Certified Synergetic Play Therapist
Are you worried that your child's well-being has been impacted by life events such as divorce, remarriage, transitioning to a new school or town, or loss of a loved one?
Are you worried that your child or teen is struggling to make meaningful friendships or is being bullied?
Do you find that your child is becoming moredistant as become a teen and wish they had someone trustworthy that they could open up to?
Perhaps you're concerned or frustrated because your son or daughter is struggling or acting out at home or at school and you're not sure why.
As a parent, you want the best for your child, and many worries arise for all parents. Worry is a normal part of the deep love you have for your child. You may find that some of the common worries listed above may be familiar to you. In connecting with your child through play therapy, I become an ally for you and your child in creating a new place for your child to flourish, a place that complements the heart and soul you already put toward your child's well-being.
IS COUNSELING/THERAPY FOR KIDS THE SAME AS ADULTS?
HOW CAN COUNSELING HELP MY CHILD?
Like adults, kids sometimes benefit from a unique relationship and environment to process and work through tough experiences. Like therapy for adults, the therapy for kids is also meant to help them live happier, more connected lives. Although the purpose of therapy may be similar for kids and adults, therapy for kids works best when it is done differently than adult therapy. Children and teens are still developing physically, emotionally, mentally, so their ability to understand and express themselves through words is not yet fully developed.
Play Therapy helps children work through difficult events, thoughts, emotions, and behavior by allowing them to use their primary language for self-expression: PLAY & CREATIVITY. Through your child's play and creative process, I'm able to pull out themes, help your child express his or her emotions, and develop ways to practice future opportunities for growth. The benefits are that your child has the opportunity to:
- learn how to handle difficult emotions like frustration, anger, sadness, or disappointment
- make sense of the many events and changes happening in their physical, mental, and emotional world
- develop stronger relationships with family, friends, and mentors
- build self-esteem and self-confidence
- find more ways to understand and express themselves
- develop understanding and empathy for others
- explore their joy, passion, and purpose
- turning normal yet challenging experiences into opportunities to thrive, such as:
- academic or social difficulty in school
- loss of a loved one, such as a family member, friend, or pet
- parental separation or divorce
- sibling rivalry
- becoming a blended family
- adjusting to relocation
WHAT'S MY ROLE AS A PARENT WITHIN PLAY THERAPY?
WHAT DO I DO WHILE MY CHILD IS IN SESSION?
You're relationship with your child is the most important one in their life so its important that we set up a system to communicate about your child's progress. During the first session, I'll meet with you (and your spouse/partner if they are attending as well) and your child. We'll go over paperwork, talk about how confidentiality works in child counseling, discuss what you're hopes are for your child's counseling, and learn what your child understands about why you're meeting me. Then your child and I will spend the remaining time together doing play therapy activities. For the first session, your child can choose to have you stay in the room or wait in the waiting room.
During ongoing sessions, your child will typically meet alone with me for 40-45 minutes of the session and you'll wait in the waiting room unless your child makes a request to have you join part of the session. For the last 5 minutes of the session, you'll be invited to join us and if he or she would like, your child will have an opportunity to share with you something about the time we spent together. Sometimes your child may have something to share and sometimes they may not - either is okay. The goal is to empower your child to decide what to share, while you can trust that I will let you know if I have any specific concerns that you need to know about (e.g., regarding your child's safety). As long as there aren't major concerns, play therapy provides your child with a special experience in which they can trust that they get to choose what to share rather than an adult (me) deciding for them.
I'M SEPARATED, DIVORCED, OR MY CHILD'S OTHER PARENT ISN'T INVOLVED IN THEIR LIFE - DO THEY HAVE TO AGREE TO COUNSELING FOR OUR CHILD?
Yes. Legally, it is required that both parents sign the consent/disclosure form allowing your child to come to counseling/therapy. Even if your child's other parent is not involved on a regular basis their consent is necessary. If you have sole custody, you will need to provide a notarized release stating that the other parent no longer has legal rights.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? WANT TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?
I understand that there are many important questions you may have before deciding to take your child to play therapy. I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Call 720-463-2604 or email me today to set up a free, 20-minute initial consultation and/or schedule an initial face-to-face session in which we can discuss how I can best support you and your child.