Children 6+ & Teens:
I work with children six years old and up, including teenagers. Family therapy is integrated as is fitting to each person and their situation.
For children, Play therapy creates a more comfortable and less direct way of interacting. Kids can have fun in sessions while learning skills to use at home and school. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be used for changing specific behaviors and for improving their self-esteem.
Adolescents tend to benefit more from techniques and ideas that are practical and applicable in their lives, rather than insight-based therapy. They can practice ways to handle bullying, deal with peer pressures, effectively communicate what they are wanting, and to better manage their moods.
Family meetings can be utilized by families to improve communication in the family as a whole. Family meetings also provide for a group justice approach, making discipline a group decision, and taking much of the pressure off of individual parent-child discipline.
Parenting approaches can also be implemented, including Screamfree Parenting.
As with individuals, each couple has specific needs and goals. For some couples, communication and conflict resolution skills can be practiced with the assistance of my direction and mediation. Anger and resentments can be resolved with empathetic understanding of each other. Often there are past issues to be resolved from each person’s family or past relationships that interfere with the current relationship.
While there are usually complaints about the partner, we steer away from sessions being about telling on the other person. We move away from defend/attack type of communication to effective loving communication. For some this may involve establish clear ground rules and boundaries for their relationship. We address whatever is needed to get your relationship unstuck and progressing forwards.
Do you have intrusive memories of traumatic events, nightmares, anxiety around people or public places, hyper-vigilance for danger, or are you easily agitated and find people more irritating than you used too? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, from experiencing one or more life-threatening events, can manifest in these and many more debilitating symptoms. We carefully utilize EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Cognitive therapy, and various calming skills to process through trauma or abuse experiences.
We decrease the emotional intensity of those experiences, working towards little or no distress. Negative beliefs or ideas about yourself also tend to be left over from trauma, so another goal is to reverse those to the opposite positive self-beliefs. “I’m not good enough”can shift at deep levels to “I am good enough”, or “I don’t deserve to be loved” can change at the core to “I do deserve to be loved”.
Post-traumatic types of symptoms can also occur with emotionally threatening situations, such as childhood experiences of emotional abuse, or relationship wounds and break-ups. Clearing those traumas can end old self-defeating habits and increase your self-respect and your ability to interact in healthy relationships.
Many people find much of their strength, calmness, enthusiasm, and compassion from their spirituality. I invite those who so desire to talk about their own spiritual experiences and strengths. I am here to support your growth process, without interjecting my own beliefs. My background is Christian, yet I am open to all faiths and cultural backgrounds.