Families often seek support when going through a difficult life event or transition, or out of concern for their child's emotional well-being. Common concerns may include:
- A recent change in behavior or mood
- Difficulty with peer or family relationships
- Trouble managing behaviors or emotions
- High levels of stress or anxiety
- Frequent feelings of sadness, irritability, or anger
- Signs of low self-esteem
- Withdrawal or loss of interest in previously-enjoyed activities
- Trouble developing age-appropriate social-emotional skills
Therapy offers a safe and supportive environment to explore these concerns and uncover the root of the problem in order to effectively address it. Together, we can develop a plan to support your child or teen through the challenge at hand.
My interventions and style are tailored to individual needs, but building a genuine, trusting, and supportive relationship is at the foundation of my work. Sessions may include a combination of talk, play, art, and movement, as well as other activities that create a safe space and facilitate the therapeutic process.
In addition to working through the presenting problem, I focus on skill development and wellness-based practices, such as mindfulness. Strong social-emotional skills are proven predictors of success in all domains of life: school, work, family, and social relationships. Youth who develop skills like self-awareness, self-regulation, and problem solving are more likely to develop healthy connections to other people, more resilient in the face of stress, in turn, experiencing greater health and happiness as they develop.
Individual therapy sessions generally take place on a weekly basis and may be office, school, or home-based. The frequency, length, and location of therapy is determined based on the needs of you and your child.
Therapeutic groups are often helpful in conjunction with or instead of individual therapy. Group work has a variety of benefits: participants practice skills and work through challenges or conflict in a safe environment; build meaningful connections with peers; and experience the unique relief of feeling less alone and more understood by others with similar experiences.
Groups fall into two general categories:
Skill-Building Groups are structured, skill-focused, and time-bound. These groups generally run between 6 and 8 weeks, and are designed to help children and adolescents develop and practice social-emotional skills with their peers. Groups may focus on a variety of skills, including stress management, wellness practices, relationship development, and problem solving.
Process Groups are unlike skill-building groups in that they are less didactic and less structured. These groups take the form of a facilitated discussion between peers and often involve more self-disclosure and processing within the group. Process groups are thoughtfully constructed, including considerations like age, gender, fit, and group focus. Process groups may be as general or specific as a girl's group, a boy's group, a group for those who recently experienced a divorce, a grief group, or a self-esteem group.
Parent & Family Support
When working with youth, caregiver involvement is crucial. You know your child best, and you are the most important person in your child's life. Parenting can be a wonderful, fulfilling experience, and can also feel like and overwhelming responsibility. My job is to help you succeed.
In addition to individual sessions with your child or teen, I will meet with you on a regular basis. While I may see your child for an hour per week, therapy will be of much greater value if we communicate regularly and work together to ensure that gains made during therapy can be sustained outside of sessions and after therapy has ended.
This is a collaborative process in which we put our expertise together and build on existing strengths. I aim to create a space that is safe for shared reflection and new perspectives, and will offer ideas and strategies that can help you understand and support your child. I'm also a strong advocate of self-care, both as a means of managing your own stress and wellness and for the purpose of modeling and scaffolding your child's social-emotional development.
Parent and family sessions can take many forms:
- Joint parent and child sessions focused on the child and/or the parent-child relationship
- Parent check-ins pre- or post-session regarding updates on your child’s progress
- Parent sessions focused on self-care or parenting strategies
- Family sessions
In addition to parent and family work, I often collaborate with other systems that affect your child's life. For instance, I may reach out to your child's school, conduct a classroom or playground observation, and consult with school staff to achieve a better understanding of your child’s needs and to ensure that we are all working collaboratively toward our common goal. By better understanding your child in the context of their daily lives, both at home and at school, and by having access to those who interact with them regularly and are responsible for their development, I can assess their needs more holistically and take an integrative approach to supporting them across all domains.