Child & Adolescent Therapy

Is your child struggling with their emotions?  Is your child’s behavior disruptive at home or school?  Are you concerned about your teen?  Has your child experienced a significant change, loss, or trauma?

Some children have trouble identifying or processing their emotions and this can lead to behavior that negatively impacts their school life, home life, and overall well-being.

Therapy offers children and adolescents a safe space to work through their thoughts and emotions. Through therapy, children can resolve problems, modify behaviors, and make positive and lasting changes.  Therapy is not a quick fix or an easy answer. It is a complex and rich process that, over time, can reduce symptoms, provide insight, and improve a child or adolescent’s functioning and quality of life.

At times, a combination of different therapy approaches may be helpful. In some cases, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be most effective.  I have experience working with medical teams, and if desired, can coordinate care with your child’s medication prescriber. 

The use of play in therapy involves the use of toys, blocks, dolls, puppets, drawings, and games to help the child recognize, identify, and verbalize feelings. Observing how your child uses play materials and identifying themes or patterns to understand your child’s problems. With a combination of talk and play children have an opportunity to better understand and manage their conflicts, feelings, and behavior.

How to prepare your child for therapy:

Before the first session:

Please explain the details of how often your child will be coming to therapy, where it is, and basically what happens. Children seem to feel more comfortable if adults let them know that they do not have to talk to the counselor if they do not want to and that the main thing they will be doing is playing. It is important for adults to give children a simple explanation of their perception of the presenting problem and to suggest that generally children feel better about themselves and others after going to play therapy for a while. This helps get rid of children’s fears about coming to counseling.

In the session:

Children should wear comfortable play clothes, rather than “good” clothes to therapy sessions. It is a fun process, and sometimes it’s even messy.

After a session:

While it is appropriate for caregivers to let children know that they are interested in their child’s experience in the session, they should not question them about the experience. If your child draws or paints pictures or produces other artwork, caregivers should avoid questioning them about the art or praising or criticizing them.