Children from infancy to teenagers are sometimes in need of help navigating developmental stages. In my practice, parents are an important part of a child’s therapy, simply because children live in families.
Every child has a different personality and temperament. I take a different approach with each child, customizing the experience to fit their unique needs. As such, I bring parents into the process, working together on fine tuning communication to enhance understanding and cooperation.
Child therapy starts, meeting first with parents to understand concerns at home, school, and with peers. My approach is relational; I focus on how children express their needs verbally, physically, and emotionally. Some children need to focus on frustration tolerance, emotional self-regulation, perspective-taking, or problem-solving skills.
Parents learn to create a family culture of encouragement, appreciation, and cooperation. In sessions parents develop skills in asking meaningful questions, offering insight into their child’s emotional life. When children and teens experience being heard and really understood, they feel more secure, and have fewer meltdowns.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 5 American children ages 3 through 17 – about 15 million – have a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder in a given year. Only 20% are diagnosed and receive treatment – this means 80%, about 12 million aren’t receiving treatment. (NBC News, 2017)