Child and Family Therapy, Sonoma County
- Are you feeling concerned about your child or adolescent who may be experiencing problems at school or home?
- Is your child sad, withdrawn, angry or fearful and no longer enjoying time with friends or family
- Are you losing sleep over changes you are seeing in your adolescent?
- Has your child recently experienced a loss or trauma?
Childhood and adolescence are full of developmental and social challenges. Add to that the normal stresses and strains that come within the life span of any family and you may find a child who is having difficulty adapting. Sometimes counseling can help.
A portion of my practice is devoted to work with children and adolescents who may be challenged by social issues, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, changes at home, trauma or developmental challenges. I also treat children who have experienced attachment disruptions with parents or primary caregivers as a result of separation, divorce, illness or other difficult situations. Depending upon the age of the child and the situation, I may use play therapy, sandplay, filial therapy or cognitive behavioral interventions.
Child/adolescent therapy often involves the entire family in the process of change and healing. A child’s world and well-being is greatly affected by those nearest to him/her.
Parents, siblings and other family members may be asked to attend either individual or joint sessions. These sessions help family members and therapist “check-in” with one another, exchange information, find solutions to specific problems, work on improving communication skills and explore how the family system may be contributing to the child’s struggles.
What Is Filial Therapy?
Filial therapy (parent and child play therapy) is based on the idea that parents can be a powerful agent of change when they become a partner in the therapeutic process. Over the last 40 years, numerous studies have shown that this treatment approach has long term positive results for a range of problems, such as oppositional behavior, depression, loss and trauma. Filial therapy is generally a short-term approach (16-20 sessions) that includes assessment sessions, parent training, therapist supervised parent-child play sessions and parent-therapist discussion sessions for problem solving and supportive feedback.
About Play Therapy
When circumstances make it difficult for parents to be involved in the therapeutic process. I use directive and non-directive play therapy to treat children ranging in ages 3 to 10. Play therapy utilizes the child’s language of play to help them express feelings and work through problems. Play used in a therapeutic setting helps children express what they may be unable to say with words. Play therapy can successfully help children learn new ways of behaving, gain self-esteem, improve social skills and problem solving.
Playing in the Sand or Sandplay
A variety of figurines, a small box of sand and the willingness to engage in a creative process are the basic components to sandplay therapy. Sandplay engages the depths of the psyche through symbol, metaphor and archetype and has been used therapeutically since the early 1900′s for individuals of all ages. Many children enjoy the imaginative aspects of sandplay; adults too can find relief in this unique process. When words are not enough, too much or unavailable, sandplay can be a safe and nurturing place to do healing and transformative work.