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 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 use weekly play therapy coupled with monthly parent sessions. Depending on the presenting problem, I tend to focus on symptom reduction and guiding healthy child development. I provide an accepting environment whereby the child feels able to explore and develop the self. Therapy and parent training focuses on managing behaviors and supporting healthy development through an authoritative approach which thoughtfully combines 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. A common scenario involves a child who is experiencing difficulty in school behaviorally and/or socially. The teachers continue to make reports home and state that the child is "defiant" or "won't listen". However, an evaluation may reveal that in actuality, the child has severe processing speed, attention and concentration issues, or is actually bored and needs more stimulation. For adults, IQ, memory, and processing 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.