I gather as much information as I can about the issues and the people involved in the first few sessions of a new therapy relationship. When working with children, the intake process includes interviewing the parents, meeting with the child alone, and in various combinations with family members. At the end of the intake and assessment process, I present my understanding of the situation to the parents, and recommend a course of therapy. My recommendations may include one or more of the services within my practice, as described below. If I believe a child, family or individual would be served by seeking services I cannot provide, I will make appropriate referrals.
I meet with the child in my office usually once a week. I have a wide range of toys, games, and activities available to assist in understanding and communicating with the child. Individual play therapy creates a safe place for the child to heal and grow. I meet regularly with parents during this process to monitor progress and keep communication open.
Family dynamics may be holding unwanted patterns of behavior in place. Family therapy can help family members to understand these patterns, and to open up the lines of communication. Through this process, family members can learn to take on more open and authentic roles. Family therapy is often used to help family members adjust following a major event such as a death or other loss, or to help the family cope with the impact of addiction.
In filial therapy the therapist teaches the parent the skills used in non-directive play therapy. Filial therapy is used to strengthen the relationship between parent and child, and help the parent better understand the child's world. The skills taught in filial therapy can then be used to address everyday conflicts between parent and child.
I use a relational approach of deep listening and reflection to assist with developing a better understanding of self. Sand tray and art materials are available to help patients of all ages to get in touch with thoughts and feelings at a pre-verbal level. As these are brought to the surface we can work together to verbalize and better understand their impact on current relationships and patterns of behavior. This kind of work can be especially useful for resolving grief and early trauma.
Group therapy is a great tool to examine the impact of specific issues on one's life. The sharing involved in group therapy can help end the sense of isolation and shame that come from thinking, "I am the only one going through this." Group therapy is usually time limited and less expensive than individual or family therapy. Groups are offered at various times throughout the year. Check Workshops for scheduled groups.