Child & Youth Counseling

Growing Up Can be Tough.

As a child, growing up can be an extremely challenging experience. From navigating the world around them to preparing for adulthood,  youth often face stressors at school, home and with their peers. Our attachment-focused counseling for children and families has been featured in the Boston Hearald, Kansas City Star, and ABC (to name a few). As experts in the psychology of human development & attachment, we can help your child or youth, overcome whatever struggles they are facing.

Counseling Can Help.

We will work together to give your child or teen, the tools he or she needs in order to deal with underlying issues caused by bullying, school stress, conflict, definance and traumatic events. Play Therapy and Attachement-based Psychotherapy are therapies that are proven to work, providing a safe, healthy outlet for children and adolescents to process feelings and regain self-control of emotions and stressful situations.


Have Witnessed, Participated in, or Been a Victim of Bullying.


Of Children & Youth Will Be Affected by a Mental Illness.


Of Children Are Affected By Sensory Processing, Autism or ADHD

Statistics provided by the National Institute of Health.

Does Your Child Need Counseling?


Is your child acting out? Refusing to go to school?

These are common signs in children of depression, anxiety, being bullied, or not knowing how to deal with overwhelming emotions. Small children lack the ability to effectively communicate feelings, thus anger and sadness take over. As children grow into their teen years, growth and sexual hormones take over, making them more conflictual and defiant from a just a normal biological process…. Add in social, family and school stress, and it may feel like your teen is a time bomb waiting to explode.


Are They Exhibiting Behavior Issues?

Children who have been bullied or sexually assaulted may become detached from their friends and families, and they might show signs of having no interest in former leisurely activities. Children who have been sexually assaulted often display this is play – speaking and acting out “scenes” during pretend play, that are disturbing or with sexual, trauma or death content that is well beyond what a child of that age should know about. Other times, kids act out as a way of getting negative attention; plauged with no or low motivation, sometimes kids just need help figuring out how to get “back on track” to positive actions that garner positive parent feedback. That’s where our child experts come in!


Have They Recently Lost a Loved One or Experianced a Loss?

Grief and abandonment can also play a tremendous role in a child’s life, and it can be very hard for them to deal with it on their own. Abandonment in early childhood can cause a trauma reaction, bringing on anxiety, doubt and fear when it comes time to make new friendships and navigating complex social situations and family dynamics.

Parenting doesn’t have to be a struggle with your child or family. If you’re facing behavioral or communication issues with your child, we can help!

We have spent thousands of hours collaborating and conducting peer-reviewed research with schools, universities, churches, parents, children, and families to gain a better understanding of how to effectively and successfully parent children, in this ever changing, fast paced, tech-filled world. And, our attachment based work has been in news outlets such as the Boston Herald, The Miami Herald, ABC, Wallstreet Select, and the Kansas City Star!

The good news is, you’re not alone: all families go through periods of hardships and struggle. It’s normal. But, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t use a little help sometimes; especially when it comes to our children. Fortunately, there is over 100 years of research in child psychology; what works, what doesn’t, and what’s healthiest for the child and family, is no mystery – the research is there; some of which Dr. Norman herself has conducted  – so, let’s use it! That’s what we specialize in; using, customizing and applying the latest research in child psychology in ways that help your child reach his or her, fullest potential.

Poor choice of peer groups, being on the phone too much, and getting bullied – these are the three most common concerns we hear from parents.  

Today’s children are different. Let’s look at how

  • More children than ever are being raised by grandparents than generations previous to this. Research shows multi-generational homes greatly benefit children’s self esteem and attachment to family.
  • By the age of 8, children spend 40 hours of time per week in front of the TV.
  • 90% of children have either witnessed, participated in, or been a victim of, bullying, either online or in person.
  • Children start using technology by 4 months of age. However, they also have access to the most cutting edge, free, educational TV and Apps, never seen before in previous generations.
  • Seven out of ten children growing up in college educated, middle to high income homes, will experience trauma at some point in their childhood. That number is higher for homes with lower incomes or families living in communities with high rates of violence.
  • 66% of females will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Children are the most susceptible to this type of trauma.
  • Some of our communities and towns in Dupage County, are plagued by a heroin epidemic that has, at some point, touched almost all our children’s or families’ lives – either personally, or through people you or your child, knows of.
  • Youth who are millennials, will be the most educated generation yet.

