How are you different than other therapists?
I don’t believe therapy always has to be done on the couch. When I work with children I employ a variety of play therapy methods. A Registered Play Therapist is a trained child expert who uses play to help understand and eventually help a child heal/or meet their therapeutic goals. When working with teens, it’s often easier to engage teens in games, art or crafts with the goal of either engagement or teaching through the use of these methods.
How do you approach parents when working with kids?
First, as a parent of a two teenagers, a 13 year old and 17 year old, I approach parents with understanding and realistic expectations because I understand that parenting is messy and yet it’s also the most important job we will ever do. Second, I approach parents with strategies that have helped many parents who are struggling with family situations.
What is a Brain-Wise therapist?
A brain wise therapist is a therapist who has a understanding of the brain and what methods have an impact on the brain, and a brain’s ability to make change in a individual’s life. A brain wise therapist understands that brains are flexible at any age, but especially in children. A brain wise therapist employs methods such as play therapy, creative arts and sand tray interventions so that the brain can connect and create new neural pathways that help create change. You have heard the saying, “Talk is cheap”. This is true because it’s activity and human connection that actually creates change, and which impacts the brain. As a therapist I am very interested in what treatments have an impact on the brain. Because of this I’ve spent a lot of time investing in becoming trained in evidenced based treatments including play therapy, Theraplay and EMDR.
Do you only see children and teens? Will you see adults?
My specialized experience is with children, teens and families. That being said, I’ve worked with many adults who are interested in a more non-traditional talk therapy approach. I tend to see many young adults who are on the bridge between being an adolescent and an adult. Also, recently I’ve been seeing adults who are seeking the evidenced based treatment, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for traumatic experiences that they would like to heal from. Some adults say to me, “but I need someone to talk to, I want to just sit and talk during therapy”. My answer is that my job as the therapist is to follow your lead .
What do you mean by the term “intense” child?
I’ve been trained to see children’s behaviors as intensity rather than as oppositional, defiant or manipulative. I also know that some children have a stronger intensity than other children. Intensity definitely has it’s challenges for parents, but I like to help parents channel that intensity into all the positives that they know their child is capable of. Intensity often shows up, at first, as explosive feelings, defiance and temper. I have been trained in The Nurtured Heart Approach that teaches parents specific strategies for bringing out and highlighting a child’s “greatness” qualities such as creativity, passion, commitment, focus, and kindness.