Is your child acting out, struggling in school, or having difficulty making friends? Parents seek therapy for their children for various issues, but the most common reasons I have encountered are for behavioral issues, peer issues, family issues, divorce and anxiety. Children often do incredibly well and make substantial progress in therapy. Parent involvement is determined on an individual basis, but in general, the younger the child, the more involved I ask parents to be involved in therapy. It isn’t uncommon that child therapy often has a strong family therapy component.
I do not provide traditional play therapy, but I do utilize therapeutic games and activities to help children feel more comfortable and at ease. Children are usually more apt to share when they are busy doing something else as it reduces any perceived pressure and associated emotions. I am a mother myself, and have many strategies to help engage children. I am proud of the fact that most children really enjoy coming to see me, even if they were resistant at first.
Therapy for behavioral issues often includes working with parents on setting up a behavioral management system in the home such as 1,2,3 Magic or Love and Logic as well as establishing basic family rules. These are proven behavioral management programs that have excellent results when they are followed with consistency and strong follow through by the parents. I can also assist with family rules and parent coaching as needed.
I do see children whose parents are going through divorce and therapy can often be quite helpful in these situations. I am comfortable working in contentious divorce situations provided both parents understand that my priority is the child and I will not get involved in child custody cases. If custody is a contentious issue and you are seeking court involvement by the therapist, I recommend you find a therapist who specializes in child custody cases and is willing to provide the requested services.