Therapeutic Service for Children, Families, and Adults
For Whom? A family (two or more people living together) struggling with communication issues, separation, loss, trauma, fighting, illness, developmental changes, conflict, parenting issues, acting out behavior, drug abuse, discipline issues, etc.
How it works? The family is a small community where issues affect everyone. The work focuses on developing communication and understanding to identify the conflict in the family. It is important to define the rules, roles, and boundaries within the family. Develop consistent strategies for setting appropriate limits, rewards and consequences, and incorporating structure, routine and rituals.
What to expect? A family environment that allows for communication, promotes individuality as well as a sense of belonging, respects differences, provides support, and shares positive and negative experiences equally well.
For Whom? Relationship issues, premarital counseling, parenting conflicts, intimacy issues, life changes, career planning, financial issues, and substance abuse.
How it works? Exploring individual styles of expressing and receiving thoughts and feelings. Understanding the influence of each person’s family background. Developing the ability to listen, receive feedback, and resolve conflict. Utilizing the unique strengths of the relationship as defined by each person’s attraction to one another.
What to expect? A couple that is able to acknowledge and maximize the most of their compatibility. A balanced relationship that allows for openness, empathy, respecting each others’ thoughts and feelings, playfulness, intimacy, and healthy independence and dependence.
Child and Adolescent Therapy
For Whom? Persons between the age of 3-19 who are experiencing anxiety, depression, difficulty with separation, ADHD, socialization issues, trouble with communication skills, low self-esteem, difficulty with peer relations, conflict with parent-child and/or sibling relations, issues with respect and/or responsibility, attentiveness, bullying, and school-related behavioral problems.
How it works? Working with younger children (age 3-8) involves a collaborative approach with parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Initially, it is important to understand the context in which the child is having difficulty (See Behavioral Assessment). The therapy utilizes art and play therapy to explore issues that the child is unable to express in words. The child learns new ways of coping or responding to difficult situations through social skill training, role-play, self-esteem exercises, art and play therapy. Parents and other caregivers also learn how to provide safety and containment by utilizing behavioral contracts, modeling how to respond to the child, setting appropriate limits, mirroring/empathy, and developing structure and routines.
Children and adolescents (age 9-19) may attend therapy individually, along with collaborative sessions with parents/family. This type of therapy is more for young people who are able to identify that something is bothering them (sad, anxious, no friend, school problem, family issues, etc.), and are self-motivated to get help and attend therapy.
What to expect? Child/Adolescent therapy helps to identify the triggers of the problem, add what is needed to support the child’s success, and/or remove negative factors. It usually involve subtle, yet profound, shifts in the child’s environment and internal coping abilities that allow the child to positively experience family, friends, school, success, and challenges.
How do I get my child to go to therapy? Some children are able to identify that there is a problem (or not), but do not want to go to therapy. Parents should explore the severity of the problem with each other and the child (depending on age and maturity). It then becomes an opportunity to model how to make an informed decision. Parents should encourage the young person to attend 2-3 sessions, with or without you, and then decide if therapy would be a helpful solution. As parents, we must sometimes act in the best interest of our children by acknowledging when a child is not able to make a mature decision about going to therapy, and explaining that the child needs to participate in therapy until the problem is resolved, mood is elevated, behavior improved, etc.
Can parents benefit from therapy without children? If the child is clearly against therapy, it can still be very helpful for parents to develop a better understanding of their parenting style and relationship with their child(ren). Parents can gain a better perspective of the family issues, develop insight into how to positively impact the situation, and gain new skills and techniques.