Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Individual and Family Counseling

4500 9th Ave NE Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98105
206-949-0381 or e-mail

 

Child Therapy

In my expressive arts therapy practice I work with children ages 3-12 and their parents to help navigate the child's developmental path and the inevitable twists and turns of life's journey. I use art, the sand tray and play therapy to communicate with children; for kids, creativity is often a more natural mode of expression than the use of words. Just as adults use words to express themselves in traditional talk therapy, kids use art materials and toys to tell us what they are thinking and feeling.


Many of the children I work with in play therapy have experienced the following:

 
Art and sand play therapy is available for children who have difficutly expressing their feelings verbally.
 
     
  1. Bereavement - loss of a family member via illness, accident or suicide
  2. Difficulty adjusting to separation/divorce
  3. Difficulty adjusting to parenting plan
  4. Difficulty adjusting to blended family
  5. Separation anxiety
  6. Persistent worries
  7. Nightmares
  8. Ongoing conflicts and angry outbursts
  9. Difficulty making and keeping friends
  10. Behavior problems at school
  11. Shyness/isolation, lack of confidence
  12. Thoughts of hurting themselves or another person
  13. Major transition such as new sibling, move to new home or school
  14. Regressive behavior as when children acts younger than their age - ie a nine yr old having a tantrum


As a child-centered therapist, it is my job to make sense of what the child is communicating through art and play scenarios and to help the child heal from painful experiences that are disrupting the natural developmental process. I tailor expressive arts therapy sessions to meet the individual needs of each child in my practice. Play therapy sessions are an opportunity for children to learn more effective ways of interacting with the world in the following ways:


 
     
  1. Developing trust in themselves/increased self-esteem
  2. Practicing social skills and conflict resolution
  3. Learning to appropriately express difficult emotions such as anger and grief
  4. Learning to decrease anxiety
  5. Learning when to ask for help
  6. Developing resilience in meeting life's challenges


Ongoing collaboration with parents is an integral part of my play therapy work with children. Before I see the child for the first time, I have a 90 minute session with parents to discuss the issues that bring the child into therapy and to clarify the specific behaviors in the child that are of concern to the parents. Together we create a cohesive plan which addresses these behaviors with a focus on helping the child to move forward.

After I start seeing the child for individual sessions, I regularly meet with parents to discuss the child's progress and to collaborate about how to best support the child through the therapy process and beyond. I am also available to collaborate with school personnel if this is appropriate.


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