“I have always felt a special connection to children.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to work with children. I have always felt a special connection to children. As one of my previous colleagues put it, I talk “kid talk” with children and have always felt like I was able to communicate at a level that they understand well. Children communicate expressively through their play. As someone who has always enjoyed playing (even into my adult life), I have been able to connect with children on this fundamental level. My entire career has been spent working in child-focused areas. Throughout my various work experiences, I have been able to work with children from all walks of life in the areas of behavior challenges, depression, anxiety, trauma, and self-esteem. I have worked with children through play therapy and filial therapy to really connect with and improve their wellbeing.
What should someone know about working with you?
My expertise and specialization are in play therapy for children ages 3 through 10 and their families. Play therapy is used to help children communicate their inner experiences and thoughts via a method that is familiar and comforting to them: Their toys and playthings. Play therapy is focused on the belief that children have the internal drive and means to achieve wellness for themselves. I prefer to work very closely with parents and caretakers as well, as I believe helping parents learn how to effectively communicate with their children is powerful and can help bring confidence and harmony into the home, which is exceptionally important for developing children. Adults and children do not always know how to communicate with each other effectively, so it’s just as important that I work with the parents to ensure they have the tools to take home and see growth and progress in the long run.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I believe learning is a lifelong process. On top of working in this specialized field every day, I supplement with annual training programs that include both periodic online courses and live training with field experts. I take training in programs designed for children ages 3-10, the ages I specialize in.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I fundamentally believe children are resilient, eager to succeed, and capable of directing their own progress. I do not believe that behavioral problems are representative of a deficit in the child but rather these behaviors are a child’s attempt to be seen, heard, and accepted. In essence, this is the child’s way of trying to communicate in an adult world that they have not yet mastered. We need to learn to listen and communicate with children at a level they can understand in their earliest years. Taking the time to communicate and listen to children creates an environment that they feel safe and comfortable in. From there, children allow us to tap into their needs to help us learn how to help them with their challenges. Children possess an innate force within themselves to grow and to heal.
“As one of my previous colleagues put it, I talk “kid talk” with children and have always felt like I was able to communicate at a level that they understand well.”