Is there something wrong with my child? Have I failed as a parent?
No and no!! Our goal is to help you and your child feel successful. We operate from a strengths based perspective and build from there. Bringing a child in for therapy and giving them the best opportunity for overcoming challenges is one of the greatest things you can do as a parent. It takes courage to admit you need help, so let’s start there.
Is my child is too young to benefit from therapy?
No! Our therapists are specially trained to work with children beginning in infancy in a parent child setting. We work with very young children in a play based setting, usually with a significant amount of parent participation. As children get older they are more able to talk about their feelings but will still benefit from our child focused and play based approach that allows them to feel relaxed enough to learn new skills and talk about their feelings.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
My child is so young they won’t remember what has happened, why would they need therapy when our family is struggling?
Contrary to this “myth of resiliency,” early childhood and especially birth to age 3 is a time of exceptionally rapid brain development. While children will not have the ability to describe what happened to them at this age–most of us have our earliest memory around age 4–early experiences can change the very structure of the brain. Our therapists can assess how children are managing in stressful situations and coach parents in how to help children achieve developmental success.
How does play therapy work? How do we get started?
Our team of therapists typically begin with a parent-only intake session. We prefer to get to know you, and more importantly, for you to get to know US, before we have the privilege of meeting your child. This gives us the opportunity to review paperwork, answer questions, and get a full developmental history and information about presenting issues. Then when we do meet your little one, we get to be fully focused on them! Most of the time we will check in with parents for the first 5-15 minutes of session while kiddos wait briefly in our waiting room. Alternatively we can schedule parent-only sessions at any time to check in and discuss progress in therapy.
How long will it take?
Please remember that as an adult when you seek therapy, you have identified something you want help with, chosen a therapist, and you share what you feel comfortable sharing with the therapist. None of these things are true for children coming into therapy. Their parents have decided to bring them in, have chosen the therapist, and have told the therapist about what’s been happening. We work very hard to make sure that kids enjoy therapy while they work toward meeting their goals. We want therapy to be a good experience for kids so that if they struggle again later in life they will be more likely to return. Play therapy can be a slow process which proceeds in fits and starts, but parents typically report that both they and teachers start noticing that things seem to be getting better–and often they can’t quite explain why!!
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.