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Sharon Road/SouthPark
5203 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC 28210
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Park Road/Myers Park
3200 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
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(704) 554-9900

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Children, Adolescents,
Parents, and Families

Children, Adolescents,
Parents, and Families

The members of our Children, Adolescents, Parents and Families Team welcome individuals and families of all races, ethnicities, genders, faiths or no faith, and sexual orientations.

Children and adolescents have bad days like the rest of us. Extended periods of anxiety, depression, irritability, changes in school performance, being bullied, difficulty with peers, and other worrisome moods or behaviors may indicate the need for counseling. Early intervention can help children or teens get back on track in order to meet their full potential. Many adults who seek mental health therapy reflect on their pasts and wish they had received help sooner. We see children and also engage with parents and families to provide the best care for our younger clients.

child

General Principles

Play therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy are relational.

The relationship that develops between the child/adolescent and the therapist is key to the success of their time together.

Play therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy are integrative.

Every child/adolescent is body, mind, spirit, belongs within a specific family, and comes from a particular cultural background. Our clinicians attend to all of these elements.

Play therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy are not about diagnoses.

Children/adolescents are not autistic or ADHD or angry. They cannot be fully understood or explained by their diagnoses. Our counselors and therapists work with unique young people to relieve symptoms and to foster wellbeing in school, social and family relationships, physical self-care, and emotional regulation.

Consultations and collaboration are important.

We understand that often there are other professionals involved in caring for a child. Our clinicians frequently consult and collaborate with pediatricians, occupational/physical therapists, school/daycare personnel, and speech therapists who are also providing services for a child or adolescent client.

Family/parent participation

Depending on the age of the child/adolescent, it is often helpful for the therapist to meet on occasion with parents or to engage the family or parents in collaborative care and adjunctive therapy. In order to protect the relationship between therapist and the child/adolescent, we may refer the parents or family to other members of our Child, Adolescent, and Family Therapy Team.

Therapies
  • Counseling and psychotherapy
  • Eye Movement Densensitization and Reprocessing
  • Family therapy
  • Parent counseling and psychoeducation
  • Play therapy
  • Trauma recovery therapy
child

A Word About Play Therapy

Play therapy is a structured, theory-based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative, learning, and imaginative processes of children.  

Play therapists use play to help children express what is bothering them in ways that do not require the verbal skills they have not yet acquired.

Play therapy facilitates increased self-regulation of emotion and builds social skills. It enhances the child’s respect and empathy for self and other.

Trauma Recovery Therapy for Children

Adverse childhood experiences

Early traumatic experiences or losses can affect the development of the child’s brain, physiology, and psychology. The results, too often, show up as medical, psychological, and social disorders and behaviors.

Resiliency

Children also usually have areas of great resiliency and are capable of post-traumatic growth.

Early intervention

is crucial to reduce the odds of later life difficulties by addressing the traumas early on and building on resiliency.

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – uses eye movements, sounds, and repetitive motions to stimulate the brain to help the child or adolescent come to terms with traumatic memories. EMDR sessions allow a client to visit a disturbing memory mentally in brief doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Not only does EMDR help clients create new associations with traumatic memories, it also helps reduce sensitivity to external events that can trigger those memories. EMDR is used only in ongoing play therapy, counseling, or talk psychotherapy.

Developmental trauma and losses
  • Being bullied in person or cyberspace for appearance, ethnicity, race, gender, income status, religion, sexual orientation
  • Death of a parent/sibling/close relative/close friend/pet
  • Emotional abuse/neglect
  • Family member mental illness
  • Family member alcohol/substance abuse
  • Growing up in poverty/with food scarcity
  • Growing up in a violent neighborhood
  • Moving often or at critical school levels
  • Parental divorce/separation/remarriage
  • Parental incarceration
  • Physical abuse/neglect
  • School shooting or school shooting drills
  • Serious accident/illness/surgery
  • Sexual abuse/assault/rape, including date rape
  • Suicide of a parent/family member/friend
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Witnessing a violent crime/being a crime victim
Other specialties:

ADD/ADHD
Alcohol/substance abuse
Anxiety and depression
Attachment issues
Autism spectrum
Dating and friendship Issues
Divorced and blended families
Eating disorders, emotional eating, body image concerns
Emotional disregulation, tantrums, rage
Grief
LGBTQ+ children, parents, families
Self-mutilation
Suicidal thoughts/wishes to die

Meet Your Child, Adolescent and Family Team

Liz Fallon, MA, LCMHC, NCC
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Perry Griffin, M.Ed., LCMHC, NCC
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Ariana Mader, MA, LCMHC, NCC
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
John C. Simpson, III, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Jennifer Fadel, MA, LCMHC-A, NCC
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associates
Jessica Smith, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker