Beyond Talk Therapy for Kids
Kids love these proven, highly effective, creative alternatives for addressing childhood issues ~
- Play Therapy
- Art Therapy
- Guided Imagery
- Emotional, behavioral, social, interpersonal issues
- ADHD, ADD and hyperactivity
- Acting out behaviors
- Low self esteem, confidence issues
Some of the benefits: Your child will learn Specific strategies for
- Relaxing, calming and focusing
- Expressing that which may be causing internal turmoil.
- Healthy communication skills and expression of emotions
- How to make better choices
- How to appropriately give and receive respect for self and others
The family learns
- Skills for communicating better with the child.
- Methods for supporting the child on deeper levels
- Affirming ways for building up your child’s strengths and self confidence
- Ways to strengthen the bonds between you and your child.
How is Art and Play Therapy different from traditional children’s therapy?
Most destructive childhood behaviors are attempts to communicate confusing feelings of pain or confusion, separation, anger, hurt, feeling misunderstood etc.
I specialize in working with children at their own level, in the experiential / visual language that most kids are comfortable with: play and making art.
These fun, interactive therapies provide a window into your child’s inner world, creating a forum for deep expression in a relaxed, highly enjoyable format. Most children find traditional talk therapy to be very difficult and stressful. Using these enjoyable, alternative methods, we remove the pressure of trying to coax the child to express complex feelings and thoughts verbally. As they relax into the activities, they become naturally expressive.
Art Therapy and Play Therapy help the child to quickly relax, trust, open up and spontaneously express their inner world. That which the child is unable to say in words, all that has been causing distress, is indirectly and non-verbally expressed in the art and the play.
My first goal is to establish a warm, open, trusting relationship in which your child feels safe, welcome, understood and accepted. Within the safety of structured rules, boundaries and the therapeutic relationship, your child learns new, positive forms of expression to replace the negative acting out behaviors.
Most children love to make art and to play, and do so with gratitude and abandon. Their thoughts, emotions, hopes and fears are clearly revealed in the art and the play through metaphor. Through closely observing the child’s own choices, we discover what even the youngest the child is trying to say, how to help, and what is causing the child’s issues.
I have the training and experience to understand the language your child’s play/art as the full communication of what he/she is struggling with internally.
These underlying issues are then addressed using age appropriate interventions and strategies. As the child begans to freely express the hidden layers of their thoughts and feelings, a dialog is created between the child and myself, using the art or play, in which we explore creative solutions to the presenting problems.
For younger children, generally between ages 2-5, issues are addressed at a non-cognitive level, as they are not yet able to process complex emotions verbally. Resolutions are created using the language of metaphor in the play/art that the children can directly experience.
For older children, we focus on developing verbal skills and the language of self expression, building self esteem and defining steps towards personal goals as well as developing healthier coping strategies to replace the destructive acting out behaviors or disturbing emotions.
In both cases, the child learns constructive, healthy ways to communicate his or her emotions, needs, and desires, replacing negative emotional patterns and/or destructive acting out behaviors.
At the core level, The child experiences this interactive relationship as feeling deeply understood, heard and honored. Children crave this level of interaction, acknowledgement and expression experienced in therapy. These are skills that stay with the child for life.
The majority of my clients respond with gratitude, affection and relief as deeply buried, frustrated feelings and needs are finally seen, communicated and understood by those around them. Many times they don’t want to leave at the end of the session, or ask to come back “everyday”.
As the child learns how to express in more creative, constructive and direct ways, the family learns how to facilitate and support these skills. The child leans to extend these skills with their family members, friends and social groups. For most families, there is a tremendous relief in finding a way out of the negative cycles of destructive behavior.
Please feel free to call for a consultation.