Because most children do not yet have the developmental skills to respond to typical “talk” therapy, I frequently use play therapy. While most people view play as simply “just fun”, play is actually the natural language of all children. Play is necessary for development! Play allows children to express their feelings about events, relationships, and environments in a safe, non-threatening way. It allows children to try out different solutions to problems and practice new skills. It also allows them to gain insight into situations and relieve stress. Because play is their language, the toys are the words. Play therapists are trained to recognize the themes and symbols of play and then use play to facilitate change, growth, and healing. Play therapy typically consists of using toys, art, games, sand, puppets and dramatic play. Even toddlers can benefit from play therapy! Parents/caregivers of infants can benefit from therapy together to help build attachment and bonding as well.
Finding a therapist that can relate to teens can be difficult. It is extremely important to develop a trusting, safe relationship with them in order for counseling to be therapeutic. I feel that my down to earth style and empathic attitude makes it easier for teens to feel comfortable in my office. In my private, confidential environment, I provide a place for teens to discover who they are and who they want to be without shaming, lecturing or giving unhelpful advice.
I am experienced in providing family and individual counseling for parents. I can help parents who are struggling with discipline, communication, or difficult life events. For children and teens in therapy, sessions with parents are always scheduled to discuss progress, give recommendations, and establish goals for therapy. I also can teach parents how to provide therapeutic parenting for children who have experienced trauma and/or attachment issues.