Chico Center for Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy and Counseling services for Children & Adults | Support for Parents


Chico therapist An Bulkens, LMFT is psychotherapist and counselor in Chico, California.  An Bulkens specializes in psychotherapy and counseling for young children  (toddlers, preschoolers, adolescents) and support for parents, with a special emphasis on  early childhood psychotherapy, and counseling  for preschoolers and Kindergarten aged child.  She also offers parenting skills support. She offers psychoanalytic psychotherapy for adults.  Her approach is grounded in  Lacanian Psychoanalysis. She was also trained as a clinical psychologist in Europe, Belgium.  Her education emphasized developmental psychology and psychoanalytic therapy. 

The child who is suffering quitely

As a therapist working with children I get often consulted by parents who are concerned about the big 'acting out' behaviors of their children like temper tantrums. Those behaviors 'disturb,' are in your face, and have the capacity to dysregulate the whole family.

It is not uncommon to hear upon further inquiry that a hyperactive child, very early on was very easy going. An initial 'passivity' can turn later on in hyperactive behavior, and psychomotoric agitation, with the child ignoring limits, putting him or herself in danger. This hyperactive child can not 'stop' to take a breath, observe the other, imitate to learn, construct. He is just a twirling, swirling body, acting out, often refusing to enter language. 

It is often at this moment that parents consult while there might have been concerns much earlier on. It is indeed the children that initially disturb the least, the children that make no or few demands that are often the most in need of help and care. 

Warning signs:

-a baby who does not express much.

-who expresses little pleasure or little dissatisfaction

-a little child that does not cry much

- a child that has only very little changes in mood

- a child that has little capacity to self regulate

- a child who does not show many transitional states (for example: a child that moves from anger to hypersomnia)

A lot of these warning signs could not be noticed as they might be interpreted as a sign of an 'easy' child, they are not 'loud.'

There might be also psychosomatic signs that might go unnoticed, as they tend to be frequent and common:

-unexplained fevers.

-infections and respiratory problems

-frequent hospitalizations.

It is often only by careful observation of the baby that certain problems can be noted:

-problems in tonus

-motoric problems: movements that are just centered on the self, balancing

In my experience it makes sense to consult as soon as the parent notices something of concern. The earlier concerns are explored and if necessary addressed, the easier it is on the parent and the child as well. With really young children intervention can be quite easy, and addressing it early can prevent a lot of worries and concerns down the road.

To schedule an appointment, contact An Bulkens at (530) 321-2970

An Bulkens    |    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist    |   MFC 52746

Tel. (530) 321- 2970    |   186 E 12th ST,  Chico, CA 95928