In addition to my work with adults, I provide psychotherapy to children of all ages. Children are usually referred to therapy by doctors or schools, or brought in by concerned parents because something, either obvious or less so, seems to be troubling the child and this trouble has persisted despite everyone’s efforts to help the child or get the child to change their behavior. As I do with any psychotherapy, with children I first establish a safe and trusting relationship and provide a free and protected space in my therapy room where the child can come to express anything that is on his or her mind.
I work with children in various ways, depending on the age and needs of the child, which may include playing, talking, art making, games, Sandplay, and storytelling. I find that quite often even very young children understand intuitively (while it is also stated to them as well) that the the therapy space and therapist are a special time and person set aside just for them and what is bothering them, and they make great use of the opportunity. Children talk or play out their concerns and find both empathy in a therapist trained to understand their symbolic play, art, and conversation and also find their own unique solutions, often through these symbolic means. When this occurs, children can then continue along their developmental path with greater confidence and ease.
As part of my work with children, and depending on the age of the child, I also meet regularly with parents in a separate session. This provides an important feedback process for parents and therapist and allows me to work with areas where parents may be struggling with their child.