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The Top 4 # Myths About Child and Teen Counseling in Harrisonburg, VA and the Shenandoah Valley.

 The pandemic brought with it a slew of mental health issues, or in some cases, it just brought them to light. The world has been on edge for a while and our children and youth see and feel the disconnect and instability all around them. The need for counseling has soared. It may feel like finding a good teen therapist or child therapist in Harrisonburg, VA is difficult if not even impossible.

At Spiral Roots LLC, Melissa Deaton Cook LPC specializes in child, teen, and family therapy. I am ready to meet you and your young person where they are at. I am ready to help them find a better quality of life through listening, guiding, supporting, and teaching new skills. I am ready to support you as a parent as you navigate bringing up a child and teen in this stressful world.

 Melissa Deaton Cook LPC has openings for child therapy and teen therapy in Harrisonburg Va. Call 540-416-1628

teen therapy. child therapy, Teen counseling
Child Therapy and Teen Therapy in Harrisonburg, VA.

Myth #1: There are no Therapists in Harrisonburg, VA that have openings for children and teens. 

Over the past year, I have had many clients say to me during the initial consult that they had been looking for a child or teen therapist for as long as six months. Their understanding was that many therapists in the area had reached their limit for the number of teens or children they would see. Or, that therapists in general do not like working with children and teens.

I am always surprised by this no matter how many times I hear this.  This is possibly because I love working with children and teens and have spent years honing my skills to work specifically with them. I know that many therapists work with all ages across the lifespan. As a master's student, you are typically taught some about how to work with all ages. This “generalist” way of working is starting to change as more and more therapists look into providing specialty services. I believe that as in any career, you should explore and find out what you are good at and what you love and focus on that. I have loved working with children and teens since the 1990s! Every career opportunity before I started private practice has focused on children, teens, and families.

As to working with children and teens, they often take more energy. It can feel like a messy process! I was recently thinking about the difference between working with adults and children. When you work with teens and children you are working in the “grey”. Meaning things are not always cut and dry. Children

and teens rarely come into your office calmly and willing to listen to your wisdom. They frequently glare at you, disrupt your fine office, tell you where you can go, or they sit and refuse to speak. You frequently have to be at the top of your game! They call you out on things and challenge you. I love this about their inquisitive minds that frequently do not hold back.

 And then there is the family! Children and teens do not come in a vacuum. The whole family system is at play. Not only are you working with the child or teen but also communicating, supporting, and guiding the family system as well.  Adults come to you typically on their own with a clearly defined problem, a resolution to solve it, and a cognitive process that is accessible. Children and teens often have clearly defined problems as their parents or school system sees them. This is not always the root of what the child or teen is experiencing. Due to this and how children's and teens' brains are in the developmental stage and a hundred other things, the process of therapy can seem a little slow. It can feel a little unclear at times to parents. “All Johny did was play in the sand!”  “Tania just sits and draws!” “Jose just wants to play UNO!” As adults, we typically want to find the problem, define it, fix it, and move on quickly.

Children and teens take a little more work.

Teen and child counseling in Harrisonburg VA
Child therapy in Harrisonburg, VA

teen and child counseling
Teen Therapy in Harrisonburg, VA

We have to find their individual language first, allow them to build trust as we work on a relationship, build coping skills through “play”, and then be ready when they feel safe enough to open up with support, understanding, and guidance. All while balancing the needs and desires of the family system, the school system, and the community.  So yes some therapists do not want to work with children and teens. And, that is ok! Because you want the best for your child or teen. You want someone who is committed and willing to invest the time and energy that is needed in child and teen therapy. Melissa Deaton Cook LPC in Harrisonburg, Va is ready and willing to work with your child or teen today.

Myth #2: There are no therapists in Harrisonburg, VA that specialize in children or teens.

Many counselors in Harrisonburg, VA will work with children and teens. It is just a matter of finding them. Look for a play therapist, expressive art therapist, teen therapist, child therapist, or family therapist when you are searching on line. Some of the problems with finding a child or teen therapist is that the Google search engine may not be optimized on their websites as they are focusing on working with young people and not so much on keeping up to date with SEO marketing. Many child and teen therapists may not take insurance.  Most Insurance companies will still work with these therapist as “out of network providers” but may not let you know about them when you ask. The best way to find a child and teen therapist is to keep asking friends and family. When you find a good one, spread the word so that others have better options for helping their kids as well.

teen therapy and child therapy in Harrisonburg VA and the Shenandoah Valley
Melissa Deaton Cook LPC Child and Teen Therapist

Melissa Deaton Cook is a child and teen therapist who has specialized in working with children, teens, and families since the 1990s. Call her today at 540-416-1628. Spiral Roots LLC has child therapy and teen therapy openings in Harrisonburg, Va.

Myth #3: A teen therapist in Harrisonburg, VA is just there to listen and nod their heads

Child and teen therapists are good at engaging with young people through the young person's language. The language of play, imagination, creativity, and laughter. They are good at setting boundaries and having uncomfortable honest conversations with teens. They are good at holding space for tears and anger.  They are good at supporting, answering questions, and providing guidance both to parents and their young people. They can help provide bridges of communication between a young person and their family. A good child or teen counselor is relational and knowledgeable.

Myth #4: Going to the gym every day is just like going to see a child or teen therapist in Harrisonburg, VA. 

When you go to the gym you want a trainer or coach who understands you. One who “gets you”. One who pushes, supports, and guides you through the tough times. One who is encouraging and understands all the nuances of workouts, muscles, and the body so that they can help you create a good workout plan.  They let you know you that it will take time, it will not always be easy, and sometimes it is downright hard. They reassure you they understand and are there to help and answer questions. In the end, it is worth it when you feel stronger, more flexible, and healthier.

Finding the right therapist for your child or teen is just as important. You want someone who is knowledgeable. Someone who understands kids. Your kid! You want someone your family can relate to, feel safe with, and learn to communicate with. Therapy, child and teen therapy takes time. There will be rough times but there will be great moments of celebration as well. In the end, you want your young person and family to feel stronger, more flexible, and healthier both emotionally and relationally.

You deserve support from someone who can deeply help you, and understand child and teen development and issues. Your child and teen deserve someone who “speaks their language” not just another mark in the schedule book.  Therapy isn’t just for chatting weekly, it is about reaching your goals, easing your worry, and getting real support for both you and your young person. I hope this helps you find the right child or teen therapist in Harrisonburg, VA. Someone who can help you and your loved one. Both you and your child/teen deserve support and guidance. If your child or teen needs counseling check out @spiral roots counseling.

If you need child therapy or teen therapy in Harrisonburg, VA today call Melissa at


Teen therapy  and child therpay in Harrisonburg VA
Melissa Deaton Cook LPC and Spiral Roots LLC providing teen and child therapy in Harrisonburg, VA.

Melissa understands children and teens, she loves to work with them, and she is able to help them. Spiral Roots LLC has child and teen openings today.

@spiral roots counseling

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