Empathy on the Level, at their Level
Sometimes children develop problematic coping strategies in an attempt to get their needs met. Over time, these behaviors can become default ways of handling stress, diminishing a child’s expression and sense of self. When working with your child, I customize my approach to best serve your child’s disposition and needs. I create a safe play zone where they are free to express their full range of feelings as they learn new strategies to process and regulate their emotions.
“Your children require you most of all to love them for who they are, acknowledging their feelings and point of view- not to spend all of your precious time together trying to correct them.”
— Christina Grandy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which negative thought patterns about the self and the world are challenged in order to treat mood disorders such as anxiety and depression as well as unwanted behavioral patterns. CBT helps reduce stress and anxiety for a better sense of peace and mental clarity.
Collaborative Problem Solving
Children with challenging behavior are often misunderstood and mistreated. Rewards and punishments don’t always work and can often make things worse. Thankfully, there’s another way. But it requires a big shift in mindset.
Helping children with challenging behavior requires understanding why they struggle in the first place. Collaborative Problem Solving recognizes that children with challenging behavior are already trying hard. They don’t lack the will to behave well, but instead lack the skills to behave well. CPS focuses on building skills like flexibility, frustration tolerance, and problem solving, rather than simply motivating children to behave better. The process begins with identifying triggers to a child’s challenging behavior and the specific skills they need help developing. The next step involves partnering with the child to build those skills and develop lasting solutions to problems that work for everyone.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an effective treatment for trauma. EMDR is also effective in treating “everyday” memories that are the reason why people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and etc.
EMDR enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. 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 resumes. Using the detailed EMDR protocols and procedures, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Equine Assisted Therapy is a form of experiential therapy that includes horses and a specialist psychologist or counselor working together with a client to create positive change. The therapist is specifically trained in Equine Assisted Therapy in conjunction with traditional training in the mental health field. Equine Assisted Therapy often includes a number of beneficial equine activities such as observing, handling, grooming, groundwork, and structured challenging exercises focused on the child’s or adolescent’s needs and goals. Equine Assisted Therapy provides unique non-verbal opportunities for the client to enhance self-awareness, recognize maladaptive behaviors, identify negative feelings, and face self-defeating cognitions.
Expressive Arts Therapy
The term expressive arts refers to any combination of dance, writing, visual arts, drama, music or other creative outlets. Expressive arts therapy is taking these modalities and using them to enhance individual development and growth.
Oaklander Gestalt Therapy for Children
The Oaklander Model is a Gestalt approach to play therapy which focuses on the senses, the body, the emotions, and then the intellect. This highly creative and effective model prioritizes the therapist/client relationship and is focused on honoring the child’s process rather than interpreting behaviors. A major focus is to help clients become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing it, and how they can change themselves, and at the same time, to learn to accept and value themselves. What is directly perceived, felt, and experienced is considered more relevant than explanations and interpretations.
Sandplay therapy is a nonverbal, therapeutic intervention that makes use of a sandbox, toy figurines, and sometimes water, to create scenes of miniature worlds that reflect a person’s inner thoughts, struggles, and concerns. This form of play therapy is practiced along with talk therapy, using the sandbox and figurines as communication tools.
Synergetic Play Therapy
Synergetic Play Therapy® (2008) is a researched-informed model of play therapy blending the therapeutic power of play with nervous system regulation, interpersonal neurobiology, physics, attachment, mindfulness, and therapist authenticity. Its primary play therapy influences are Child-Centered, Experiential, and Gestalt theories.