevent issues that a child may be showing signs of.

  • Play therapy
    • In play therapy, a therapist interacts with the child by interpreting play behavior and communication. The therapist watches the child to better understand their emotional and mental health. Therapists use different types of child’s play to help the child figure out, express and manage their feelings.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
    • According to Everyday Health, this is a form of counseling where children are taught how their own thoughts can affect their mood and behavior. Children are shown how to identify these negative thoughts and patterns and replace them with positive ones.
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
    • Psychodynamic psychotherapy may differ based on the child’s age. In this type of therapy, therapists listen to the child talk through their issues, with the theory in mind that once the struggles have been spoken out loud, the child’s behavior will improve. 
  • Behavior therapy
    • This type of therapy is similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy, but differs in that it focuses on modifying behaviors. This type of therapy helps children and their parents identify behaviors that need to be discouraged and encouraged to help create a change. According to Everyday Health, parents may be utilized to help alter the environmental factors that may contribute to these behaviors.

Arranging Child Counseling

A thorough evaluation with a licensed professional can help parents determine whether treatment is necessary and which treatment type may be most effective. An evaluation and therapy treatments can be good avenues to learning more about a child’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Young children can be successfully treated today through various methods, including therapy and counseling. The therapists displayed below specialize in treating young children, are credentialed with various insurance companies, and have varied availability to meet most client needs.

Joe Barfoot

Offers sessions only online

Joe Barfoot is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker LCSW with over 30 years of experience in therapy with children, adolescents, adults and families. He is originally from the Kansas City area where he was a Supervisor of an adolescent unit at the internationally known Menninger…

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Jaurene Blacklock /

Offers sessions only online

Aurora therapist, Jaurene Blacklock, LPC, CACIII, is a veteran therapist who sees adults, children, families, couples, and adolescents. She is licensed in Colorado as a professional counselor, and she has earned the State’s highest certification for treating alcohol and drug problems, the CACIII. She provides…

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Lisa Elsey

Offers sessions only online

Come step up your mental health with me. 25 years of experience working with children and families in many different capacities including: outpatient, group, crisis, foster, adoption care systems, and in-home. I work with Individuals of all ages. I treat adults, couples, parents, families, and…

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David Karl

Offers sessions only online

David Karl is a bilingual therapist in Denver able to see English and Spanish speaking patients. English Respecting your culture, empowering you: individuals, couples, families; providing guidance and advice to solve your own problems. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, in private practice, serving Denver…

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Kellee Clark

Offers sessions in-person and online

Kellee is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, Certified Synergetic Play Therapist, and EMDR Certified clinician. Kellee has been providing therapy services to children, families, and adults since 2010. Kellee has worked in a variety of settings including: providing therapy to those…

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April Betty

Offers sessions only online

April is a graduate of Naropa University where she earned her Master of Arts in Somatic Counseling Psychology, with a specialty in Dance/Movement Therapy. April works with people to support the integration of mind, body, and spirit. In addition to verbal dialogue, sensory tracking, breath…

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Laura Shipman /

Offers sessions in-person and online

Therapist in Lakewood, Laura Shipman, LCSW, CACII, brings an impressive degree of skills and experience to Westside Behavioral Care. In Laura’s Own Words: I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Addictions Counselor. I am a therapist in Lakewood with an office convenient…

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Ann Norris /

In my Boulder therapy practice, I am dedicated to providing a supportive, safe environment for clients to work on their own areas of concern. A relational model provides the context for this work, which is guided by each individual’s needs. You can depend on my…

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Jill Alexander

Offers sessions in-person and online

J.Alexander Counseling was founded on the ideals of compassion, safety, empathy, empowerment, trust, and communication. Together, we will work through any stress, difficulty or challenge that brings you in. I am passionate about working with children, families and individuals from all walks of life. I…

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Jessica Kuchinski

Offers sessions only in-person

As a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Art Therapist working in the field since 2003, I’ve worked with children, teens, and adults in schools, summer programs, in homes, a parenting supervision center, in residential treatment, in walk-in crisis, in hospitals, crisis stabilization units, in outpatient…

