Children, Adolescents, & Families
When working with children and adolescents, my starting point is simple – I do all that I can to make sure they feel seen, heard, and cared for. I take their ideas seriously. I create a warm, safe holding environment that communicates unconditional acceptance, nonjudgmental curiosity, and allows them the freedom to explore all aspects of themselves without criticism or shame. I guide them on becoming more present with their inner world. And I coach them on being their own problem-solver where they can be, and more accepting of things that can’t be changed.
I see my work with children and adolescents as a partnership with parents, not as a substitute for them. Consequently, counseling with minors goes hand-in-hand with regular parent meetings and/or occasional family therapy sessions. Together, we do our best to do what’s best for the child.
What most couples are looking for in their relationship is remarkably similar – a greater sense of intimacy and connection, understanding and empathy, more passion, acceptance, forgiveness of past mistakes, healing of old wounds, appreciation, friendship; in a word, love.
As an Imago trained therapist, I’m a big believer in the idea that there is an inner child within all of us that wants to be seen, that wants to be heard, and that wants to loved. Whatever has led you to think about couples therapy – a desire for better communication, looking to resolve long-standing conflicts, need for healing and building trust, or simply looking to enrich an already good relationship – I’ll coach you to create a shared vision for your relationship that’ll bring you closer together. I’ll teach you new and more fulfilling ways of being with one. I’ll offer practical tools you can use that’ll provide your relationship with important immediate relief. And I’ll guide you on walking hand-in-hand, toward your vision, while respecting, valuing, and honoring the individual differences that make each of you unique.
It’s amazing how the most confident of men and women can be humbled by the monumental task of parenting. And how could they not? It's a sacred mission entrusted to parents, a role that only they can fill. A parent’s efforts are lifelong, but especially in the early and teenage years, they lay the foundation for children to grow up to be caring, generous, responsible, contributing members of society who use their freedom well to benefit themselves, their loved ones, and the common good of their community. Unfortunately, there is no manual (though there are certainly no shortage of “How-To” books out there). My work with parents revolves around a few general principles to aide them on their journey. First, my starting point is this - parents are doing the best that they can at the given moment. My work with parents assumes this, and together, we see what else can be done or tweaked to be more effective. Second, I work with parents to become more confident in their abilities. A parent knows her/his child best, not their therapist, not their teacher, not their coach, though these people can certainly provide valuable support. A parent's insights are invaluable in providing the best possible collaborative care for their child. Third, I coach parents to make changes within themselves that are necessary before they can effectively bring about lasting changes in their children. These can range from remaining calmer during instances when their child is acting out or panicking; planning ahead for situations that predictably end up in unpleasant scenes; being more consistent in maintaining routines, spending quality time together, or setting limits; and when necessary, acknowledging and working through unresolved issues in their marriage/relationship or from their own upbringing that may be interfering with parenting their child as they would like. And lastly, together I work with parents to come up with a flexible plan for parenting that makes sense.