Academic Difficulties

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Academic Difficulties In Woodland Hills, CA

Children and adolescents face a complex set of demands at school. Academic difficulties can lead to a child feeling terrible about him/herself and lead to emotional problems. Likewise, low self-esteem and emotional problems can lead to the child failing classes and being unwilling to go to school.


  • Show a decline in motivation and grades at school
  • Refuse to go to school
  • Think he is “dumb”
  • Get called “dumb” by classmates
  • Have a million excuses when it comes to doing homework
  • Repeatedly lose report cards and forget assignments
  • Have a hard time paying attention and staying focused
  • Spend excessive amounts of time on social media
  • Worry incessantly about tests and grades
  • Get into trouble for talking too much and fooling around in class
  • Refuse to see a tutor or get help from teachers
  • Cheat on tests
  • Work really hard but still doesn't understand the material


With years of experience in the educational system---as a classroom teacher, teacher trainer, university professor, and educational researcher---I offer a variety of ways to help school-aged kids who have academic and motivational problems. Psychotherapy consists of individual sessions as well as parent and family sessions as needed. When appropriate, I consult with teachers.  And, when appropriate, we have diagnostic testing done by a neuropsychologist to determine if the child has an underlying learning disability. The goal of therapy is for your child to be engaged at school, develop a sense of competence and resilience, feel comfortable seeking help from teachers, and perform academically at an optimal level.

A specialty in my work is helping children who spend excessive amounts of time on social media. Social media is a platform on which teens often (a) are cyber-bullied, (b) are exposed to dangerous Internet content (e.g., involving self-injury), (c) become fixated on social comparison, and (d) develop negative self-perceptions. Rather than doing schoolwork and getting necessary sleep, kids are on their cellphones at all hours of the day and night. Parents may need help in setting limits on social media use. Ideally, children in therapy are more likely to develop in-person friendships, good parent-child relationships, and a sense of autonomy--factors that help a child resist the negative pull of social media.

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10:00 am-7:00 pm


10:00 am-7:00 pm


10:00 am-7:00 pm


10:00 am-7:00 pm


10:00 am-7:00 pm