For Kids

Individual therapy may be helpful if you are feeling stuck, having difficulty coping with life's many changes or demands, or feeling that stress is getting the best of you. Depression can be clouding your perspective, or anxiety becomes overwhelming. Therapy helps your sort the feelings out and work on the core issues.


Benefits of Individual Therapy

Life experiences often disrupt our sense of wholeness, leaving us feeling unable to find our way back to ourselves. When this happens, our lives and our relationships can become difficult, or even unbearable. I view my work as one of helping you to reunite with that innate wisdom, so you can experience more of the love, connection and happiness that is your birthright.


Together we will develop a deep knowing of who you are and what you stand for. Working together, either online or in person, I can help you identify and shift patterns that are blocking you from fully accessing your personal power, saying yes to happiness in your life and creating relationships that are nurturing, close and satisfying. I am committed to helping you identify and work towards creating the life you want and deserve.

Individual therapy can help you:

  • Develop new perspectives and life skills so that you can free yourself from habitual patterns of anxiety, depression, and self-criticism.

  • Deal with addictive behaviors including substance abuse, relationship issues, gambling and eating disorders, etc.

  • Reclaim your sense of personal power.  Learn to take responsibility and move forward in your life rather than feeling stuck, helpless and hopeless.

  • Find ways to relate to emotional or physical suffering so that inevitable suffering brings wisdom & compassion rather than depression & anger.

  • Improve the quality of your relationships by developing more life affirming behaviors.

  • Provide you with a set scheduled time to attend to your own needs and regain your perspective.


Other Benefits of Therapy

One main benefit of therapy is that it can help you reach for a life you would more fully enjoy and appreciate. It can support you in becoming the kind of person you want to be.  It can also help you to more deeply enjoy your most valued relationships.


You might use therapy to:

  • Feel better about yourself

  • Think about relationship issues

  • Feel more at peace

  • Feel more connected with people in your life

  • Reduce stress

  • Work through problems with a skilled & compassionate professional

  • Identify goals for living the kind of life you would like to live

  • Learn new behaviors and/or responses which may help you achieve your goals

  • Understand your own thoughts, feelings & responses better

  • Understand your loved ones better

  • Have a safe and friendly listener; someone who is non-judgmental & supportive

  • Speak with a skilled & interested professional about your fears & concerns

  • Talk in confidence about troubling or private concerns

  • Work towards greater fulfillment and mastery in your life



...and the Adults Who Care for Them

Kids often have hard feelings, just like adults do. Life can feel sad and confusing and sometimes you can't even find words for what is going on. Therapy can help the bad feelings be less "in charge," and help you feel good again. You may be feeling worried, scared, sad, angry or confused.

Maybe you're having bad dreams, or you are afraid to leave Mom or Dad, or find yourself feeling cranky all the time. Maybe you're getting into fights or you cry for no reason. It might be because something bad has happened — there may be a lot of arguing or a divorce in your family, maybe someone close to you is sick or you've lost someone you love. It might be hard to get along with other kids, or maybe your school work is just too hard. Bad things can happen to wonderful kids, and it can cause lots of mixed-up feelings and stress.


Child psychotherapy is the creation of a therapeutic relationship which is almost solely focused on the emotional and social well-being of the child. It differs from adult therapy is several important ways:



Child therapy is very forward-oriented.  Children are always in the process of becoming who they will be, so looking back on past life events, as in adult therapy,  to find and re-experience the source of trouble or to problem-solve may be somewhat irrelevant. Child therapists are experts at helping children  develop a strong sense of self, emotional strength, good relationships and good communication.



The language of child therapy is largely non-verbal.  Child therapists use activity, unstructured play, games and relationship to communicate with children.  Children can't always translate actions into words, or feelings into words, so it's important that child therapists be bilingual, speaking both 'adult' and 'child'.


This is a busy world, and sometimes children lose track of themselves and need the experience of true "awareness of self" in an environment that is free of criticism (perceived or real) and expectation.  Once this trusting relationship is built with a therapist, the exploration of the true self can begin.  This exploration happens because of the therapist's ability to create a therapeutic space in which growth and introspection are welcomed and demonstrated.  The child psychotherapist is like a guide through the confusing territory of emotion and development.



Aside from the relief of symptoms, child therapy works on the following five goals:

  • Build Self Esteem

  • Help Improve Communication

  • Stimulate Development

  • Build an Emotional Repertoire

  • Improve the Emotional Vocabulary.



If you are in middle or high school, life can feel pretty tough. Academics can be hard, and sometimes there is a lot of pressure to succeed. Social pressure can be intense, and it may be hard to figure out just where you fit in. Maybe extracurricular activities such as sports, music, student government or theater are fun — but overwhelming. Therapy for a teen can be a wonderful chance to explore who you are, what you value, and where you are heading. Learning and attention to schoolwork may be tough challenges for you. Parents mean well, but at times they just don't understand.


I find the best psychotherapy for teenagers entails a collaborative, person-to-person dialogue which addresses a teen’s particular concerns and situation in life. This approach to psychotherapy provides an emotionally safe place to explore how one feels about things and what to do about them. It evolves into what feels and looks more like life coaching than psychotherapy. A therapist can be a mentor, a “thinking partner”—someone who can help to generate new ideas, to figure things out, or help to take a new approach to oneself, relationships, or situations.

In my experience, the best psychotherapy outcomes for teens (or adults) emerge from a process in which

  • Real change is a deliberate choice. It is facilitated by a heightened sense of identity, self-worth, purpose, and empowerment on one hand, and clarity about how the world and relationships work on the other.

  • The counselor remains emotionally tuned in, centered, and respectful. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that the therapeutic relationship is the most powerful factor regardless of treatment orientation. It provides an emotional safety zone that enables personal growth, new perspectives and skills.

  • The teen's therapist is able to offer more than a therapeutic relationship. A professional psychotherapist should to be able to effectively treat psychological disorders (or their precursors in childhood and adolescence).


He/she should have life experience, useful information, and teachable strategies for approaching problems in living, stage-of-life, relationship, family, peer, academic, and career issues that people face in their teens and early twenties.



I personally enjoy working with teenagers because they are going through such an intense, challenging, and pivotal time in life. My counseling approach is specific to the individual and his family, avoids pathologizing a client or blaming anyone, and actively pursues positive, creative solutions.

The multi-modal approach provides a range and depth of perspective as well as cognitive behavioral tools to implement change. Family systems theory helps me to understand a client against the background of his/her family. As an interpersonal-humanistic psychologist, my approach to counseling teenagers naturally focuses on self-empowerment and personal responsibility.

At appropriate times, and with a teen's consent, I may consult with and make recommendations to parents—without compromising confidentiality. We may have a teen-parent meeting to facilitate communication, resolve an impasse, or reinforce an agreement, etc.

​© 2018 by Zev John Berkowitz/

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