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My Approach

I know that when children are in emotional distress or have challenging behaviors, it can be exhausting and overwhelming for their parents and caregivers, not to mention sad and frustrating.  You may feel that you can't be the parent you want to be, and you may worry about your child's future.  Most children with challenging behaviors, highly intense emotions, or difficulty with social skills also feel sad, frustrated, and isolated.  They want to connect with their parents and other children, but just don't know how or find that it doesn't work out.  I strongly believe in the power of play-based therapy techniques to help children and their parents work through these struggles for a calmer, happier life.  

Children learn, make sense of their world, and express their thoughts and feelings through play.  With play therapy, I help children find new ways to handle their feelings and improve their relationships with others.  I also offer cognitive behavioral therapy, or a blended approach, for older children who prefer to talk about their feelings directly.  I help children to feel calmer and more comfortable, and teach them skills to handle stressful situations in their lives.  In any type of children’s therapy, I involve caregivers as active collaborators in their child’s treatment because you are the most influential person in your child’s life.  

 

In Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), I teach parents a blend of play therapy techniques and discipline strategies to strengthen your bond with your child, build your child’s self-esteem, and increase your child’s social skills and ability to follow directions.  I also offer more general parent coaching for parents of infants and toddlers, or parents who need less intensive support than PCIT provides.  Parenting is almost always hard, and even more so if your child has emotional or behavioral challenges!  I can help you to be the parent you want to be -- loving, supportive, and meeting your child's emotional needs, while also setting limits that set your child up for success later in life, not to mention help you get through your daily routine! 

 

I have worked with individuals and families from a wide variety of backgrounds, ethnic identities, and sexual orientations.  I am fluent in Spanish.  I recognize that many people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people from other marginalized groups experience mental health struggles that are the direct result of oppression and discrimination, and I address this openly in my therapy practice.  I have worked with many children involved in the child welfare system, foster care, and adoption, and am familiar with the unique challenges children and families in these situations face. 

 

I also offer individual therapy for adults, drawing from cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and mindfulness techniques.  I also incorporate expressive art therapy activities for adults who enjoy that!  If you suffer from anxiety or depression, we can find ways to help you feel better.  We will practice strategies for managing stressful situations in your life and for dealing with your own intense feelings!  Cognitive behavioral therapy can teach you new ways to approach a tough situation, and mindfulness can help you to calm your brain down and live more fully in the moment.  We can also talk about what you want from life and from your relationships with others, and anything that may be holding you back from living the life you want.  I approach therapy with the belief that all of our feelings are valid and serve a purpose.  You can accept your feelings and be kind to yourself, while trying new ways of doing things to help you feel better and live the life you truly want.

I hope we build a therapeutic relationship that is a good fit for you, however, I understand that an essential part of effective therapy is finding a good match for yourself or your family.  I am happy to provide other recommendations should we find that you may be better served by a different clinician.