Children have unique stresses in their lives, caused not only by natural developmental phases but also by school, family difficulties, or even illness. Many problems that effect adults, can also disrupt a child's behavior.
Each child comes with unique strengths and weaknesses. Our counselors tailor their approach to fit each child by using one of or a combination of therapeutic styles.
Children often come to therapy confused and unsure of what is happening. Their parents may have said they are going to see a "doctor" or someone to talk to. Many kids walk in expecting someone in a white coat with a stethoscope. Well, that is not what they will find. They will find a room full of toys and soft furniture to sit on (and maybe play on). They will find a therapist ready to laugh and have fun as they do the work necessary to find solutions to life's struggles.
The idea is to provide a safe, warm, environment where the children will feel comfortable. They can play games, build worlds in the sand, and maybe talk about life. In using Play Therapy, the therapist strives to meet the child where he or she is - emotionally, not necessary by age. The therapist then uses play as a vehicle for self-expression to help the child grow and learn.
During the assessment process and throughout treatment, we strive to help those involved move in a direction that will be most beneficial to the child and the family. We can also arrange to have an assessment period to determine whether or not therapy is necessary. This period usually lasts between 4 - 6 sessions. During this time we will use interviews and play therapy tools as well as formal written testing protocols. Mood, behavior, and thinking are among the factors we assess to determine if anything is significantly disrupting the individual’s life.