Children and Teenagers
I have been working with children and teens for 15 years in a variety of settings. During school, I worked as a full-time, long term nanny for three families. I have taught children overseas in Spain and in Peru, and I have volunteered with many children and teenagers throughout my career.
In many ways, I am a kid at heart. I love playing with animals, jumping in puddles and running through sprinklers. I identify with children and have been told I have a calm, warm, playful and patient presence that encourages them to open up to me. I understand that talking to a child or young adult effectively comes down to meeting them at their level - speaking to them in words they can understand and using examples that are meaningful to them.
I believe the most crucial part of the therapeutic relationship with a child is trust. I ensure to establish trust with my clients by asking them questions about themselves, suggesting they show me artwork or trophies they are proud of, and letting them ask me anything they want to. Only once trust is established do we begin talking about the 'deeper' stuff. I always let children know that they can tell me anything and I will keep it a secret between us, unless they are in any sort of danger. Often it takes one or two sessions before trust is established, but without it, therapy is not nearly as effective. I am very flexible and if a child feels more comfortable to have their parents in session, that is okay. If after thirty minutes a child says they are done talking, that's okay too. My priority is letting the child know that they are in charge, that they are not being forced into anything, and that they can trust me. I believe that children deserve the same respect that adults do.
I am currently doing video counselling with children and teenagers ages 6-18. I generally use a mix of play therapy, art therapy and talk therapy.