There are many different reasons that prompt parents to seek psychotherapy or play therapy for their child or adolescent. Here are some common concerns: Aggressive behavior; Social withdraw; Losses or transitions; Divorce and separation; School problems; The birth of a sibling; Difficulties in relationships; Overwhelming feelings (i.e. depression and anxiety); Sudden changes in sleeping, eating, or play; Physical symptoms with no clear medical diagnosis, problems unsuccessfully treated by medication.
Psychotherapy with children looks different from psychotherapy with adolescents, which looks different from psychotherapy with adults. At different stages of development, we require different means of communicating what is most pressing and meaningful at a particular moment. Working with a child or adolescent in therapy requires an atmosphere that intentionally invites all forms of communication. Often, children are unable to say what the matter is, rather, they must show it, as is the case in play therapy.
Parents seeking therapeutic treatment for their child or adolescent can call to schedule a consultation. A consultation and assessment period allows me to determine the best way to help, to give recommendations and an opportunity to decide together if the relationship is generally workable. It is during this time that I recommend the form of treatment suited to the age and needs of a child, including play therapy, family therapy or individual therapy. In cases where initial consultations do not lead to a therapeutic relationship, I provide appropriate referrals.
As part of a therapeutic treatment for a child or adolescent, I work regularly together with parents to assess progress and discuss practical strategies for supporting their child’s development. In some cases, referrals can be made to a physician for medication in conjunction with work in psychotherapy.
The following link provides an overview of my thoughts on Helping Children Grow.