“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” -Fred Rogers
Our Approach to Counseling Children
Counseling children takes a different approach than does counseling adults. We acknowledge that children learn in a variety of different ways. We see this even in school, where we hear about all sorts of different learning styles- auditory, kinesthetic, visual, verbal, and social or solitary. In the same way, therapy must also be tailored to their interests, learning styles, and unique temperaments in order to be successful. Working with children on their terms and on their level is the way to meet them where they are, and to see results.
Therefore, our practice advocates a hands-on approach to counseling: playing together, creating art together, doing something new in order to invite the child into the process of counseling in an engaging and age-appropriate way. We invite children into the process of counseling using play therapy techniques, expressive interventions, and activities where they can use their creativity to process through what they are experiencing. We believe that the way children deal with and understand what is happening in their life is through play itself.
We work to treat a wide variety of issues occurring in childhood, including:
- Teaching appropriate coping skills
- Living with ADHD
- Gifted and Talented
- Developing healthy peer relationships
- Autistic Spectrum
- Controlling anger
- Boosting self-esteem
- Addressing self-harm and/or suicidality
- Coping with divorce
- Oppositional defiance
- Disrespect for authority
- Communication issues related to deafness
In our work with children, we very much involve the parents. We wish to speak with the parents on a regular basis, involving them in the process of therapy, and developing action plans that can be implemented at home for a more continuous intervention. We have seen that in homes where goals from counseling continue to be reinforced during the rest of the week, more lasting change occurs.