Through a personalized approach, I will work with you and your child to identify the specific challenges you are facing and develop a treatment plan that works for your family. I respect you as a parent and make every effort to work with your parenting style, while offering tips and ideas for how you can best support your child and help them to excel.
“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
Play is the medium through which children learn, explore the world around them, and express themselves. As a therapist, I may work within that framework, communicating with your child through the language of play.
Rather than relying on one specific approach, play therapy includes many different activities and methods. Depending upon your child’s unique needs, strengths, and challenges, I may incorporate the use of toys appropriate to your child’s age and developmental level, board games, art, and story-telling. Early on in therapy with preschool children, I take an approach which uses free play as a diagnostic tool to help me understand the things with which your child struggles. Later on, play may be more structured, as I guide your child through activities, games, and stories to explore and address their particular needs.
Play can also be helpful for reaching older children who are especially shy or have trouble recognizing and expressing their feelings and motives. Strategic use of board games and stories can bring skeptical children out of their shells and help develop a connection between therapist and child.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a commonly used evidence-based therapeutic intervention, and is often adapted for use with children. CBT is problem-focused and action-oriented. The central tenet of CBT is the understanding that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors all connect, and that learning coping strategies and new approaches to information-processing can directly impact and improve negative feelings and behaviors that are not working for the child and family.
I use cognitive-behavioral techniques in much of my work. CBT is generally considered the treatment of choice for depression, and I integrate these skills and concepts into my work with children and teens experiencing depressive episodes. I have trained in the TRYDAT (Treatment for Youth with Disorders of Anxiety) protocol, a 14-session structured treatment designed for children and adolescents struggling with widespread anxiety or specific phobias. I have also trained in Preschool PTSD Treatment (PPT). I received my training in both protocols by their author and creator, child psychiatrist Dr. Mike Scheeringa, and had the opportunity to work with and learn from Dr. Scheeringa while honing my skills.