Parent Counseling in Berkeley
- Living with a child, adolescent or young adult whose behaviors are “out of control”, embarrassing, or possibly frightening.
- Feeling disrespected and ignored in your own home.
- A young person who thinks they “know it all” and don’t need to listen to you or other adults.
- Exhaustion after having “tried everything” but with no change.
- Helplessness and concern for your child’s future wellbeing.
- Arguments over simple matters that escalate in shouting.
- Anger and sadness over the loss of connection with your child.
- Negative feedback from your child no matter what you do.
- Your child refusing to attend family or their own therapy.
- Difficulty in coparenting following a divorce or breakup.
- Support and practical techniques to reduce challenging behaviors from a child, adolescent, or young adult.
- Increased understanding of how kids and young people think to better strategize your responses.
- A plan to rebuild your relationship with your child and reduce the frequency and intensity of arguments
- You want to work with a therapist with experience treating young people with challenging behaviors who understands how difficult it can be to help youth who mistrust authority figures
- You want a place to express your frustrations and anger with someone who won’t judge your non-violent efforts to regain control of your home.
I get it. And I want to be that therapist for you.
As a Family Therapist, Here’s What I Want You to Know About Me:
Child and adolescent therapy can be a godsend for youth who are experiencing anxiety, depression and other internally focused mental health challenges.
But one 50 minute session per week is nothing compared to the hundreds of minutes a parent and guardian has with their children every day.
You can make all the difference.
And you shouldn’t need to get a degree in psychology to do it.
Being a parent is hard, but there has been a surge in research in the last 20 years that has led to evidenced based practices shown to reduce challenging behaviors in youth by rebuilding trust and relationship.
Because the truth is, after that first step, none of us can truly control what our children do with each minute of their day.
And even if we could, this control would prevent them from learning the skills they need to function independently.
I believe that working directly with parents to help support their struggle and coach them through the approaches I have learned over years of working in the child welfare system can be more effective at reducing problematic behaviors than working directly with kids alone.
Here’s What I Want You to Know About Our Working Together:
My first assumption is always that a guardian is working their hardest to do what they think is best for their child.
However, our strategies and expectations are often informed by media, pop psychology fads, and our own dysfunctional childhoods.
It is so easy to make the same mistakes as our own caregivers, all while meaning the very best.
And it always feels like you are running out of time!
Between work, other family obligations, caring for our romantic relationships, maintaining social connections and perusing our own aspirations, it can feel like your child is about to move out no matter how old they are.
But even if your child is 18, it’s never too late to improve your relationship, all while helping her or him build the basic skills (emotional regulation, management of disappointment, rebalance expression, reading of social queues) needed to lead a fulfilling adult life.
Learning to identify our own fears about being parents and how that impacts our decision making is a difficult yet powerful step to improving relationships with your kids.
It’s a hard journey that involves self exploration and shifting expectations, and it is better to have a companion along the way.
Sometimes that harder we squeeze, the faster our goals slip through our fingers.
It’s my role to help guide you through the difficulty process of reducing anxiety while coaching you on how to approach your child with your reasonable expectations.
Parental counseling is never about giving up or letting go.
It is about changing the way you approach a conflict to have the most efficient exchange that leads to a desirable long term outcome.
In my years of experience working in residential treatment the hardest part was receiving the training needed to help some of the most traumatized young people in the state.
Our residents often had frightening tantrums and frequently engaged in unsafe behavior.
They were also some of the sweetest and most endearing kids I ever met once they felt safe and knew they could trust me and the other staff.
I eventually went on to train and support new staff in how to work with kids that can’t always control their behavior.
Though the work was rewarding, it was also hard, and we adults needed the support of one another to continue in the face of the yelling, and argument, and posturing we experienced everyday.
I have found that the same can be true in private practice.
Children living through divorce, the pandemic, academic difficulties, and other hardships can experience significant struggles with their behavior, but it is their guardians, not staff, who must learn how to intervene.
I hope I can guide you to a more trusting and satisfying relationship with your children, all while supporting you.
After all, you are also a human being who needs to be seen and appreciated in a way most kids cannot until they become adults themselves.
Jonathan Wolfrum, LMFT
Jonathan Wolfrum, LMFT specializes in working with adolescents, young adults, and parents who struggle with:
- Anxiety and Depression
- Life Transitions and Self-Identity
- Child Behavioral Issues
- PTSD and Complex Trauma
He also has a particular interest in working with those who identify as queer or LGBTQIA+.