I have been enjoying the colorfully emotional world of young children for the past twenty-five years. First as a teacher, as a school counselor and now as a child therapist. This background enables me to work well with children who are hitting a speed bump in life and need support. I can translate the emotional tools and social skills into a child’s language so they can gain confidence and be successful in leaping over that speed bump.
One of my goals as a child therapist is to utlize the gold standard methods, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Play Therapy and Person-centered therapy, to make our time together in therapy engaging and fun for my young clients. In this way children are motivated to be involved in the process and learn. Without that engagement, they won’t benefit from these well researched and effective approaches.
As a former teacher I know children learn best by doing and not just by being told. The way children absorb these concepts and skills is through movement, games, non-goal-oriented play, conversation, art and role play. Through these activties, the child is more open to share their emotions in a way that feels most comfortable and emotionally safe for them. Once they’ve begun to do this, we practice these skills during our time together. This gives the child the experience to feel competent enough to use them outside therapy in their own world.
Therapy is a private place for children. I work to create and honor that privacy by giving them a safe and confidential space. Yet, because I work with a younger group of clients, it is often appropriate to find ways to loop the parent, into the process. Parents are often invited in for regular check-ins and to work and play with their younger children and learn new skills together.