Child & Adolescent Treatment

As parents, we all hope that our children's lives will be rich and joyful.  When we realize that a child is struggling, we immediately want to find a way to ease their journey.  Very often, any form of emotional distress experienced by children is resolved by therapeutic interventions that make them feel more secure.  In play and talk therapy with children and adolescents I establish a therapeutic relationship based on trust and acceptance in which children can be comfortable being themselves.  In this context they can express their feelings freely, explore their developing selves, and make sense of their distressing experiences. 
Play Therapy
My treatment of young children involves work on their concerns and fears through therapeutic play.  Play therapy allows children to give expression to their experiences in order to better understand themselves and be understood by an additional caring adult partner.  Through this process a more positive sense of self evolves, along with healthier ways of relating to others and responding to stress.  Therapy with older children and adolescents involves less play, and, with increasing age, treatment more closely resembles adult therapy. 
Parents as Treatment Partners
Emotional development occurs very rapidly in the brief time-span of a child's life.  It is essential to produce change as swiftly as possible when a child is not thriving.  Consequently, I often extend the work accomplished in therapy sessions to the younger child's wider world by working closely with parents.  Parents are the most influential people in children's lives and, as such, are in a position to have the greatest impact.  And, parents want to be involved.  As I work with children and parents, we strengthen the relationships between them in ways that are particularly meaningful to each child and that have the greatest impact.  I find that with this approach there can often be a big improvement in a child's symptoms and sense of security, even when the parent-child relationship is relatively strong to begin with.  Having parents as partners in treatment makes it more likely that a child's advances in treatment will endure for their lifetime.  An important benefit for parents who are active in the treatment is that they enjoy greater intimacy with their child for years to come.
       Common Problems Addressed
                - depression
                - family stress
                - school pressures
                - separation anxiety
                - loss
                - parent-child conflict
                - sleep disturbance
                - anxiety
                - substance abuse
                - defiance
                - divorce or marital conflict
                - peer relationships
                - apathy
                - video game preoccupation
                - academic performance