At our first appointment, we will usually talk about what brings you in and what you expect to get out of therapy. As I learn about you and your needs, I will be able to have a sense about if and how I can better help you. During the first few sessions, we will decide together if we are a good match, and I will then make a recommendation on how to move forward. We will set a time for our 50 minute weekly meetings. It is possible to meet more than once a week, depending on your needs and my availability.
Though the basic principles described above also apply to the treatment of children; however, they communicate differently than adults. The primary language for children is play, thus, it is also the primary tool of child psychotherapy. Using a combination of talk and play, your child will have an opportunity to understand and manage their feelings, behaviors, and inner conflicts. The treatment will include both weekly individual sessions and monthly parent sessions. Working with teachers can have a profound impact and phone consultations with schools is also possible.
I aim to establish an accepting environment whereby the child feels able to explore and develop the self while also learning important skills such as coping strategies, self-regulation, and empathy. Parent sessions focus on useful ways to manage behaviors and support healthy development through an authoritative approach. This approach thoughtfully balances warmth and love with firm boundaries and consistency. I help parents take extra care in tending to difficult behaviors and unique temperaments through strategies such as priming, structure, positive reinforcement, consistency and follow through.
Evaluations are generally done for diagnostic clarification. I often receive referrals from psychiatrists trying to understand the complexity of a child’s symptoms or from a teacher who is having difficulty with a child’s behavior in class. An evaluation may reveal that indeed a child has a classic diagnosis. More often though, an evaluation reveals the complicated web of child development including, but certainly not limited to, school and family stress, IQ, social-emotional and executive functioning skills.
For adults, IQ, memory, and processing speed evaluations can also be done. The complexity of the evaluation will be determined at intake.
Groups are for kids ages 4-11 and focus on building social skills, developing empathy for others, managing frustration in the classroom, and practicing appropriate coping skills. I also tend to focus on providing an overall positive and accepting space for children who often feel left out or misunderstood.
I believe that social skills are incredibly important and affect every area of our lives. Additionally, they are formed very early and difficult to change later in life. The experience of building attachments with peers and developing feelings of empathy cannot be taught in a book and benefit us throughout our lifespan.
If I have enough inquiry, I am open to starting a teenage group as well. Please inquire.