Mechanisms for Change
Child-Centered Play Therapy
Depending on your child’s needs, the therapy provided may consist of different types of play therapy from a variety of theoretical backgrounds; We will always meet with and get to know your child before deciding on the most appropriate form of play therapy.
The types of play therapy your child may experience can include any and/or all of the following:
Child-Centered Play Therapy
Filial Play Therapy
Object Relations Play Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) addresses mental health issues and increases happiness and positive mood by working to change maladaptive thoughts, emotions and behavior. It focuses on individuals’ distorted thinking patterns to help clients change the way they think to change they way they feel.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a treatment specifically for children and adolescents who have experienced trauma as well as their parents or caregivers. TF-CBT addresses the impacts of trauma such as depression, anxiety and behavioral difficulties and promotes positive interactions and relationship building between the child and their caregivers.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based intervention developed in the 1980s specifically to address trauma. The process of using eye movements or other methods of bi-lateral stimulation works to help the brain reprocess disturbing memories in order to improve clients’ level of suffering following traumatic events.
For children, EMDR therapy is thoughtfully integrated with Play Therapy and can be used successfully to help children deal with traumatic events which may be causing symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fear, PTSD, or other emotional difficulties.
Infant Mental Health
Infant Mental Health is the social and emotional well-being of the very young child in the context of family relationships, beginning at birth and extending through the preschool years. The foundations of all domains of human development are laid in the first several years of life. Basic to healthy development are the capacities to love, to feel, to develop a sense of self, and to adapt to one’s environment.
Infant Mental Health intervention is holistic, family-oriented, and multidisciplinary, often involving social services, mental health and health professionals, educators and policy-makers. Services usually involve working with parents and babies or children together, emphasizing relationship, interaction, emotions and knowledge of the child’s needs. Infant Mental Health requires specific training in human development in the first five years of life, with particular knowledge about attachment, risk factors, parenting and treatment approaches.
Art Therapy Techniques
According to the American Art Therapy Association, the use of Art Therapy techniques includes “art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore the feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.” Therapists work to elicit their clients’ inherent capacity for art making to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Research supports the use of art therapy techniques for for individuals who experience illness, trauma, and mental health problems and those seeking personal growth.
Art Therapy techniques allow individuals to utilize their own unique, expressive qualities. For children, art therapy techniques can be incorporated into play therapy in a variety of ways. For teens and adults, it offers individuals the chance to feel an increased level of control of their lives, especially when feeling unheard in their relationships. Art also encourages a more connected relationship between parent(s) and teen(s).
Sand Tray Therapy
Sand Tray Therapy is a nonverbal, therapeutic intervention that makes use of a sand tray and miniature figures to create scenes that reflect a person’s inner thoughts, struggles, and concerns. It is often integrated with play therapy, and possibly talk therapy, as a form of communication.
Sand Tray Therapy can be used with those who have suffered from trauma, neglect or abuse and it a common tool for working with young children. But Sand Tray Therapy is useful for individuals who have difficulty expressing their inner feelings with words and as a result, is a technique that is helpful for teens and adults who may be hesitant to participate in traditional talk therapy.
"Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist."