In order to best serve every individual client's needs, I provide a range of services. Below are short descriptions of different therapeutic modalities I am experienced in, as well as creative alternatives to traditional therapy models.
Synergetic Play Therapy
Play Therapy has been researched as the most effective modality for treating children. Children communicate through play, and in child-centered Play Therapy the therapist enters into the child's world, responding with validation and reflection to provide relief from the symptoms which brought the child to therapy. Synergetic Play Therapy takes this process a step further by viewing the child's play as a "set-up" for the adult to experience the emotions that the child is struggling with. The therapist then reacts to the set-up by modeling emotion responsiveness and regulation, which translates into the child learning to respond to their emotional challenges in a more regulated way.
Working with teens requires an eclectic set of skills. In my experience with teens, the recipe for successful therapy is a safe trusting relationship. To build that I combine a play therapy approach with Internal Family Systems and Somatic Therapy work. I provide many options to work through the discomfort some teens experience in the therapy process. Art, play, movement, and nature are some modalities which allow teenagers to more easily explore their experience. Providing options allows for a teen to show up authentically and find a way to make therapy something which works for them.
Internal Family Systems
Internal Family Systems is a therapeutic modality which takes into account the multiplicity of human existence. In this framework every symptoms are seen as a part of the client's system and the symptoms need to be honored and understood before they can learn that their protection might not be effective for the clients current life circumstance. IFS posits that every individual has a wise and compassionate 'Self', which is a true self which cannot be harmed or changed by life circumstances. The goal of therapy is to access Self, so that the client is Self-led as opposed to parts-led. I have benefitted immensely from this therapeutic modality and I am in awe of the growth and transformation it brings in my work with clients.
Somatic therapy is a broad umbrella term for many kinds of body-based therapy. Somatic counseling is especially relevant when working with trauma. It assists the therapist and client in maintaining awareness of the client's capacity to engage in the therapeutic process so as not to cause harm by crossing the client's unspoken boundaries which are held in their body. I have experience in using Somatic Experiencing which utilizes titration of bodily sensation to expand an individuals window of tolerance. I spent three years studying Somatic Therapy at Naropa University which gave me a deeper understanding of the important role the body plays in the therapy process and how to use this knowledge to facilitate client healing.
Parents are the most influential figures in a child's life. When parents are struggling with behaviors their child is exhibiting, it can be very effective for parents to seek support so that they can respond in ways that support their child through whatever difficulties they're experiencing. This can be even more effective than bringing the child to therapy, because parents have more presence in a child's life than a therapist does. My approach in working with parents is a combination of coaching and using a blend of therapeutic modalities to uncover the deeper layers of what is impacting the parent-child dynamic.
Parent Child Therapy
My preferred way of working with parents and children is to have parallel processes occurring until parent and child are ready to come together in the therapy process. The goal of this therapy is to work with the child using play therapy to build a foundation of regulation skills and to teach the parent tools to support the specific struggle their child is experiencing. When parent and child are ready they join for play therapy sessions where the parent is coached on how to be a therapeutic presence for the child. This is a very involved approach and it is obviously not feasible for all situations.