Psychotherapy for Young Children
Psychotherapy for young children is highly individualized based on the presenting problem. I typically begin with a thorough diagnostic assessment to better understand your child's history, symptoms and development, and relationships with caregivers. Treatment may focus on helping young children and their caregivers to improve their relationship, improve coping skills, reduce the frequency and intensity of emotional outbursts or other mental health symptoms, and/or reduce parenting stress. I utilize strategies from multiple evidence-based treatment models, including Child Parent Psychotherapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, Parent Management Training, Strong Roots, Circle of Security, Infant Mental Health, and psychodynamic play therapy. For some families, I meet with children and parents together, and other families I work primarily with the parent(s) alone.
Psychotherapy for OCD and Anxiety Disorders
I utilize evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). These therapies help children to develop coping skills, face their fears, and challenge their anxious thoughts. For younger children, parents will likely be involved in each session, while for older children more time might be spent with the child alone. For all ages, I also utilize parent support sessions to help parents learn to respond to their children in ways that will reduce their child's anxiety and encourage healthy coping. Therapy "homework" is typically assigned to be completed between sessions, and helps children to make the quickest progress in therapy.
I am currently providing all services via telehealth. Telehealth is utilized to allow families to receive services in a convenient way, in the location where many of their challenges are taking place--their home. Research suggests that telehealth is just as effective as in-person therapy. Many children act differently in an unfamiliar office environment than they do at home, so telehealth can be a way to see more accurately how they typically behave and feel. Telehealth also allows us to practice coping skills in the exact environment where you want your child to use their skills, with the tools and resources that are available to them at home. Young children are not expected to sit in front of a computer and "talk" during therapy--it is more common for them to be in and out of the room, engaging in play and interacting with their caregiver. As a therapist, I often serve as a 'coach' to support caregivers and help them to navigate situations in the home, and understand what their child might be thinking and feeling during challenging moments.