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Karen Mikolic

Offers sessions only online

Karen Mikolic, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified in Neuropsychology. Dr. Mikolic is a compassionate and dedicated therapist providing counseling for children, teenagers, adults and families. Her therapeutic approach draws from her assessment expertise and rich clinical work. She examines, analyzes and successfully…

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Janet Borelli

Are you under stress? Overwhelmed? Do you feel unable to move ahead in your life? would you like to feel more effective with your children or your marriage? I have 30 years experience in individual child and family counseling, as well as couple counseling. I…

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Bonnie Mucklow / /

Offers sessions only in-person

Greenwood Village therapist, Bonnie Mucklow, is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), licensed professional counselor (LPC) and Colorado Addictions Counselor (CAC III) who has been with Westside Behavioral Care since its inception in 1998. She is very highly respected here. About Bonnie Mucklow, Licensed…

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Rachel Rossi

Offers sessions only online

Rachel is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been practicing therapy with children, teens, adults, couples, and families since 2012. Rachel is also both a Level I and II EMDR trained clinician. Rachel’s approach is compassionate, collaborative, action-oriented and strengths-focused. She specializes in helping children,…

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Theresa Palermo

Offers sessions only online

Theresa Palermo earned her Bachelors Degree from the University of Maryland in College Park in 1988. Afterwards, she spent several years working at Chestnut Lodge inpatient Psychiatric hospital in Rockville, Maryland before continuing on to graduate school. Theresa attended Smith College School for Social Work…

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Traci Rock

Exceptional Lakewood therapy is provided by Traci Rock, LCSW. She is a veteran therapist with special interest in children and families. At times, we all experience circumstances that prompt us to seek unbiased and honest feedback to help us find balance and peace in our…

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Molly Jaques /

Please note: Molly is not accepting new male clients over 18 years old at this time. Molly Jaques is a LPC or Licensed Professional Counselor. She has a BA in Psychology and a Master’s of Counseling from Regis University, graduating with honors. She is trained…

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Michael Gyorffy

Offers sessions only online

Hello! I have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 2007 and have been working in the mental health field for over 20 years. I have a B.A in psychology (Asbury University) and a master’s degree in social work (Spalding University). My clinical experience…

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Jeanette Van Akkeren

Hello! I’m a licensed professional counselor in Westminster, CO with over a decade of experience in the mental health field. I primarily focus on counseling for children (ages 4 and up) and teenagers, as well as families of all shapes and sizes. I utilize play…

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Emily Ringle /

Offers sessions in-person and online

Hello! My name is Emily Ringle and I am thrilled to be working with Westside Behavioral Care. I hope to work with you on your journey to wellness. I love working with littles. For the entirety of my career, I have worked primarily with children…

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Pamela Boaz

Offers sessions in-person and online

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker seeing children, teens and adults, as well as families.  I started Forward Family Therapy in 2006 and am currently both the Clinical Director and a clinician at the practice. I graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelors…

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Tracey Andrews

Child and Adolescent Therapist, Tracey Andrews, LCSW, also specializes in seeing adults suffering from problems such as depression, LGBT issues, and PTSD. Watch Tracey’s video here!! Tracey is a licensed clinical social worker who has been in private practice since 1997.  She has a B.A….

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Lisa Dorner-Zupancic

Offers sessions in-person and online

Therapist in Colorado Springs, Lisa Dorner-Zupancic is a licensed and highly experienced professional therapist serving adults, couples, children, families, and adolescents. In Lisa’s words: I have a master’s degree in Art Therapy and Counseling. I have more than ten years of experience and specialize in…

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Cameron James

Cameron James is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked with children and adolescents in nearly every level of care across New Mexico and Colorado; from school-based clinical services to intensive in-home family therapy to in-patient psychiatric care. He uses these experiences at Forward Family Therapy to help…

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Lindy Steece

Offers sessions only online

I am a believer in Dreams.  I believe Life is short and quality counts.  I am curious about your life:  how you handle situations, what feels good or bad, what is happening Now and what went on before.  We will work together in order to…

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