Children and teens, just like adults, can benefit from counseling. Counseling can help children and teens learn how to identify the causes of their distress, develop skills in asking for help and expressing emotions, and improve their problem-solving abilities. My approach to child and teen therapy is holistic and strength-based. I seek to identify and develop strength in processing difficult emotions, while reducing distress and increasing coping skills.
I meet with the parent(s) first for an intake session. The following visits could range from 30-40 minutes with the child- each child is different. I will bring the parents in the last 10 minutes so the child can show their artwork. In teen therapy, they have the choice if they would like the parent in the room for any discussions.
The initial focus of the therapy is on building a relationship between the child and the therapist. This relationship is a very important tool in the therapeutic process because a child or adolescent will more readily talk about their intimate feelings when they feel respected and accepted.
In the sessions I will use specific techniques to assess how a child or adolescent experience their world and how they communicate and react to the events and people in their world. Children are lead to become aware of what they are feeling and opportunities are given to express these feelings. Awareness is a very important process in play therapy, because without awareness change is not possible.
Throughout the therapy the child or adolescent is empowered and supported to learn more about who they are, to talk about things that are frightening or painful, to be self supportive and to experiment with new behavior.
In general, trust building usually takes 6 therapy sessions before they feel comfortable to freely express their thoughts and feelings.
Should you want to schedule a 30 minute or 1 hour session to discuss anything please notify me so we can schedule a time to meet. I will contact the parents should important issues arise. Regular feedback sessions are usually scheduled after four to six sessions for the child.