Here for Your Child or Adolescent
When a child is brought to therapy, often because of behavioral difficulty or a traumatic event, the parents, or parent (depending upon the family situation), will be involved. Therapy with children is essentially family therapy which generally takes a flexible form in which the family is seen together, then the child individually, until a resolution of the problem is reached.
This process may be short-term, requiring only a few sessions, or may be of longer duration, three to six months, and sometimes extending further, depending upon the issues involved. We typically meet one time per week, especially in the early phase of the work. It is important for adults to know that children can unconsciously act out what has not been spoken in the family story or take on a role in an attempt to bring stability to the family unit.
I strive to build a bond with both the parents and the child or children, and to keep parents informed. Because young children share their experiences and feelings through play, story, and pictures, I utilize expressive approaches to facilitate this process. I also offer EMDR for the resolution of trauma.
Young people are our guides, leading us to explore what is not working well within the family or culture. This principle can be difficult to believe during times of distress for the teen and family, yet maintaining positive regard for the adolescent navigating the challenges between childhood and adulthood is critical. Teens seek independence along with a deeper connection with family members, despite what actions and words might suggest to the contrary.
Regardless of the issue bringing the teenager to therapy, the parents or parent will be involved, as in the case for children in therapy; however, with adolescents, generally more time is spent in session with them individually. Developing trust in the therapeutic relationship is essential to meaningful work. For balance and well-being I encourage a healthy approach to living which includes quality nutrition. Resolution of any past trauma utilizing EMDR can be important in achieving harmony for the adolescent and family.