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ADHD comes in many different shapes and sizes.  If you or someone you now may be experiencing ADHD you may see symptoms such as difficulty listening, trouble organizing themselves, being easily distracted, inability to follow instructions, etc.  Being that ADHD is one of the most highly researched topics in mental health we now know that it is biological and much can be done with medication.  However, that is not to say that medication is the final answer and that behaviors cannot continue to surface and need some type of alteration through psychotherapy.   

As Laurence Steinberg (2014) states, children are entering into adolescence earlier than ever, but adolescents are taking longer to become adults.  Assuming you're the parent reading this right now, yes, a little frighting.  However, the good news is that we are learning more and more about this stage of life and while it might not be easy manage or understand your adolescent right now, there are ways to explore what he or she might be going through and why.  As a trained adolescent therapist, I have worked with many teens experiencing various types of life stressors and while research is important in understanding any phase of life, fostering a solid therapeutic relationship is another way of gaining an understanding of what your child might be going through at this stage of his or her life. 

Addiction Therapy

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Child and Adolescent Therapy 

Trauma Therapy

Depression and Anxiety tend to co-exist.  For example, one may feel anxious about their overall performance on the job, have thoughts of not being good enough, which lead to low performance on the job, poor review by the boss, and then feelings of depression set in due to their inability not to live up to their potential.  This is a brief example of how one may experience both depression and anxiety, however they can also exist without each other.  Depression and Anxiety are similar in that we all, as humans, experience some level of ups and downs, however it's learning when to say that these ups and downs are prohibiting me from functioning in my daily life and routine.  The goal of therapy is to help the client find the proper tools that will allow him or her to cope with these intense emotions and be able to return to a normal level of functioning.   

Witnessing someone with any type of disordered eating can be frightening.  Whether it is overeating, under-eating, purging after binging, etc.  They are all complex disorders and can feel scary to someone who is witnessing these behaviors.  Eating disorders can be impacted by biological, social, environmental, and/or emotional factors which means they are often complex in nature and take time to uncover what lies beneath the disordered eating.  In other words, often times I've found that the eating disorder is simply the mechanism to cover up for the issue that the client is primarily feeling out of control for in their lives.  Once we are able to uncover that or those issues and make resolution, the client begins to make progress on the eating disorder.  

Depression and Anxiety

Over the past 8 years I have found that being a child and adolescent therapists means that you ARE a family therapist.  One cannot work with a mother, father, or guardians children/child without discussing certain matters.  Family sessions may also be required from time to time at the therapist or parents request.  My clients always know their confidentiality rights and I never disclose information to parents or guardians without my clients consent, however, I've often found that families need to be involved and when the children or adolescent doesn't want them to involved, that only leads to a topic for us to discuss in our session together.  

Family Therapy

Eating Disorders 

Melissa Nissenbaum, DSW, LCSW

Adult, Adolescent, and Child Psychotherapist

Addiction can mean anything, substance abuse, gambling, food, affairs, you name it, one can be addicted to it.  When working with clients suffering from addiction, I strong believe that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the key ingredients to recovery.  In short, your thoughts, affect your feelings, which affect your behaviors.  We all do it, just some of us do it more and to different extremes.  The end result would be to help the client to see what their pattern is and how they can elicit change and break the negative behaviors.  

A trauma is when one experiences psychological or emotional damage to the self.  Trauma's can vary in severity and individuals can vary in their thresholds to experience a trauma based on their previous history and experiences.  Regardless, when one experiences a trauma, or threat to the self, he or she may feel off balance, or not like themselves and have a hard time seeing life the way they used to see it.  While that traumatic experience can never be taken away from someone, the use of therapy can help someone learn new skills to cope with that traumatic experience and move forward in their lives having faced a trauma and get back to the life they once had.  My experience as both as a CBT therapist as well as a trauma researcher demonstrates that I have the practical skills to assist with this process.