Betsy Handley holds a Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology (M.Ed.) and has over ten years of experience working with individuals, children, adolescents, and families in community clinic settings and currently in her private practice. Betsy is a Massachusetts Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC# 7154) and has been nationally recognized as an American Mental Health Counselors Association’s Diplomate in Clinical Mental Health specializing in Child and Adolescent Counseling (DCMHS). Since 2013, Betsy has been a member of the board of Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, who elected her as President Elect in 2015, where she also serves as their Director of Professional Development.
217 West Union Street
Ashland, MA 01721
Support for Adults
Consultation, short term, and ongoing behavioral health services are available, depending upon the needs of the individual and/or family.
Treatment is aimed at identifying past experiences, as well as behavioral and thinking patterns which block the realization of personal goals and life satisfaction.
Through a collaborative treatment approach, issues such as:
- Life Transitions
- Relational Conflicts
- Eating Disorders
- Family Conflict
will be addressed in a supportive, professional environment.
Children, Adolescents, and Families
Support is provided for families as they manage the challenges of
healthy child and adolescent development. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms of:
- Adjustment to Change
- Academic Stress
- Mood Instability
- Eating Disorders
- Impulse Control
- Family Conflicts
- Sleeping Issues
in order to improve functioning by building confidence within the
child/adolescent and improving relationships within the family.
What to Expect
Initial Contact: Initial phone intake provided free of charge.
First Session: A brief history will be taken in order to identify areas of concern and clarify goals. Frequency and scheduling of follow up sessions will be agreed upon.
- Behavior Modification
- Stress Reduction
- Insight Oriented
- Client Centered
- Expressive/Play Therapies
- Academic Strategies
- Single Session Consults
- Canine Assisted Psychotherapy (for more information, please go to www.pawsitiveprogress.org)
- Stress and Anxiety Reduction Training: www.bluebraintraining.com
Tips for Parents of resistant children and teenagers
Easing Your Teen into Counseling
It’s no surprise when a teenager resists counseling. It can be very hard for a teenager to see why talking to a stranger about their problems might be a good idea. Some teens worry that their parents think that they are “crazy”. Even if they can’t explain it, for many teens, counseling is the last thing that they want to do.
In her book, “No Talk Therapy”, author Martha Strauss knew exactly what she was talking about when she wrote, “Kids don’t usually want to talk about the bad things that are happening to them. For many distressed children and adolescents, participating in therapy is more aversive than cleaning the bathroom.” (” (W.W. Norton & Co, 1999)
But the news is not all bad. Experienced counselors can often engage resistant kids and teens, even when they make their objections to therapy very clear. Counselors can help teens and kids learn what to expect and how counseling can work for them. Often they relax when they realize that the focus of therapy is change and resolving issues that bother them as well as their parents, as opposed to placing blame.
In many ways, a parent’s job is to get their child to the initial session and let the therapist help the child understand what counseling is all about.
So what can parents do?
When discussing counseling acknowledge your child’s reluctance to go, even if you fully expect that they will go. Keep in mind that the expectation that “things will get better” might not be met for them right away. While adults might feel initial relief when beginning in counseling, sometimes children and teens do not. It might help to shift the focus of the discussion from the child to the relationship between you and your child. Statements such as these might help: (fill in the blank)
I don’t want to fight about _________________________ anymore.
I want to find a better way to _______________________________.
It will be great when ______________________________________doesn’t happen anymore.
Sometimes it is helpful to point out that counseling can help reduce or put an end to consequences such as loss of phone, screen time, grounding, and early curfews.
Sometimes, the less said, the better.
Using the first session to discuss the teen’s feelings about therapy is often very helpful. Keeping conversations short and simple beforehand can help to keep everyone calm.