Supporting Children, Youth and Familes
Being a parent can be an exhausting and overwhelming job. There may be times when your own struggles with anxiety, sadness or anger get in the way of being the parent you want to be for your children. Counseling may help you work through your concerns, find healthy ways of coping and move forward toward your goals.
When working with children, I use imaginative play, games, books, various toys and art therapy to facilitate self-expression and empathy to connect them to their inner feelings and to develop insight. I find a combination of play therapy and talk therapy facilitates the healing process. I like to think of my work with children as preventive medicine—i.e. treat the child before their emotional difficulties become a chronic condition.
Children come to counseling with a need to be listened to and respond positively to attention, encouragement, empowerment, and assistance with their emotions and practical difficulties. Research shows that children have a high need for sharing personal experiences and feelings, which they do with relatively few reservations. I create a safe, friendly environment so the child feels free to express their stress and concerns. I find the child responds openly to suggestions for change when presented in a caring manner.
Concerns that bring a child to therapy include:
- Feeling out of control, you have “tried everything and nothing works”
- Being unsure how to handle tantrums, non-compliance or disrespectful communication
- Anger or physical aggression
- Worry or fear (anxiety)
- Trauma (both acute and complex)
- Transitions, such as divorce, remarriage/blended families, moving or changing schools
- Drop in grades or complaints from teachers
- Difficulty staying focused or concentrating (ADHD)
- Desire to be a better parent or improve communication in the family
Therapy for children can be fun and meaningful. Most sessions will include learning more about themselves, their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and healthy coping skills. Parents are encouraged to participate in the therapy process and are kept well-informed with the focus and progress.
Contact Lauren for a phone consultation and to schedule your first appointment.