Paraklete Is…Passionate and Focused
Since my mid-teens when I decided that I wanted to be a psychologist (--the backstory to that career choice will have to wait for my memoirs), I have been quite fascinated by the thinking and behavior of children. I have spent countless hours observing them, listening to them, trying to understand their “why” and “how.” I have developed a deep respect for how they go about making meaning of the world and for their struggle to find their place in it.
When I became a licensed psychologist, I chose to focus my clinical work nearly exclusively on serving children, adolescents, and their families who are seeking help with problems in learning and/or functioning in various contexts, such as home and school. This choice was birthed not only out of my particular expertise in the field of child development but also out of the alarming nature of recent reports about the mental health of children and youth. One such report from Mental Health America is The State of Mental Health in America. According to the report, youth mental health is worsening – nearly 10% of youth in the U.S. have severe depression – and in September 2020, over half of 11-17-year-olds reported having thoughts of suicide or self-harm more than half or nearly every day of the previous two weeks. It is heart-breaking to me that among children and young people aged 10 to 24, suicide increased by 57% from 2007 to 2018. Among the more common disorders diagnosed in childhood are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety (fears or worries), and behavior disorders.
As a child psychologist, my aim is to meet children where they are, to help them overcome barriers to healthy functioning, and to advocate for them to receive the support they deserve to live out their created purpose.