Child, Adolescent, and Parenting Issues


Raising happy, healthy, productive children is a challenging task for most parents no matter how much they love their child and are committed to fulfilling their responsibilities as parents. As children mature, they may experience some bumps along the way that confuse or disturb parents. Single parents have a particularly difficult time if they are raising their child alone or trying to co-parent with someone who has very different child-rearing ideas.

The Manassas Group Child and Family Center was developed to support children and families through difficult transitions. Consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced therapist who can diagnose the problems and assist in developing a therapeutic plan that addresses the needs of the child and the parents can significantly facilitate the successful resolution of child and family problems.

Why do parents consult a mental health professional?

Parents or guardians often worry that their child or teen appears to be angry, sad, inattentive, rebellious, disrespectful, and unable to cope effectively with routine problems. They may be concerned about bad reports from school or disturbing changes in sleeping or eating habits. The child or teen may be socially withdrawing or choosing the wrong kind of friends. If ignored, misbehavior can turn into delinquent behavior.

Are parents responsible for their child’s problem?

Parents often feel guilty if their child has a problem. They worry that family members, friends or teachers will blame them. However, there are usually multiple causes for the problems that children and adolescents experience. Objective input from an experienced therapist can help parents sort through the various factors contributing to the child’s difficulties.

What about the stigma of getting counseling or labeling a child?

Just as a child or teen may develop allergies, asthma or migraine headaches, they may experience emotional and behavioral problems. Many problems can be successfully treated and resolved. As worry turns into relief, any concern about labels or stigma dissolves.

How is a child evaluated by a mental health professional?

Your therapist will carefully listen to your and your child’s concerns about school performance, family life, health, relationships, interests/hobbies, and friends. Most likely, your therapist will ask for your permission to contact the child’s physician, teachers or other adults who interact with the child frequently. A family history will be taken. Your therapist will observe your child as he/she interacts with you in the office setting. As much relevant information as possible is gathered to gain an objective picture of what is contributing to the child/family problem.

What kind of treatment is offered?

Your therapist will explain to you the treatment modalities he/she recommends for your specific needs. These may include play therapy, social skills training, parent skills training, stress/anger management strategies, and family therapy. You will be invited to participate, ask questions and make suggestions.

What kind of problems do the Manassas Group Child and Family Center therapists treat?

There are many factors and pressures that contribute to a child or teen developing a mental health problem. Pressure to do well in school and to be popular with peers as well as family conflict, divorce, a parent’s alcoholism or mental illness may predispose a child or teenager to develop symptoms of a mental/emotional disorder. The Manassas Group Child and Family Center therapists diagnose and treat:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Depression
  • Conduct and Oppositional/Defiant Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Physical abuse
  • Post-traumatic Disorder
  • Behavior problems at home and at school
  • How much does treatment cost?

Part of your intake process is to discuss fees with you and to determine the benefits provided by your health insurance. You can read your contract or contact your insurance office for specific questions about the services covered in your plan. If your insurance contract does not cover mental health benefits, most therapists will negotiate a fair payment plan.

Will information and treatment be confidential?

Our state laws protect the confidentiality of communication between therapists and patients. Your therapist will not discuss information about you or family members with others without your consent except as required by law.

Manassas Group Members having special expertise in Child, Adolescent or Parenting Issues: