PLAY THERAPY FOR CHILDREN
Are you feeling hopeless and helpless about your child and regular parenting just isn’t working? It's easy to feel despair when our children get dysregulated by their emotions (fear of difficult writing, transitions, not knowing answers for homework), and sensory overload. It can be so frustrating as a parent to watch your child be a perfectionist, aggressive, controlling, mean, all in an attempt to manage very difficult feelings that can be related to sensory dysregulation and learning challenges. Let’s put our heads together and figure out what the triggers are that make them so anxious and aggressive and teach them to regulate their own sensory and emotional overload, (fight/flight/fright) modulate their behavior and build self-esteem.
Let’s work together so they learn to wait, ask for help, recognize what feels overwhelming.
I can help them to avoid social isolation. I really know what to do and how to help. Contact me.
Is your child defiant, bossy, provocative, perfectionistic, aggressive, or angry? Does he have tantrums, poor impulse control, and seem not to care if you punish him?
Maybe you’re worried because your child is constipated, having eating issues, stomach aches, acts like the class clown? Physical symptoms may be the only way your child has of expressing distress about adoption, divorce, or other unknown feelings.
Is he or she school avoidant, sleeping in his own bed? Is toileting a battle of wills? Is he/she underachieving academically or seem to have excessive fears?
Maybe your child is sensitive, bullied, or has trouble making friends? Is he/she refusing to go to school? Is there a new baby at home or has sibling rivalry become hard to handle?
You may be feeling ineffectual, helpless and frustrated, reduced to yelling, spanking and punishments that don’t work, and then feel awful about. You are not alone.
How can you know what to do, even if you are the most loving parent in the world? Children have problems that often have nothing to do with us. I'm here to help them quickly get back on track and help you have the tools you need to take over.
It’s really hard to know how to parent when a child has a problem. Many parents feel embarrassed to admit there is a problem that they can't fix and feel isolated and like a bad parent. You are not a bad parent. So many people struggle with what to do. I can help you understand what is happening, perhaps offer some play sessions, and help you to be the effective parent you want to be.
You might think they will grow out of it, that it is just a phase.
You might worry it is too expensive.
Has every therapy experience been less helpful than you hoped it might be?
When I meet with a child who is struggling, I meet with the parents and then with the child a few times so I can talk and play with them to understand the situation from their perspective. Often play therapy helps children to be able to identify feelings and communicate them to you. If they know how they feel, they can manage their emotions rather than behave impulsively, get into trouble, compromise their self-esteem, making them hard on themselves and sad.
I know you might feel like you have failed them, that you are a bad parent. But that just isn’t the case. Raising children is complicated and believe it or not, most parents need help from time to time. We can put our heads together to help them. It’s never too late to change the trajectory of their life.
Together, we will understand your child’s behaviors, what gets under your skin and why, and figure out the best way to help your child and improve your relationship and family harmony.
Is your teen aggressive, defiant, underachieving, and having school refusal and other behaviors that are perplexing and leave you feeling helpless as a parent?
You might be worried and then talk yourself out of worry and then worry again that your teenager is struggling socially, on the periphery, bullying, or being bullied? Are you scared that he/she is having trouble coping? Navigating getting into college, romantic relationships, LGBT issues, and gender dysphoria, friendships, sex, drugs, alcohol, academic pressure?
Are you up at night wondering if you really know where your teenager is and if he/she is safe? Are you worried they are keeping secrets from you? Maybe your teenager is overeating or dieting or over-exercising and you're unsure if they need more help than you can give them.
It may feel like life is a battlefield at home where you feel like you are walking on eggshells and anything you say causes an explosion, leaving you more paralyzed.
Is your heart breaking because you suspect that your teenager is unhappy and seeking comfort in activities that can be dangerous/risky but you are shut out and unsure?
Sometimes risky behaviors require another level of care. I can assess this and help provide that care.
If you are a parent whose teenager is returning home from the hospital or residential, there is every reason for you to be hopeful that the transition will be smooth and successful. I am here to help you put the right supports in place.
You might be in pain because your previously communicative child has pulled away from you and you don’t really have a good handle on what’s going on in their life. It can feel agonizing to have your child slip away as you wish and long for the closeness you used to have.
Has every therapy experience been less helpful than you hoped it might be? Are you afraid another therapy experience will result in another failed result, so why bother, that therapy doesn’t work?
If your teenager is acting in ways that make you feel helpless, scared, overwhelmed, and alone, please know that you are NOT alone. These are the hardest years for you and your teenager to live through. Locking themselves in their rooms to listen to music or have screen time allows them to escape the enormous stressors they face. Neither you nor your teenager should have to navigate all of this on your own. While your younger child may have shared their feelings with you, teens are embarrassed to talk with their parents about their fears, perceived failures, depression, and anxiety. They think they should be able to handle these feelings on their own or with friends. It’s not that they’ll never talk with you again.
Therapy can help your teenager live up to his/her potential academically, socially, and emotionally. When emotional strength and self-esteem are realized symptoms will abate and your teenager will be restored to you. They will seek out healthy friendships and activities and feel ready to launch.
As a parent, you might feel ashamed to need to turn to therapy, that you aren't a good enough parent, that you can’t do it alone.
I assure you that you're more than a good enough parent because here you are on my website looking for answers. Our children have internal conflicts that have nothing to do with us. However, the way we help them work these conflicts out can set them on the right path. You may worry that they will resist coming to therapy and feel stigmatized. Deep down, they are relieved. You'll feel relieved that they're in qualified hands to develop the tools to navigate these years safely. You'd really be surprised at how many really good teens are in therapy.
You might think that these issues will work themselves out on their own in time.
Please believe me that some issues don't go away on their own. Sometimes, just a brief conversation with me can help you better guide your parenting. Sometimes your teen will benefit from some counseling sessions. I have been working with teens for 28 years. I use humor and compassion in helping them feel understood. Act now while you still have a hand in your teenager’s future. I promise they will secretly thank you and openly thank you later.