Younger children may experience difficulty coping with grief and loss, trauma, and unexpected changes, but often they lack the cognitive ability to process what has happened to them using verbal communication. As the natural language of children, play is one of the best ways to understand their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Children can use play to process their experiences in a safe environment and find better ways to cope with their feelings and problems.
Building on a foundation of child-centered play therapy, I am able to incorporate a variety of techniques such as cognitive-behavioral play therapy, sand tray, bibliotherapy, expressive arts, and therapeutic games to meet your child’s unique needs. For more information on play therapy, please check out:
As a parent or caregiver, it can be incredibly difficult to watch your children struggle. Family and other supportive relationships are vital to your child’s healing journey. I enjoy providing resources and support to caregivers to facilitate each child’s optimal growth and development.
PRETEENS & ADOLESCENTS
The transition from childhood to adulthood can be particularly challenging. Struggling with anxiety, depression, or traumatic experiences can make this transition feel especially overwhelming. Counseling can be highly effective in helping preteens and adolescents develop self- awareness, master healthy coping skills, and learn to express emotions in a healthy way. Preteens and adolescents may be skeptical of the counseling process. It can be difficult for them to open up due to fears of being misunderstood, judged, or criticized. I specialize in creating a safe, non-judgmental environment based on trust and respect for preteens and adolescents where they can feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and struggles. I enjoy finding ways to incorporate preteen and adolescent clients’ interests into the counseling process and offer the option of using hands-on activities during the counseling session.
Hands-on activities, such as sandtray and expressive arts, can take the pressure off of preteens and adolescents, reduce feelings of self-consciousness, and allow clients to express themselves more freely and openly. Expressive Arts Therapy uses art and the creative process to promote emotional growth and healing. Sandtray Therapy uses miniatures (people, animals, fantasy creatures, objects from nature, etc.) to create a picture in the sandtray that symbolizes topics that may be helpful to the therapeutic process. Art and sandtray can allow teens and preteens to express thoughts, feelings, challenges, hopes, and other facets of their lives that they may find difficult to verbalize.
Parent-child communication can be challenging during this phase of your child’s life. When appropriate, I enjoy facilitating dialogue between caregiver and client and strengthening the parent-child relationship.
TRAUMA-FOCUSED COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
For children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) has been shown by numerous research studies to be an effective treatment for trauma symptoms. I am a certified TF-CBT therapist and applying the components of TF-CBT to wide variety of age groups and traumatic experiences.
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Whether you’re facing challenging life transitions, anxiety, depression, struggles with self-esteem, relationship issues, or unresolved trauma, it can be invaluable to have someone support you during times of hardship, healing, and change. I enjoy being part of my client’s healing journey while providing a safe, supportive environment to help you achieve your goals.
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR)
EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Numerous studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. EMDR therapy is based on the belief that the mind can heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you injure your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated trauma irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the foreign object or source of injury is removed, healing may resume.
EMDR research supports that the brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing may resume. Using the protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
EMDR can be used with adolescents, adults, and integrated with play therapy for use with children.
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Whatever you’re struggling with, I’m here to help you achieve your goals. Contact me to find out more.