Some of the most common concerns parents, teachers and doctors have are disturbances manifested as:
behavioural difficulties (aggression, defiance, delinquent behaviour)
somatic complaints (headaches or stomach aches not caused by illness)
relational difficulties and bullying
I also work with children, adolescents experiencing difficulties relating to:
divorce and custody issues
physical and sexual abuse
I have worked extensively with children who suffer anxiety, depression, medical illness / hospitalization, complicated grieving, and the pervasive emotional and behavioural problems that result from a lack of self regulation. In addition, I have carefully considered childhood through my work with adults who suffer mental health problems related to trauma, conflict, and unresolved grief in their early years.
This has led to a current specialization in child and adolescent therapy. It has often happened that my adult clients expressed a wish that they would have had, as a child, a professional to help them navigate grief, conflict, and trauma. I do see it as a privilege and a priority to do work with a young person who is struggling in the midst of their formative development. At the same time, it is more complicated: a therapist must have a working model of development to know where to intervene. I have ongoing studies and supervision with master therapists towards this specialization. I use my observations of a child’s interactions with family, with myself, and his or her art and play to get a detailed picture of what isgoing on inside them. Collaboratively with parents, I create experiences that will support healing and growth towards optimal maturity. In my work, I have seen dramatic resolution of children’s problem behaviour, relationships, and self-esteem.I must say that art therapy has proved to be a boundless modality for accessing the past, the depths so that meaning, and resolution can be found. I am still committed to offering this service. It is also central to my approach to working with children and adolescents, but I have decided to distinguish Child and Adolescent Therapy so to signify the developmental framework I keep central to my work with young people. One last word on what informs my work: there is evidence that child depression and anxiety are predictive of these illnesses in adulthood. So while therapy for young people is a big investment on behalf of the whole family, the goal is to change a whole life with psychotherapy.