There are a variety of paths therapy can take with children, teens, and families. What therapy looks like will depend on your child’s age and needs, all of which will be discussed and determined during an initial parent consult in which you and I can talk freely about your hopes and concerns for your child and your family.
When talking about young children, it is important to note that they are not merely miniature adults. Therefore their therapy cannot be a distilled version of adolescent or adult-oriented talk-therapy. As most parents can attest, children’s innate way of being is through play, which is the natural state in which they learn, master developmental tasks, and express themselves and their emotions. Subsequently, play therapy is deemed the standard of practice when working with young children. Play therapy is a research supported and theoretically grounded play-based approach to empower children to explore and express their feelings, and subsequently to develop more effective ways of coping with and communicating their feelings, wants, and needs.
Adolescence is a time of sudden and rapid change, physically, academically, socially, and emotionally. While parents and adults often speak of power struggles and tension, there is often an underlay of insecurity, sadness, and overwhelm. Teens often feel caught in a sort of limbo in which they are told to listen as a child, but yet expected to cope and act like an adult. Therapy for preteens and adolescents begins to look more similar to that of adults, however child-therapy interventions can be incorporated, depending on the teen's age, interests, and developmental stage.
Family Therapy & Parent Involvement
Parent involvement and support is one of the most important factors of therapy for children and adolescents, both in terms of their motivation for therapy and the efficiency and efficacy of the process. Family sessions may be held in conjunction with or as support of your child or teen's therapy.