CHILD, TEEN, & ADULT THERAPY

 

Therapy usually begins with weekly sessions.  This is to develop rapport and to achieve some progress in the therapeutic process.  Once goals are being met and growth is being made, sessions become less frequent.  A frequently asked question is how long will therapy last?  There is no absolute answer for that.  It depends on the client's willingness for growth, how well they trust the process, and how much they want to learn about themselves.

 

Child & Adolescent Therapy & Assessments

My professional career began with seeing children and adolescents in their foster homes.  Currently I continue to see children and adolescents, with a wide variety of difficulties.  The youngest I see clients is 4 years old.  

During the first appointment (initial assessment) with a child or adolescent, I like to meet with both the child/adolescent and parent.  I gather information about the child/adolescent's history, family history, and current circumstances.  There will be times where it is most appropriate to speak with the parents during the first session without the child/adolescent.  During these circumstances, there is an exchange of information where the child/adolescent should not be present.  This is a great discussion to have during the initial phone call to set up the appointment. 

For most of the 45 or 52 minute sessions, I am seeing the child/adolescent one on one.  Often I will meet with the parent(s) before I begin the session for updates.  There may be times that I ask for the parent(s) join the session.  This is typical when there is vital information to share and/or for growth of the family dynamics and relationships.  Art and play are often used in therapy as therapeutic tools and for establishing rapport.  This is the natural language of children, art and play.

Therapy also may involve working with the parent(s) of the child or adolescent.  This is not unusual and a service that I typically provide.  I often find that in helping the child or adolescent grow, it is needed to work with the parent(s) as well.  Sometimes it is to give the parent(s) insight to what the child/adolescent is experiencing in their world.  Sometimes it is to give insight to the parent(s) on what they could do differently to help their relationship with the child/adolescent.

 

Adult Therapy & Assessments

During the first appointment (initial assessment),  I am gathering a information about the current problem that is bringing them into therapy, their family history, and touching on all aspects of their life.  Getting to know the client thoroughly helps establish treatment goals and the path for therapy.

 

Couples Counseling and Drug/Alcohol Treatment

I do not provide services to couples for counseling, nor am I certified in drug and alcohol counseling.  If these issues arise during your treatment I will refer you to an individual that does specialize in these areas.  This referral may be in conjunction to the service that I am providing.

 

Photo by PeopleImages/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by PeopleImages/iStock / Getty Images

GRIEF

"The past is never where you thought you left it."   - Katherine Anne Porter
 

Before my career started, I had been dealing with grief.  I have experienced grief in many ways throughout my life as most people reading this have.  The journey of grief often comes back as if it has never been processed before.

Grief work in my professional career began very early.  My internship for graduate school was at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.  I worked almost exclusively with the bone marrow transplant patients and my very first patient died from his body rejecting the transplant.  It was an incredibly painful experience for his family and to bear witness.

I have worked with different kinds of grief with my clients; divorce, moving, death of a pet, losing a job, losing a relationship, identity changes, and life transitions.  These kinds of grief are experienced all the time, it is not merely a death of a loved one.

As my career advanced, I began to witness the makings of complex grief, those grappling with the traumatic grief of loved ones.  I determined it was important to improve my skills in grief counseling.  Recently I completed the intense grief certification training through the MISS Foundation.  I am a certified Compassionate Bereavement Care provider through the MISS Foundation.  This training, taught by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, is for the traumatically bereaved individual and family.  This traumatic grief counseling is especially useful for those parents that have lost a child.  Beyond working with parents, this grief counseling is also great for siblings, partners, spouses, and children that have suddenly and tragically lost a loved one.

There is an intensity to this grief and it can be prolonged.  Some individuals are ready to heal and process the grief.  Others are ready in small amounts, beginning therapy and coming back from time to time.  There is no right way to grieve and there is no magical path of stages, it is a spiral staircase that twists and turns, going back and forth.

ADOPTION

 

Every once in awhile, a child receives a blessing of getting a forever home.  And every once in awhile, the parents dream of receiving the gift of a child doesn't flourish to what they hoped it to be.  

I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Daniel Hughes for a one week training exploring the process of attaching the child and parent.  This is not the only practice to foster attachment and bonding, but one option.  For those families interested in understanding and participating in this intense therapy with you child, click here to read more about it. Recently I also completed the year long training with C.A.S.E.  The purpose of this training was to educate providers like myself on the specific needs in working with adoptees and their families.  This is also to pass along to the families and adoptees the education for growth and understanding of their unique family life.

 Reading resources for parents:

Parenting from the Inside Out - Dan Siegel

Attachment Focused Pareting - Dan Hughes

Building the Bonds of Attachment - Dan Hughes

I Love You Rituals - Becky A. Bailey

Playful Parenting - Lawrence J. Cohen

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew - Sherrie Eldridge

Brainstorm - Daniel Siegel

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children - Shefali Tsabary

 

 My newest adoption, Oliver

My newest adoption, Oliver