Youth & Families
“Life’s most deep and tender times are my specialty.” – Lexi
When a child is having a hard time (and when a child is having a hard time, the family is having a hard time) here’s one question most parents forget to ask, and can’t even answer themselves…
What’s RIGHT with my child?
We must remember, even in crisis times, when it looks like there is no good at all left, to see what’s right. We must look under the “problems”, issues and challenges, to the deeper process of unfolding, and we must have support for ourselves as parents to assist in this unfolding in productive ways.
Why focus on RIGHT and not WRONG?
What we know about growth, change and learning in human beings, thanks to neuroscience and how much we’ve learned about the brain in the last 20 years, is that what works is attention on the positive. That said, focusing on what is working and creating a viable plan for change and accountability is not ignoring issues and challenges but rather gives us more ground to stand upon for making significant changes in our family life.
An endless stream of studies have shown that people do not learn from correction or criticism as effectively as they learn from reinforcement of what’s already working or being done well—the brain is wired to do more of what it’s reinforced about (as we all know from when we are “working” on a habit or problem with a child or young person (or ourselves) it often gets worse instead of better and we often all find ourselves so frustrated that things aren’t changing…)
Wait a minute…
Being positive is NOT “rewarding” a young person for negative behavior; being positive is giving them the resources they need to respond instead of react—and even an ornery teen does, truly want to be respons-able—they just want to do it in their time and in their way.
Will this work for my child?
Lexi worked in public mental health—both on the ground as a therapist and care coordinator for children and families and as a manager working at the program development and supervisory level for over 10 years—abuse, neglect, addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, psychosis, suicide attempts and self harm and were all part of her regular scope of work.
Today Lexi works with families in the private sector supporting and providing concrete tools for moving away from trouble and towards the kind of connection, ease, and success we all long for for our children.
The family meeting is an evidence based practice Lexi has adapted to serve families and their wider community when crisis hits. It is a powerful, youth centered tool for working with complex situations.
What does family work look like? What can I expect?
Parent coaching is Lexi’s preferred mode of assisting families and children in hard times. Teaching those closest to the youth to be effective advocates and truly empathize with the situation is a more effective tool than placing youth in their own therapy.
This work provides families and young people with several specific skill sets for moving out of challenging times:
- A reframe of who the young person is underneath the troubles
- A specific set of tools for youth and family to work with to change communication and understanding within the family dynamic
- A plan for working with and uniting the community around the youth (includes involving schools, caregivers, close friends)
- Help determining positive relationships and supports for youth, typically chosen by the youth themselves (again, this is not rewarding the youth, this is empowering them to make the changes they desire to by giving them tools to work with towards positive change)
- Direct support for parents in working with young person(s), in upholding the young person’s essential nature, in creating better communication and rhythm within the household
Skills training for adolescents
Skills training for adolescents is a unique service Lexi offers to provide young people with access to mentorship and support between session times.
Lexi hires qualified adults adolescents can easily relate and connect to—they tend to be youthful and on the fun side while also being able to set and hold boundaries and support practical goals.
Because the adolescent brain is wired for instant gratification and heavily weighted towards rewards (and that can mean poor decision making) there are times when having access to an extra adult to focus on building specific skills can help navigate and improve healthy choices and actions in day-to-day life.
Skills trainers are coordinated and supervised by Lexi and work from a specific plan and set of goals created to ensure skills training is meeting the youth and family’s specific needs. Skills training includes text contact, email, in person meetings and other forms of direct and indirect contact as deemed appropriate in team meeting.
Lexi is accustomed to collaboration with schools, medical professionals and other professional and non-professional community members supporting the young people she serves. For non-contact hours such as care coordination, school collaboration, meetings and reviews, there is a $90 hourly rate billed in 15 minute increments. Lexi does not bill insurance but is willing to provide a receipt for services—if you require a receipt beyond her standard offering this also will be billable at $90 per hour.
Sessions can be done in person or via Skype or Zoom. Sessions are bundled into a series of three either 60 or 90 minutes.
Please view Lexi’s Policies for information on payments and preparation for private sessions.