Though I use psychodynamic theory and behavioral techniques as a basis for treatment planning, individual therapy looks different for everyone. I provide weekly therapy to adults and specialize in women's and parenting issues. For adults, I typically try to understand the messages that have been carried on from childhood that shape the current feelings and behaviors. Then, I help reduce what is “not working” by using a variety of different strategies which are generally aimed to help develop a sense of choice and empowerment, build confidence in intuition, explore different parts of the self, increase flexibility, and establish a genuine feeling of validation. I also explore the barriers to progress and the complications of those.
For children, I typically provide weekly individual therapy coupled with monthly parent sessions. I also find that working with teachers can have a profound impact. Depending on the presenting problem, I tend to focus on symptom reduction and guiding healthy child development. I 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 training focuses 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.
In our first few sessions, together we will be assessing areas to focus on and the right course of treatment. The "therapy hour" is 50 minutes and treatment is weekly or as clinically indicated.
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, but generally involves 2 interview hours, 3-5 testing hours, 3 report hours, and 1 hour for a review of the report.
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.