Associate Professional Counselor
Peachtree Art Therapy and Counseling
Focus on Youth and Adolescents in Life Transitions
Happy Friday! Today, I would like you to meet Elana Clautice. She is an Associate Professional Counselor who works with youth and teens. From the moment I met Elana, I knew she was made to do this work. She has a great sense of empathy and compassion for kids that are struggling, or going through a life transition. In addition, she is skilled in working with kids experiencing grief and explains that each person grieves differently and deserves to explore their emotions in a judgment-free zone. Motivated to provide support to kids that she lacked growing up, Elana is able to connect with her clients in a real way. I am also inspired by her view on therapy and breaking down any negative feelings people might have about the therapeutic process. Read more about Elana, and be sure to check out the section on her profound but simple advice for parents!
"I have found that children and, especially, teens, are more receptive to a two-sided, healthy and calm discussion about the situation at hand. When a child or teen feels heard, they feel safe and understood, and therefore more capable and willing to do their own listening from the parents’ side of things." Elana Clautice
Q: How do you serve the youth in our community?
I am a licensed associate professional counselor that works with children and adolescents who are experiencing anxiety, depression, grief and loss, as well as those adjusting to challenging life transitions, such as a move, school change, legal issues, difficult family dynamics, etc. I use a direct but empathetic approach with my clients and their parents/families in order to develop a productive, safe, and supportive therapeutic relationship. I find I am able to connect well with young clientele because of the experiences I had as a child. After all, I became a therapist to be the kind of support to children and teens that I never had. My goal is to serve as the metaphoric bridge that allows youth the ability to better connect and understand both themselves and all of the other significant relationships in their lives. Childhood and adolescence is such an impressionable time period, that I am a strong believer in advocating for therapy services earlier on in order to prevent life-long maladaptive patterns of behavior and a negative perception of reality.
Q: What advice do you have for parents of teenagers?
My advice for parents of teenagers is to….drum roll please….listen! Sometimes, it is that simple. I understand that raising teenagers is one of the most difficult, challenging and trying times any parent will go through, and that “listening” seems out of the realm of possibilities sometimes. Parents tend to have the knee-jerk reaction to fix their children’s “problems” or to give a quick, one-sided lecture. I have found that children and, especially, teens, are more receptive to a two-sided, healthy and calm discussion about the situation at hand. When a child or teen feels heard, they feel safe and understood, and therefore more capable and willing to do their own listening from the parents’ side of things. I think that is why my teens, surprisingly, enjoy therapy so much. It becomes a safe haven for them to vent and work through, well, LIFE, without feeling judged or minimized. I encourage the parents I work with to use active listening skills with their children, as it can go a long way, and ends up creating a more trusting and understanding relationship between both child and parent.
Q: What is a common misconception of therapy and what would you like the general population to know instead?
A common misconception, or stigma, associated with therapy is always the labels I hear; “Oh, he must be crazy since he’s in therapy!” or the mere idea that someone who sees a therapist is weak, problematic, “crazy”, or damaged. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! I may be biased, but I believe every person would benefit from therapy. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, there is something cathartic about having a sense of complete emotional freedom. It is not necessary to have a pressing or urgent problem to begin the therapeutic process; I believe it is important to maintain our emotional healthy, just as we (should!) do with our physical health. It is truly my goal to help break down the stigmatization of the mental health field. I look forward to the day where all individuals feel empowered when owning their emotions, thoughts, and feelings, rather than feeling ashamed and running from them.
You can reach out to Elana Clautice by phone (678-622-6445) or email.
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.