Even the most loving families can sometimes need professional help. Depression and anxiety are on the rise and the life of children, adolescents and teenagers is often stressful and challenging.
When a child or adolescent is struggling most of us think of individual therapy first but research indicates that family therapy in many cases is a much more powerful intervention.
Why is this? I see families as medicine. Families should be a soft place to land and a teenager’s go-to place for love, support, comfort, and advice. If families get off track and there is tension or arguments in the home, other stressors in a child or teen’s life will become greatly magnified and potentially can turn into more serious issues. Families are the antidote to this and well-functioning, loving families can act as a powerful buffer to the stressors in the life of a modern teenager.
I am a passionate, experienced family therapist and I draw from many different family therapy models such as Experiential Therapy, Theraplay, and Emotion Focused Therapy.
What Is It?
EFT is a well-known humanistic approach developed in tandem with the science of adult attachment, a profound developmental theory of personality and intimate relationships. This science has expanded understanding of individual dysfunction and health as well as the nature of love relationships and family bonds. Attachment views human beings as innately relational, social and wired for intimate bonding with others. The EFT model prioritizes emotion and emotional regulation as the key organizing agents in individual experience and key relationship interactions.
How Can It Help?
EFT therapy can help to rebuild mutual trust and create a closer bond with your partner. With the guidance of a couple’s therapist, there are three stages of emotionally focused therapy you can employ.
1. The first step is to work on identifying key concerns and how negative interaction patterns escalate into conflict. Your therapist works with you both to identify any hidden fears and emotions that are impairing your connection and helps you re-frame them.
2. Guided by your therapist, you and your partner work to change your patterns of interaction. As a couple, you work on expressing yourself as well as accepting each other’s emotions and needs. Also, you both receive coaching from the therapist, couples “homework”, and guidance regarding discussion of topics that trigger conflict in the relationship.
3. During the third stage of EFT, your therapist shares tools on how to better communicate with one another. Again, you’ll practice these skills outside of the therapy session to gain more experience using them, noticing and sharing in future sessions their effect on the health of your relationship.
What Is It?
Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge.
How Can It Help?
Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding. In treatment, the parent(s) and child are guided through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent(s) regulate the child’s behavior and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy.
What Is It?
Experiential therapy is a therapeutic technique that uses expressive tools and activities to re-enact and re-experience emotional situations from past and recent life experiences. A fundamental premise of experiential therapy is that one’s perception determines one’s behavior. By re-experiencing and releasing repressed negative emotions from the past, the client is better able to experience positive feelings such as love, forgiveness, and calm in the present, changing their perception of reality.
How Can It Help?
Under the guidance of a trained experiential therapist, the client can begin to release and explore negative feelings of anger, hurt, or shame as they relate to past experiences that may have been blocked or still linger.
YOU ARE HERE BECAUSE YOU WANT HELP
Children, adolescents, and teens often experience the highs and lows of growth. But sometimes their struggles become so overwhelming that they need a little extra help.
As a caring parent, you have tried everything you can think of to help them. You will do anything to help them succeed and overcome their struggles. However, when their struggles seem to be getting worse instead of better, it’s time to give us a call.
I uniquely see children as young as 3-years-old (not many clinicians see children this young)
We specialize in helping struggling teens. Teens find it refreshing to meet with someone who is “not their parent” – who they feel they can safely speak openly with and who they feel will advocate for their needs.
Older adolescents and teens especially appreciate meeting with an understanding therapist who will not judge them, will listen intently to them, help them feel valued, and recognize their strengths. It is an honor to be invited into a child’s life and to help them learn new skills and make sense of the world in a healthier and more uplifting way.
I help children, adolescents, and teens who struggle with anxiety, low self-confidence, depression, defiance, falling behind in school, friend/relationship struggles, pornography habit, suicidal thoughts, anger, emotion regulation, and managing the stress and overwhelm of life.
Many of the younger people I help have been thru some sort of trauma, either sexual or physical and I am trained in how to help them try to pass thru those rough waters into a happier tomorrow.
My goal is to help your child be happy and successful again. I’m looking forward to helping your soon-to-be thriving child!