Child, Adolescent, and Adult Therapy Near Chicago
There are times in every person’s life when navigating through a school day, a work day, interacting with family members and peers, as well as learning about oneself prove to be overwhelming. Many children, adolescents and adults need extra supportive therapy in order to effectively manage their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
- Once you have verified your behavioral health insurance benefits for in network and out of network insurance carriers and completed the intake process, one or several of the following services may be recommended for your child and family.
Within individual therapy, the clinicians at Afg Guidance Center strive to create a safe and comfortable environment in which a child, a teen, or an adult can use a variety of tools to understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to promote change. Given that older children and teens are often better able to communicate verbally, cognitive interventions, better known as talk therapy, in addition to behavioral interventions allow an older child or teen to identify, express, and explore the link between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Also, expressive activities such as creative writing, art, and music allow older kids to express themselves. Younger children, including preschoolers, can also use creative activities, better known as play therapy, as a natural way to express themselves. Through a variety of tools, including dolls, sand tray, art, play, and dance/movement, younger children can communicate their thoughts and feelings.
Family therapy is an extremely useful intervention to help a family cope with changes or transitions. We believe in the traditional use of family therapy, where all identified family members join together and guided by a clinician, focus on the acknowledged and agreed upon difficulties. We believe that working with a family provides individual members an opportunity to grow and develop independently, yet collectively as part of the family system. Within the context of family therapy sessions, members learn to understand, appreciate and cope with presenting emotional, behavioral or social problems of a child, teen or parent. Many interventions may be utilized such as talk, play or behavioral strategies aimed at promoting encouragement, nurturing, understanding and ultimately change. We commonly explore the behavioral, social and emotional expectations of each member, and their roles within the family system. We also explore patterns of interactions, as well as, communication between family members. In order to promote change, we look to identify the dynamics that contribute to challenges while seeking to identify the strengths of each member and the system. Additionally, we view family therapy occurring when siblings work together to resolve issues such as concerns of rivalry or adjusting to changes in the family system. It is not uncommon for other identified extended family members such as grandparents or stepparents to become involved in a session if deemed appropriate or helpful.
Group therapy helps individuals enhance their emotional growth, social awareness and personal problem solving skills. Child and adolescent groups are designed to focus on specific issues such as adhd, depression or anxiety. Groups can also focus on developing social skills, coping skills and self-expression skills. Afg groups are co-led by 2 therapist with a maximum of 8 individual members depending upon the age range of the group. Group members are encouraged to interact with each other by self- reflecting or disclosing their own personal challenges and successes to other members. Issues of confidentiality are regularly discussed and members are encouraged to remain respectful of each other.
ADHD Coaching focuses on help one learn to self-regulate or manage their behaviors. Essentially, the goal of ADHD coaching is to give children and adolescents tools they will be able to use eventually on their own to function more effectively in a variety of problematic situations. Also, coaching targets only 1 or 2 specific behaviors at a time, such as using an assignment notebook daily and putting all completed homework assignments in a designated folder, that are directly related to one’s goals. Additionally, there are daily coaching homework assignments given designed to continue to enhance developing skills. Ultimately, the goals and interventions of ADHD coaching are designed to develop effective habits through the use of repetition and practice that will enable your child or teen to function independently at school, home and within the community.
At Afg Guidance Center, we believe that a group therapy setting is a great place to learn and practice developing skills and behaviors in a safe, supportive and structured environment. Group therapy helps individuals enhance their emotional growth, social awareness and personal problem solving skills. These groups focus on developing social skills, coping skills and self-expression skills.. Group members are encouraged to interact with each other by self-reflecting or disclosing their own personal challenges and successes to other members. Issues of confidentiality are regularly discussed and members are encouraged to remain respectful of each other. Afg Guidance Center’s supportive parent groups provide parents with a venue to discuss their concerns, challenges and successes with each other to learn from and support one another while having their questions answered by the group leaders.
Social Skills: The Key to Making Connections: This group is aimed to increase positive social skills through game play, role play, and having a safe space to interact with other children who struggle with positive social interactions. Each week, a specific skill will be discussed, and children will have the opportunity to practice this skill while engaging in a fun activity. Topics include: what are social skills and why are they important, how to initiate and sustain conversations, what makes a good friend, how to make a friend, what is appropriate humor and how do i use it, boundaries, and more. This is a closed group, meaning it is most impactful when children participate in all 12 sessions. Social Skills: The Key to Making Connections
Building Self-Esteem Through Self-Exploration-A Girls’ Self-Esteem Group: With the many societal pressures young women face, it can be challenging to feel positively about oneself. In this group, we aim to provide a safe space to explore and discuss the pressures teenage girls face, identify ways to cope with these pressures, and explore what it means to be yourself. Examples of topics include: exploring intentions, values, strengths, social media influence, creating mantras, and exploring your inner critic. This is a closed group, meaning it is most impactful when individuals participate in all 12 sessions. Building Self-Esteem Through Self-Exploration
Mindful Movement: The mind-body connection is a strong and powerful one, and one that often is not explored together. This group is designed to incorporate aspects of stretching, yoga poses, deep breathing, and journal prompts to guide teenage girls in engaging this connection. Each week, participants will journal about a topic related to self-care, self-exploration, and stress management. Some topics may include looking at where tension is held in the body, examining strengths, stress and how it impacts us, and grounding techniques. Mindful Movement
Parenting Support Group: Hope & Help: Being a parent can be a challenging and rewarding experience. This group is aimed to provide a space where parents can ask questions, support each other, express concerns, learn relevant psychoeducational information, and share their challenges and successes while parenting children who are experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges. Parents will also be provided information that aims to help increase positive behavior in children and explore stress-relieving strategies. Parenting Support Group: Hope & Help
Thursday Group Classes
Saturday Group Classes
College Readiness Group
The AFG College Readiness Group is available to high school students looking to prepare themselves for the rigorous academic, emotional, and social challenges of college life. The program consists of 6-8 group modules designed to bolster both confidence and awareness of the college transition. By educating students and providing an environment open to questions and concerns, the AFG College Readiness Group exists to provide a safe place for students.
Topics prepared by the therapist include:
- Study Skills: Making better habits
- Independence: Learning to manage time and autonomy
- Interests & Choices: How to grow without burning out
- Relationships: How to keep friends and make new ones
- Self-Reliance v. Reaching out: When to know the difference
- Academic Planning: Navigating resources and programs
- Physical Health: Managing energy, exhaustion, and rest
- Geography: How to get your bearings and why it matters
- Success: Setting and achieving short and long term goals