Jenna Brackett—Child and Adolescent Therapist in Grand Rapids, MI

The Truism Center
221 Trowbridge St. Unit 208, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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"Children have an amazing ability to adapt and cope with the most difficult situations. Their resiliency is truly inspirational."

Joy restored in the home

There’s nothing you won’t do for your kids.  Nevertheless, your heart is heavy as you watch your child struggle.  No matter how much encouragement you send it is not quite enough. Young people often have a difficult time regulating their emotions and coping with stressful life events. Professional counseling can offer the additional support and skills your child needs to handle the pressures that seem to be weighing them down. My passion is helping children return to a “new normal” life after experiencing trauma. I practice Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, specializing in ages 4 to 18 years. TF CBT is a structured program lasting on average 4 to 8 months, aimed at helping the child to validate their feelings and experiences as well as build effective coping techniques for past trauma. Strong coping skills are a worthwhile investment for anyone and will serve a child throughout life. Some of the benchmarks of this type of therapy include psychoeducation, emotion regulation, and trauma processing.

Understanding and change

My practice is entirely based on “evidence-based treatments” (sometimes called evidence-based practice, EBP or EBT). This simply means that the method of treatment has been validated through clinical studies and has been consistently found to reduce symptoms of stressors and trauma. I love seeing my clients grow in their ability to handle the impact of trauma. Watching a child grow, feeling the parents’ sense of relief and accomplishment… these are my favorite parts of this amazing work.

What to expect

This model of therapy is very effective with anyone that has experienced an event that caused an adverse reaction in their body, mind or behavior. This trauma might look like physical, emotional or sexual abuse, separation from family (foster care, adoptive placement, or divorce), or traumatic death of a loved one. I think it’s important that parents are involved in this process however possible, learning these skills at the same time. I encourage parents to have a high level of involvement with their children in therapy, and they often find they benefit greatly themselves. There may be times when the child is in the therapy room alone with me and other times when parents/guardians are invited to join. Often I will have the children teach what was learned or practiced that day. In addition to Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy I also work with families to help resolve conflicts. I find that bringing all members of the family creates an open and productive environment. Some examples of techniques I’ve used with families in the past are fair fighting and role play. Some tools used in TF CBT are mindfulness activities, feelings identification, and narrative therapy. I have been in the social work field for five years and have been practicing therapy for three years. I look forward to meeting you and your child, and creating a plan to help your child overcome their trauma.
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