Information for Parents on Counseling

How does therapy with children work?

Initially, I move through the following five session sequence:
First, I meet with one or both parents without the child. Co-parents should decide if they would like to meet separately or together for our parent session. If at all possible, I prefer meeting each parent before seeing the child, so that I can hear each parents story and sense of family dynamics. That way I get a full sense of the child's world. Both parents stories are held in the child's psyche. The goal is to create a neutral, confidential space for children and adolescents.

I spend the next three sessions with the child. One or both parents are welcome to come for as long as it takes for their child to feel comfortable. Parents can help their child relax by focusing on this as a place just for them; their own time to do and say whatever they wish to.

Children may decide to use their voice, play, sand play, art therapy, games and therapeutic stories as bridges for connections. Removing the pressure to talk helps children feel more at ease, where they can find their own voice without being asked leading questions. After the three initial child sessions, I meet with parents again to talk about where to go from there. We will discuss my initial impressions and together we will build a preliminary strategy individually tailored to each family.

How does therapy with teens work?

Adolescents can thrive when their parents support their own confidential space to process their school, peer, identity or shifting family dynamics. If parents are concerned about their teen who does not want to come to therapy, I ask that they come in with a parent. After one or two parent/ teen sessions, more often than not, teens ask for individual sessions. 

Issues addressed range from healing from abuse, divorce, grief and loss, alienation or estrangement, divided loyalties and step-family issues, neurodivergence, sensory processing issues, and gender identity or dysphoria.

Parent or co-parenting work may also be the predominant need. If a family is re-organizing into two households, we may talk about tools for navigating the new co-parenting relationship aimed at supporting the children's well being.
I am happy to discuss further questions in person, by video or phone consultation.

Average practice statistics are as follows:

40% individual and couples psychotherapy

40% child and adolescent psychotherapy, parent consultations, co-parent therapy and education

20% stipulated re-connection therapy/ therapeutic supervision

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