Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if therapy is right for me or my child?
Are you struggling with unwanted thoughts or feelings? Is your child acting out or acting differently at school or at home?
Have you been trying to manage your feelings on your own, but you continue to struggle?
Are the thoughts, feelings, or behaviors interfering with everyday life?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it sounds like therapy may be a step in the right direction for you or your child. We could discuss your needs further and determine the best path for you.
What will our first session be like?
Our first contact will be over the phone for your free consultation. I will gather some general information and answer any questions you may have in order to see if I'd be a good fit for you. If you decide to move forward, I'll take down some of your information so I can enroll you in my client portal. This will enable you to fill out intake paperwork, insurance information, and payment methods before we meet. That way we can focus on what really matters in your first session: you.
In our first session, we will explore some of what brought you to therapy and what you would like to achieve. You may see me taking some notes so I can get a full idea of your needs and history. In this session, we will also discuss more of what to expect and I can clarify any lingering questions you have.
For parents, our first session would ideally be just you and me meeting for the first time. We will go over what brings you and your child to therapy, what changes you would like to see, and what is expected of you in this process. Some parents like to bring their child as well to the first session to see how they react to me and to therapy. I am very flexible and open to what you're comfortable with. We can tailor your first session to meet your needs.
What can I expect from therapy?
What you can expect from therapy is entirely dependent on what you put into it. We will always be working towards reaching your goals, understanding your feelings, and coping with your stressors. However, you may not always leave therapy feeling better than when you came in. It is important to know that sometimes we talk about subjects that are difficult and heavy. If you are open and honest about these emotions, we can work together to make sure you leave knowing you have the tools to handle whatever may come up for you after you leave your session.
For parents, you can expect your children to be working hard in therapy, even if it sounds like "just play" from your perspective. I try my best at the end of my sessions with children, to warn them the session is ending and give them time to create a safe space for themselves. You can also expect some work on your end too! Play Therapy can work wonders, but it's nothing without caring parents to back up what your children learn!
How are you different from other therapists?
Every therapist is unique and practices in their own way. This is why you want to be sure who you see is the right fit for you. I have a person-centered and creative background and I love bringing that into the therapeutic relationship. What this means in practice is that I work mindfully with you, your healing practices, and your innate creativity to create treatment that works for you. Therapy is hard work, but, just like with the children I see, we can make it playful.
For parents, I work collaboratively with you to help your child heal, grow, and learn. We will have sessions together where we explore what goes on at home from your perspective and what you are hoping to see. I also will have you occasionally join our play sessions so you and your child can share some positive experiences in play.
What do you mean you use 'mindfulness' in therapy?
To be mindful is to be completely present in the moment. When our thinking goes towards the past, we might feel bogged down by what we've been through. When our thinking goes too far in the future, we move towards an anxious state of mind. Keeping ourselves centered in the present is where the work can really begin. I utilize guided, personalized meditations and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques to help you stay present and practice thought-stopping. This means we work with challenging that negative thinking we so easily fall into by utilizing positive self-talk.
Sometimes I hear laughing and my child says that you "play" in your sessions. How is that going to help her/his behavioral problems?
We will talk more about this in our first meeting so you understand exactly what goes on in a play therapy session. You can also read more about play in my "Specialties" section. But to answer this question, play is the natural language of children. Much like we talk about what goes on in our day, children play it out. By observing, reflecting, and sometimes joining in their play, I am able to get a better understanding of what is going on in their world. From time to time you may hear laughter, the best way I can explain this is again relating it back to talk therapy for adults. Going to therapy, talking out our issues is cathartic, and sessions can be enjoyable. It is the same for children. Sometimes I see a focus in their play, they can be serious and quiet. Other times they are loud and laughing. Know that I do set appropriate boundaries in session and they are working hard!
From time to time your child (and some of my older clients too!) may come out with a craft. This is typically done to practice a specific coping skill. If you ever have questions, my door is always open. We will consistently be discussing progress and meeting together so you can understand and be a part of the process.