Need help finding counselor
Dear Dr. Bradley,
I’ve read your book and love your approach to relating to teens. My husband and I are the parents of an almost 14 year old son, an only child who is bright, talented, and full of potential. Unlike a lot of the teens profiled in your book, we didn’t wake up one day and wonder what happened to out sweet, perfect, little boy; our son has been challenging almost since birth. We reached a desperation point with him once before and at that point stumbled on a website promoting the “Nurtured Heart” approach for parents of “difficult” children. It was a lifesaver for us at the time, and now 6 years later, we’re feeling that panic again that we’re losing our son. Your philosophy, as outlined in your book, has many similarities to the “Nurtured Heart” approach, and is geared more to teenagers, but my husband and I are at a point where we think actual counseling may be necessary, as opposed to trying to apply principles from a book. We’re wondering if you have a referral list of counselors/therapists who share your approach. We live in the Lancaster, PA area, within easy driving distance to Harrisburg, York, and even Philadelphia. When our son was younger, we had a few experiences with counselors, and while they weren’t necessarily bad, they weren’t particularly helpful either. We’d really like some help finding someone who can get us back on track with our son, before things gets out of control. Thanks in advance for any help you can give us.
I don't know of anyone in your specific area, but you should ask every person around you who deals with teens (teachers. school counselors, juvenile police officers and other parents of teens). I'd hesitate to travel a great distance to see a particular shrink until you've exhausted all options around you. A long drive can become a great excuse for kids to fight therapy.
Do what savvy parents do with me. They meet with me first to see if they think I might be a good "fit" for their kid, and thus help avoid "therapist disasters" which can be another great reason for your son to refuse to see another counselor.
Dr. Mike Bradley