Child/Adolescent Sleep Services
I work exclusively with children ages six and up who have sleep problems and associated mood and behavioral difficulties. Sleep is my wheelhouse. Have I had worked with children with developmental disabilities, mood disorders, behavioral problems, etc.? Yes (extensively)! However, what I love most is helping parents and children nix sleep problems in the bud early in development, when it counts. Below are a few common referral issues:
Plain and simple, your child can't sleep.
In younger children, insomnia often emerges around stress related to school or peers. In older children, insomnia can develop suddenly as a natural response to hormonal shifts.
Adequate sleep duration is crucial to development, and when children are able to learn strategies to change their relationship with sleep, the effects are lifelong.
Although co-sleeping is mainstream in many cultures, a child's continuous presence in the bedroom can become problematic if it begins to interfere with your marital relationship or disrupts your sleep.
Children and pre-teens may experience shame and anxiety around this issue, as well (if I had a nickel for every time I hear "What eleven-year-old kid still needs to sleep with his/her parents? Something's wrong with me.")
The bad news: It's a pain for everyone.
The good news: You're not alone, and there's something you can do about it.
One or two a week is normal, but when nightmares are occurring on a nightly basis or you hear, "I'm afraid to go to sleep because I don't want to have the dream again," that's when behavioral strategies can help.
Image Rehearsal Therapy is an evidence-based intervention that consists of a set of exercises to help children use imagery and stress management techniques to change their relationship with bad dreams.