Elizabeth A. Hightower, LAC
Individual & Family Counselor
My Counseling Philosophy:
Asking for help and support for our children can be a difficult process and fear of being criticized or undermined can get in the way of reaching out. As a professional and a parent, I strive to make the experience for children and parents as comfortable as possible. I work with children and parents who are ready to take steps towards a more positive life. Change can be hard work, and I am committed to working alongside your child and you to achieve your desired goals. Trust that your voice will be heard, your opinions respected, and your expertise not taken for granted.
Training and Therapy Approach:
I have extensive specialized training in working with infants, youth, adolescents, and parents. I received trauma training through the Arizona Trauma Institute and utalize a Trauma Informed Care approach when working with individuals and families. In addition, I am trained in Sand Tray Play Therapy, Level 1 StoryPlay Indirective Model of Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Positive Behavior Support (PBS), Family Systems, and Attachment.
I can help infants/toddlers/preschoolers, ages birth to 5:
Infants birth to five experience stress through their environment and attachment figures. They are impacted by the family structure, home environment, and parent-child interactions. When the primary caretaker is experiencing stressful events, such as chronic stress, postpartum depression, family discord, family violence, trauma, substance abuse, chronic medical illness, or prolonged separation, this plays a significant role in how the infant responds to his/her environment. If the stress is prolonged, this can start to impact the infant’s emotional and physical development. In working with infants, I address issues such as, child’s sleep disruptions, tantrums, eating problems, separation anxiety, excessive crying, fussiness, and problems with attachment.
I can help children ages 6 to 12:
Young children can experience emotional disturbance if they do not have the appropriate skills to manage stressful environments or situations. Since children don’t have the cognitive ability to consistently identify what they are experiencing emotionally, they demonstrated their emotions through their behavior by acting out. I work with children who are struggling with impulsivity, difficulty regulating their emotions, anger problems, aggressive behaviors, tantrums, problems with authority, school behaviors, excessive worry, anxiety, nightmares, sadness, lack of motivation, trouble sleeping, bed wetting, loss of parent or caregiver, difficulty with transitions, dealing with parental divorce, and other behaviors that create problems in the child’s life. I provide services for the family in private session or in group settings for the children to practice emotional regulation.
I can help adolescents and young adults ages 13-27:
Adolescence and young adulthood is a critical period for social-emotional wellbeing. Physiological changes such as hormonal fluctuation and continued brain development can increase the risk of mental health problems. Other factors that contribute to social-emotional problems include academic pressure, peer / relational conflict, bullying, learning challenges, pressure to fit in, developing identity, family discord or disruption, illness, decision making, traumatic events, and others. This phase of life is extremely critical as the continuous changes can bring about high amounts of stress that can derail the developmental path. For this reason, I strive to provide a neutral environment in which trust and authenticity can be established to further explore the root of distressing emotions, increase emotional intelligence, and increase healthy coping skills. By addressing these issues early on, the individual has an increase chance of a successful and happy transition.
I can help parents/caregivers:
Parents and caregivers are often at a loss of how-to best support and parent their children when the behaviors appear out of proportion. I help parents and caregivers better understand and manage the child’s symptoms in ways that are sensitive to the child’s experience. I assist parents in applying skills to help address areas of concern. I tailor all services uniquely to each child and family and provide education to the parents to help support the needs of the child. Parenting support can be provided individually or in a group setting.
What to Expect from Me?
When a child is struggling due to not having the skills to thrive in their environment, this can have devastating consequences on the child’s developmental growth. You are the greatest advocate for your child and together we can make a positive impact to promote your child’s strengths. We will create goals in therapy to help us stay on track and achieve your desired goals. As a parent, you are the key to your child’s success. I invite you to take the next step and schedule an appointment.
When I Am Not Working:
My husband and I strive to share as much time as possible outside adventuring with our family. Our favorite “get away” is in the Flagstaff area where you can find us sledding down a snowy bank or camping out in a tent under a starry summer night.