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Friendship Issues

Difficulties with friendships can be caused by many things.  

One area could be a social skill deficit.  Sometimes our children and teens struggle with knowing how to engage with others.  Skills such as conflict resolution, listening with empathy, asking good questions and building strong relationships can be developed.  While some children do these things naturally, others require support to learn how to engage appropriately.  

Another difficulty your child could be struggling with is self esteem.  When we worry that we are not good enough or that we are unlikable, it can interfere with our confidence in connecting with others.  Finding ways to improve a child's self-esteem can allow them to approach others more readily and be more open and authentic which supports positive relationships.

A third area that could be impacting friendships could be anxiety or depression.  Anxiety creates challenges in doing things that are new or difficult, such as approaching new people or engaging in situations in which we don't feel entirely comfortable.  One type of anxiety called social anxiety can be directly related to engaging with other people or performing in front of others.  Depression can cause a child or teen to isolate from others, pulling back from social engagement due to sadness, negative thoughts, exhaustion, and low motivation.

Therapy supports your child or teen understand why they are struggling with friendships.  It allows them to learn how to use social skills effectively, improve self-esteem, and decrease anxiety and/or depression.  Using role plays, education, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and homework, Dr. Chamberlain supports your family and child in understanding the possible cause of some of these issues along with ways to improve the situation.  

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