COUNSELING FOR CHILDREN (PLAY THERAPY)

At IFC we believe working with children is a collaborative process. We are honored to join you on your journey toward a happier, calmer family; and we believe it is crucial to involve parents along every step of the way. Most often, parents participate in all therapy sessions. Occasionally, we may do some therapy sessions with just your child. This decision will be made with your input and with much thought and consideration. We have found that younger children benefit the most if their parents are actively involved in treatment.

We use a variety of techniques to help children feel safe, comfortable, and able to express themselves. Our work may involve play therapy, Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Theraplay, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and art techniques depending on the needs of your child. Before we meet your child, we will complete an extensive parents-only session when we focus on your child’s current challenges, their developmental history, and explain what you can expect during the therapeutic process.

Many of our young clients are experiencing difficulty with:

  • Anxiety, OCD, and panic disorders
  • Family transitions: divorce, adoption, new baby, etc.
  • Behavior Problems and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Grief and loss
  • School problems
  • ADHD, ADD, Impulse Control
  • Childhood Depression

COUNSELING FOR TWEENS & TEENAGERS

We have found that teens also benefit from a collaborative approach with their parents, but of course it takes a very different form with older children. At the onset of treatment, we develop a set of clear goals with your teen and encourage parents to be involved in this goal setting process. Because teens tend to crave concrete skills and tools, we primarily utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to help them overcome struggles related to negative self-talk and low self-esteem.  We also use a variety of interpersonal techniques to assist teens in developing insight into their struggles.

Many of our teen clients are experiencing difficulty with:

  • Executive Functioning Skills or a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD
  • Anger Management
  • Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety, OCD, and panic attacks
  • School Refusal
  • Mood Regulation: including Depression and Bipolar Disorder

ADOPTION, ATTACHMENT, & TRAUMA THERAPY

If your child has been adopted or has experienced early (even pre-verbal) trauma, traditional play therapy is not the most effective treatment. When counseling is focused on attachment, you and your child will both participate in counseling sessions. Our work with adopted and traumatized children incorporates specialized training in Theraplay, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). This work is heavily influenced by the work of Daniel Hughes, Dr. Karyn Purvis, and Dr. Bruce Perry. Parent support is considered a crucial component of treatment, as we know it is extremely difficult to parent a child with a history of attachment trauma.

PRE-ADOPTION COUNSELING

We also offer pre-adoption counseling and training for couples building their family through adoption. Those who choose to parent an adopted child need support for themselves, as well as help in understanding the issues faced by their child. Pre-adoption counseling will prepare you to help your adoptive child work through their feelings as they become part of your family. Pre-adoption counseling will help you explore any issues that you may encounter on this often emotional journey. Your own history greatly impacts your parenting. Often the adoption journey brings many losses along the way, and it is important to work through the effects these losses have had on you, your marriage, and your family. Understanding your expectations of adoption will aid you during the process of adoption and prepare you for any challenges that arise as you raise an adoptive child. Pre-adoption counseling can be a valuable source of support as you experience the emotional roller coaster of waiting for your child.

SUPERVISION FOR PROFESSIONALS

Because of our passion to facilitate better quality mental health services for children in our community, we also offer supervision to clinicians that wish to increase their child therapy skill set and grow as practitioners. Additionally, Individual and Family Connection hosts a monthly consultation group for professionals in the pediatric mental health field.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Because we believe it’s so important to help make a child’s world even better, we actively participate in many forums and meetings, offering our expertise on pediatric and adolescent issues, and parenting concerns.

Click here for recent and upcoming speaking engagements, and other activities and events.