Children experience unique and at times unbearable pressures and difficulties in today’s world, including the separation and divorce of parents, scholastic achievement demands, developmental challenges, and the impact of trauma from accidents, illness, and abuse.
Child psychotherapy, in conjunction with sand play and other therapeutic techniques, helps children integrate their experiences, lends support for the strengths they possess, and helps them grow.
Parents are the primary support in a child’s life. Psychotherapy needs to strengthen the child-parent relationship and must provide the family with tools for future growth.
Our treatment generally starts with a five-session assessment phase. At our initial meeting, parents have the opportunity to talk about their child’s problems in detail and are also asked for a developmental and psychosocial history. Over the next three sessions, therapists have time to meet with child individually, observe her/his play and administer several brief psychological symptom inventories. The final session is a feedback session for the parents during which the therapist presents assessment findings and offers treatment recommendations. The goal is to reach a mutual decision about whether the child needs to be seen in outpatient psychotherapy or whether other supportive interventions will suffice.
Treatment sessions are weekly and each session is 50 minutes long. Child psychotherapy is rooted in play therapy: What talking is for adults, play is for children. Interactive play, sand play, and expressive art therapy in a non-judgmental and supportive space are the tools that help your child deal with the obstacles life presents. Generally speaking, child psychotherapy needs to be limited in nature, since a child’s primary relationship is with the parent. In especially severe situations or in the treatment of chronic conditions, however, ongoing treatment may be appropriate.
Children grow in the presence of nurturing relationships. Psychotherapy therefore frequently makes it unnecessary to use medication in the psychological treatment of children. Meaningful family rhythms, a focus on family values away from excessive media exposure, and nutritional awareness are developed and strengthened in place of a reliance on medication.