Our children have the beauty of being connected globally, technologically, and socially, through a variety of different methods. From play groups, to the school soccer team, to being connected to friends through SnapChat, today’s children have greater access to everything. And sometimes that access, causes problems.

Access can mean a lot of different things, depending on the child and situation. It can mean access to libraries, community engagement, team sports and friends, or it can mean access to excess toys  and treats (leading to feelings of entitlement), drugs, alcohol, internet and making poor choices.  When we find our children struggling – we wonder as parents, what to do next – and when to step in and get professional care. We can help you answer that question; we offer a free child, youth or family assessment so parents can get some answers and assistance with the struggles that brought you in today, without feeling any obligation or worrying about cost.

We help parents with children ages 3 and up, improve their relationships overall with each other, while teaching children new coping skills for distress, emotional intelligence and building up resiliency. Using a variety of treatment modalities that are specially adapted to meet your child’s specific needs, we help kids and families across the following areas:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Art Therapy
  • Autism
  • Blended Families
  • Christian Counseling
  • Communication Difficulties
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Discipline
  • Experimenting with drugs or alcohol
  • Family Therapy
  • Low / No Motivation
  • Oppositional Defiant & Conduct disorders
  • Overusing Technology
  • Parent Abandonment
  • Play therapy
  • Potty training / Soiling issues
  • Pre-Adoption / Adoption Counseling & Consultation
  • Psychological assessments.
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Sand Therapy
  • School – related Stress & Anxiety
  • Teenage Defiance
  • Trauma, Abuse & Neglect
  • Substance Abuse

When working with your child or family, we utilize a variety of customized treatment approaches that include play, sand, clay and art therapies; child-centered therapy, Cognitive behavioral and family systems therapy.

Does the family participate in child counseling?
Yes. In some form or another, the family will be involved. Not all families need counseling, but all children in counseling need to hear from the therapist the progress of their child, and what they can do to help their child grow and develop better coping skills, in between sessions. Your therapist will be there to guide you along the way, offering you “Pro-tips” on how to help your child, help themselves.
Do You Therapy for Teenagers?
Yes, we offer our counseling services to adolescents and teens. Being a teenager can be one of the most difficult times in a child’s life, and sometimes learning good coping skills can make a big difference. In some respects, it’s normal for a teenager to be defiant – they are in a stage of life where they test limits and begin “trying out” being an adult. But sometimes, those “tests” go too far, too fast. That’s where we can help. If you teen is experimenting with substances, hanging out with a questionable crowd of peers; lacking in motivation; is sucidal or self harming; or affected by school refusal or behavioral outbursts, we can help.
What About Family Counseling?
We do offer family counseling programs at each of our locations. You can find more information about family counseling here.
My Child may be (or is) affected by a sensory processing or spectrum disorder. Can you help?

Absolutely! TGC counseling has therapists who specialize in austism, sensory and spectrum disorders. Under the direction of Cassie Whitfield, MA, LCSW, children affected with spectrum/sensory are throughly assessed and diagnosed where appropriate.  Parents are always provided psycho-education with the most up to date research, and a full treatment plan is worked up and reviewed with the parent/caregiver. If you need help with a 503 or IEP, our team can help facilitate collaboration of treatment with the school.

The Results Were Amazing

See what our clients are saying…

“My teenager was bullied through most of his middle school career, and his counselor at Transformative Growth gave him coping skills that allowed to deal with his emotions effectively. As a parent, I am extremely thankful we used their services. ” -J.M., Naperville, IL

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