Raising kids is an enormous job. No one prepares you for how hard it can be, how stressful, or how lonely. If you’re thinking about psychotherapy for — or about– your child, I’d like to help.
My work with you will always assume that you are the expert on your son or daughter. Working together, we’ll explore your child’s natural temperament and determine the best ways for you to work with your child — in an atmosphere that is safe, supportive, and gentle.
How does therapy with kids work?
Younger children often lack the words to express their feelings. They show their distress in other ways: for example, they’ll have problems in school or with peers, engage in “dare-devil” behaviors, have trouble sleeping or eating. They may seem sad, worried or irritable, or have physical complaints for which a pediatrician can find no cause.
Often, children can grow out of troubling behaviors. But other times, the behavior (and the response it elicits from others) can damage the way children see themselves, or affect the way they’re viewed by peers or teachers — and in this way, a small problem can cause lasting difficulties.
Some children can cope with major transitions — parental divorce, a death in the family, a new school — and get back on track. Other kids, even within the same family, may need a little extra support to help them regain their balance. And some kids, who seemed to be taking things in stride, may be hiding their distress and suffering most of all.
Part of my work with children is to help them learn to name their feelings – but, more often, to help them explore their emotions through play therapy. Play, it has been said, is the work of childhood. It is also the way a child learns to experience the world and feel mastery over troubling emotions and environments. Play therapy with children can take may forms. For example, by selecting miniature figures and building a “world” in a sand tray, a child finds a powerful way to express what he or she feels. Healing takes place, and the child’s normal emotional development can continue.
In other situations, the entire family will come to therapy sessions. When each member feels heard and accepted, healthier and stronger connections are formed — and change can take place.
The goal of our work together is to help you build the kind of relationship you want to have with your child — and to make that bond a source of joy, warmth and strength for both of you for the rest of your lives.