Grow! Transform! Thrive!
Working with children and teenagers is one of my areas of expertise. I have worked with kids in clinical settings for over fifteen years. I’m truly passionate about helping kids succeed and thrive.
Research indicates that when children are in emotional pain, they often have difficulty understanding and expressing their feelings. Therefore, “talk therapy” is not the most effective form of treatment for children. Instead, play therapy has been found to be very successful.
Play therapy is very effective
In my practice, I have toys, games, puppets, a sand table and a small table for drawing and crafts. These tools are effective in helping children learn new skills. For example, a game can be an opportunity to teach kids how to deal with frustration, take turns, talk about their feelings, etc. Imaginary play promotes exploring feelings and expressing emotions in constructive ways.
While clinical experience is important, I’ve found that it’s also essential to be down-to-earth, creative (and sometimes silly!) with kids. This helps children feel safe and encourages them to open up and engage in the therapy process.
The family may be involved
Working with children may also include their families and caretakers. I teach parents techniques that they can use at home such as dealing with oppositional behavior, increasing positive communication and decreasing nagging and yelling.
And sometimes the school
Sometimes, I also work collaboratively with schools. My teaching experience is invaluable when I work in this capacity, whether making a phone call or establishing a more extensive partnership between myself and school professionals. Overall, I work collaboratively with the school, family and child to create a treatment plan that meets the unique needs of the family and child.
My personal experience as a parent and my professional experience have taught me how important it is to integrate clinical techniques with the real challenges busy, working families face.