As a professional counselor, I work with children using a developmental and wellness lens. This means that I will assess your child at their life stage taking into account their age, developmental stage, hopes and dreams. I will help your child discover their strengths and skills and work on this foundation to build self-esteem and confidence.
Diagnoses may be required for insurance reimbursement, but it is not something I encourage in young children, unless the diagnosis requires further assistance such as with a psychiatrist and/or child study team.
The goals for treatment with your child will be discussed, first, with you – as their parent/guardian. I work through a systems approach, which means that I do not treat the child alone. Typically their symptoms emerge as a result of family dynamics. We can not make change with a child if the system does not accommodate change. This process may include discomfort (e.g. sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, or helplessness) and/or unpleasant feelings. This is a natural part of the change process. In time and as your relationships grow, the stressful feelings will get better. Therapy is a wonderful (underused) resource, especially with children. Children are taught ABCs and how to behave and work at school but often they are not taught how to express emotions, understand feelings or even how to verbalize them. Often this goes to the gut of the child’s self-esteem and sense of worth manifesting in troublesome behaviors, sadness, depression and/or anxiety.
Children respond to therapy through fun and play. As a therapist, I use a combination of Ecotherapy (our connection to nature and how the natural world influences our mental and physical health) and play. I feel strongly (and research supports this) that children feel alive, free and healthy in nature. As an Ecotherapist, I may suggest that my sessions with your child take place in an outdoor environment such as a park, nature trail, beach, etc. We will discuss in advance best places to meet in the outdoors. For more information about children and nature, read “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv, or check out the website www.childrenandnature.org.
I take great care in working with clients, as such I only take 3-4 at a time. At this moment, I am not on any insurance panels. I can provide you with a bill that you can submit to your insurance. Check with your plan to see if you have out of network mental health benefits. My rates range from $110-150/hour depending on the location and duration. I can also talk to you about a sliding scale.
Making the phone call or sending an email is an important first step. It takes courage and strength. Send me a note and let me know when you can talk – we can have a conversation on the phone (free of charge) to see if I might be the right person to help your child.