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East Bay Counseling Choices

East Bay
Counseling Choices

(877) 525-6678
(510) 525-6678

Serving Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Castro Valley and other SF East Bay locations

Child Behavior, Adolescent Behavior, Parenting and Academic Underachievement

Child Behavior

Children go through many stages and developmental tasks on the way to adulthood. Challenging environments and difficult experiences can impact child development. Your child may need help with school stress, such as test anxiety, bullying, or peer pressure. Others need help discussing their feelings about family issues, particularly if there is a major transition, such as a divorce, a move, or a serious illness.

Therapy helps children develop problem-solving skills and teaches them the value of seeking help. Therapy provides additional support with important developmental tasks such as building trust in others, developing initiative, and forming healthy peer relationships.

Marriage and family therapists are trained and experienced in helping parents to find the treatment modality that is appropriate for your family.

Adolescent Behavior

Adolescence is the unique stage of psychological life between childhood and adulthood. Aspects of this stage include preoccupation with self, black-and-white thinking, and the psychological preparation necessary for separation from the family. Teens experience significant physical changes and important neurological developments. Teens also encounter peer pressure and their own and others' expectations for increased responsibility and independence.

One important task of teens' development is to realize that the adults in their lives are not perfect. Teens begin to experiment with which morals and teachings to take from the adults in their lives, and they must work not to lose their sense of direction.

In this process, the teen may alternate between pulling for support and pushing away. These are the years when some begin to cry out for help in earnest. Teens in crisis are prone to acting out self-destructive behaviors such as cutting, drugs, and unsafe sex.

Even in the face of adversity, teens manage much better and sometimes exceedingly well, when they are supported, understood, and allowed expression and processing of their unique experiences , along with age appropriate expectations.

Our therapists help parents understand adolescent development and respond effectively to teen confusion, turmoil or crisis. Our therapists help teens understand their experience and develop decision-making, interpersonal, and safe coping skills.


Raising children is a rewarding, demanding, and often confusing experience. What parents want is for their children to develope into healthy, happy, productive adults. What parents may get are more challenges than ever imagined. Along the way, parents feel success but sometimes de-skilled, at wits end, discouraged, and at times, may feel like children themselves.

When problems arise, parents often wonder, "Is this a normal part of growing up, or could something be wrong?" It is never wrong to get a professional consultation regarding your situation.

As a parent, you encounter both your strengths and vulnerabilities. Within therapy, parenting successes, concerns, worries, and frustrations are shared in a non-judgmental context. The therapist is your ally to learn more about your child's development and yourself as a parent, and to improve your skills and competence. Professional counseling helps you achieve the happiness, inspiration, and satisfaction that parents want, even while encountering the inevitable ups and downs that are part of life.

Academic Underachievement

Academic underachievement is not a psychological diagnosis, nor is it the primary problem. Underachieving is a symptom of an underlying problem which results in poor school performance. Something is happening in a student's life that is interfering with his or her success.

Academic underachievement is a sign that the process of normal child or adolescent development is being hindered. Further evaluation by a pediatrician and a mental health professional is warranted to determine the underlying cause. Your ability to share your specific observations of your child can be invaluable in properly assessing the issue of academic underachievement.

An undiagnosed learning disability, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), various medical problems, situational problems such as parental illness or divorce can all affect your child's ability to focus on studies. A student may fail if he or she is not properly prepared for a course or has ineffective study skills. If the orientation or teaching style of a school is not consistent with your child's learning style, this can result in academic underachievement.

Academic underachievement often significantly impacts the student's feelings about him/herself and hopes for the future. Professional counseling helps your underachieving child cope with and overcome lowered self-esteem, anxiety, and depression due to academic challenges. Professional counseling can help you get past blaming and feelings of helplessness in assisting your child to achieve better academic results.