I work with children (aged 10 and up) and families dealing with a range of difficulties. I use an attachment-based approach to help parents become their child’s greatest source of support. Nobody has the power to help children heal like their parents, but it can be incredibly difficult to know how to help when children are struggling. Families often develop patterns that can get in the way of connection and make it difficult for parents to provide the support their children need, even when they desperately want to help. Whenever possible, I involve parents heavily in their child’s therapy to restore bonds that may have become strained over time and help the family as a whole move forward.
When working with adolescents struggling with mood and anxiety issues, in addition to working on family dynamics, I often draw on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT has two primary goals: 1. To teach the psychological skill of mindfulness in order to deal with painful thoughts and feelings in a way that gives them much less power over you, and 2. To identify what truly matters to you and use that knowledge to guide and motivate you towards behaviors that contribute to a more fulfilling life.
I am often asked to help families with:
- Behavior issues
- Depression and sadness
- Incorporating a new step-parent
- Parental illness or absence
- Separation and divorce
- Questioning sexual or gender identity
What to Expect
Assessment and Treatment Planning:
Depending on the age(s) of your child(ren) and the issues you’re facing, I may ask to meet with the parents and child together or just the parents for our first session. Either way the intake and assessment process will involve a combination of meetings with your child alone and you in the room.
The treatment phase of child and family therapy can vary dramatically depending on a family’s needs. For younger children, parents should expect to be involved in every session. I may break the session up into child-only and child-parent portions, or I may involve everyone for the whole session. This will depend on your needs. For some presenting issues, I may recommend that I work just with parents. For teens and adolescents, I will likely spend more time one-on-one with the adolescent given increased needs for independence. I will, however, request that parents join periodically to address issues within the family.