Child, Adolescent and Family Practice


A large part of my work is helping kids and their families. Therapy for children - and adolescents,  – is a process that relies on a relationship between kids and me. This relationship develops with trust, kindness, openness, and skill. The idea is to help kids grow, change and thrive.


I am a father of three children myself. I find being a parent has led me on many illuminating journeys myself, ranging from accompanying my Middle Schooler’s class to New Orleans to do Hurricane Katrina relief, to coaching my 8 year old’s soccer team. I was a camp counselor for many years, before I was a therapist and a therapist before I was a dad! I like kids in all shapes and sizes and have worked with kids, as it seems, for all of my life.


More often than not, kids have stress and conflict that they bear as burdens in their lives. Depending on the child’s age, I use talking and playing in therapy. The work is to provide the building blocks of self esteem, the identification and expressions of one’s feelings and a better sense of oneself. Through this interaction, a positive self image is developed. Imagination and creativity and self expression are valuable parts of this process.


My job as a Child/Adolescent threrapist, is to help kids (and parents) to understand what kids say and do and to make sense out of it. Parents need to be involved as they can … conjoint sessions (with the child) and parent counseling sessions (with parent alone) are often beneficial.  I am very easy to talk to and can usually take the time to listen and answer questions about the therapy.

Therapy for Depression in Children and Adolescents

It is never easy to learn or understand that your child is depressed. Childhood depression may be evidenced by a number of symptoms, such as sleeping too much or too little, eating too much or too little, irritability or sadness, feelings of worthlessness, or stated desires to die or kill oneself. You can learn about this from school, observations at home or in a pediatrician’s or therapist’s office.


Depression could be precipitated by an event or trauma, a family situation or trauma, or for no apparent reason at all. It is important that it is recognized, assessed and treated. Sometimes depressive symptoms blend themselves in with other behaviors such as lack of motivation and apathy, anger outbursts, poor school performance, fighting, and use of drugs and alcohol in older kids and adolescents.


Upon assessment it may be helpful or necessary to consider a medication consultation, usually conducted by a psychiatrist. If this is recommended, the psychologist and psychiatrist will work in tandem to develop the best plan for the therapy for depression in your child or adolescent.


Therapist Option

I have a terrific Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern working with me who is an option for budget-sensitive families. Orlee R. Karpel is experienced in working with issues of stress, anxiety, therapy for depression, self-esteem, relationship difficulties, and other issues affecting families and adolescents. Through an empathetic, compassionate and collaborative environment, she addresses the client’s social and emotional needs.


For more about child, adolescent and family therapy, see the frequently asked questions (FAQs).


Scott Harris, Ph.D. is a adult and child therapist in Los Angeles providing caring therapy for children and adolescents.