Do children benefit from therapy?
I believe that children have the ability to heal and create change in their lives - but they can sometimes need a little help getting there. Kids can really struggle with their feelings and behaviors, and it can often cause rifts within family dynamics. I work with children, teens, and parents to create solutions for those rifts and to alleviate the frustrations and pains that can occur when the family is struggling.
With therapuetic care and guidance, children can outgrow problematic behaviors and parents can gain insight and awareness into the reasons behind their children's actions. I utilize developmental brain science to help bridge the gap between family members and to help foster secure and loving relationships once more -- to create lasting peace within families.
Does my child need therapy? Do I need therapy?
If you're considering bringing your child to therapy, it's because you recognize that they need help for issues that have become unmanageable within your family and you love them enough to seek help. Just like you wouldn't ignore a long-term medical problem without a seeking help from a trained professional - emotional and behavioral problems with children need specific care and attention. Often, parents feel like bringing their child to therapy is a sign of weakness or failure. You couldn't be further from the truth! It's a loving act you can do to help take care of your child's feelings.
If you're a parent and seeking therapy for yourself - either in relation to your child's struggles or because of long-standing issues from your own past - you are doing a wonderful service to your family. Looking issues or troubles in the face and resolving to find solutions requires a bravery that can only be applauded. I would be happy to help you find the confidence and peace you are seeking.
I know my child needs help, but they don't want to see a therapist. Should I make them to come anyway? What can I do about this?
The most important thing you can do in this situation is to have an honest conversation with your child. Gently remind them that you love them and that you're worried about how they're struggling with __ (school, getting along with others, making friends, anger, etc). Be specific and honest but gentle. You can tell them that you want to learn how to help them overcome this, and that this is something you would be doing together.
You can ask them to agree to give it a trial-run, and promise them that you will respect their wishes to stop bringing them if after 3-4 weeks they are still not wanting to come. Therapy with children (and teens especially) is only successful if they honestly want it. Unfortunately, if they're coming against their will, it could be counter-productive to your child's desire to eventually seek help - later on when they're ready to accept it.
What does a play therapist do?
I'm a Registered Play Therapist - which means that I integrate developmental understanding with age-appropriate play to engage your child therapeutically and to work toward achieving the goals for your child that we set together. Play therapy is multi-modal, so I use interventions such as sand tray therapy, bibliotherapy, art and music therapies to engage your child where they're at. I use this in combination with talk therapy to ensure that your child is receiving care that's appropriate to their development and interests.
Learn more about Play Therapy here.