Child / Adolescent Therapy


Kristin has worked with hundreds of children and teenagers. Doing therapy with children and teenagers typically requires a different approach than doing therapy with adults. Kristin uses a variety of techniques to engage children and youth in the therapy process. With younger children, she may use drawing or other forms of art or games and play. Kids tend to re-create their real worlds in these abstract ways, and the activities serve both to inform the therapy process and to take the pressure and intensity out of the face to face interaction with a therapist. With older children or teenagers, Kristin finds that developing a rapport on their level dramatically increases their willingness to self-disclose and work on the issues. Non-judgmental listening and humor goes a long way towards this end.
 

The initial child/teen sessions will include an assessment period, just like the other types of therapy. Parents or caregivers will be included in parts of this assessment period. After that, Kristin will make a recommendation for the therapy process that typically includes a combination of individual and family therapy for the youth. Kristin has found over her years of working with youth in therapy, that individual therapy alone is much less effective than utilizing a combination of individual and family therapy. In this approach, there is a continuous integration process in which Kristin builds a trusting relationship with the youth and the parents simultaneously. She works individually with the youth to "get into the child's world" and see things through the child's perspective and then supports the child in developing insight into his/her feelings and labeling and expressing those feelings in healthy and constructive ways. Kristin then collaborates with the youth in the process of bringing the information from individual sessions into the family sessions and supports the child and parents in defining the meaning of this information and what to do in response to it. Sometimes Kristin acts as a "coach" in the process of problem-solving and building healthy communication habits within the family.