Child Therapy

People are often confused about what happens in therapy with children, imagining that the child would sit down and spend the session talking to the therapist as an adult would. Understandably, this can seem strange. When working with children, I use play therapy as the primary tool for accessing the issues they are struggling with. On the other hand, the idea of children coming to "play" worries some parents who find themselves concerned that the issues are not being addressed.

Play is one of the primary ways children communicate and work things out. As the child's therapist, I listen to and observe their play and use it to inform how I understand their struggles. Direct talking is also an important element to a child's therapy, but it is woven into an atmosphere of play. The many years I have devoted to this work have taught me to deeply trust both the communication that comes through play and the healing that can occur through this medium.

An important component of child therapy is the parent/grandparent/caregiver collateral meetings. These meetings allow me to help the family with the issues that are problematic at home, school or other places and to share my understanding of the problems that the family is dealing with and how to best address them. The frequency of these meetings varies from family to family and with the phase of treatment.

When working with children, I frequently have contact with teachers and other significant people in their lives with whom contact is appropriate and helpful to the treatment.

There are different ways of structuring therapy to best meet the needs of the child and family, such as individual child sessions, sessions with both the child and parent, family meetings and parent collateral meetings. Our initial assessment of the issues and problems at hand will involve an exploration of what type of therapy will be most helpful for your family.