Sometimes children experience problems that can’t be managed as easily by their parents, no matter how skilled and loving those parents may be. Sometimes children experience stress, anxiety, depression or other difficulties navigating the challenges of growing up. Behavioral changes may show up only at home or at home and school or day care. When this happens, you may feel inadequate or powerless to help your child return to the carefree childhood they deserve.
Young children do not always respond well to “talk therapy.” Their attention span is limited and they are often better able to express themselves through creative play. I work with children through art, games, sand play and books, along with cognitive-behavioral consulting. Older children respond more fully to this cognitive-behavioral approach (CBT) that is more similar to having a great conversation. CBT includes the development of realistic thinking, exposure to fears and relaxation skills through humor, creativity, art and teaching.
Both play therapy and cognitive-behavioral treatment are effective, safe and empirically validated treatments for children and adolescents. Child and adolescent counseling is goal oriented and we have parents involved in the process of change through the use of specific skills and family consulting.
Sometimes a problem can be remediated through several sessions but in some situations there may be a need for more in depth work with your child and/or family. With your permission, we may consult with Virginia, Maryland, and DC educational and psychological providers.
Commonly treated issues include: anxiety, depression, anger management, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing dysfunction, social skills deficits, behavioral difficulties, family stress/conflict and mood-based issues.