My therapy practice includes work in these areas:
- anxiety/excessive worry
- oppositional-defiant behavior/angry outbursts
- inattention and/or hyperactivity
- low self-esteem
- adjustment to separation or divorce
- school challenges
- giftedness-related issues
- preschool adjustment
- transition to middle school or high school
- parent limit-setting
- social challenges
- bully/victim problems
- high functioning autism
I have expertise in a variety of therapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioral, family systems, and play therapy. Complementing these approaches is my experience delivering parent skills training, social skills training, and preschool teacher consultation. I tailor treatment to meet each client’s needs and am LGBTQ-friendly.
Assessment (testing) can often shed important light on a client’s challenges. I provide a variety of assessment options:
- Psychoeducational assessments can help explain why a child or teen is having difficulties in school and clarify what his or her learning style is
- Psychological assessments assist in understanding the emotional and behavioral factors that contribute to a child’s or teen’s challenges
- ADHD assessments help diagnose or rule out Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Gifted child testing indicates if a child is academically or intellectually gifted
- Classroom observations provide a window into the interaction between the child and the school environment
My experience working with early literacy and math curricula at UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute adds to my skill in translating test results into workable solutions for children, parents, and teachers.
Who needs parent skill-building?
Parents build their skills from the moment their first child is born. They get information from friends, relatives, books, and the internet, and they learn by trial and error. Often these sources or experiences are enough, but when they’re not, or when you feel like you’d like to fine-tune what you are doing, it’s time for a bit of extra help.
And when kids are having challenges that go beyond garden-variety struggles or when they face life
events that are particularly stressful, parents often can use additional help. Some parents don’t like the
way they themselves were parented and they are seeking information about how they can raise their
children in a different and better way.
What does it include?
Parent skill-building involves us together identifying clear needs and goals. It typically takes a behavioral approach. I provide you with clear language and strategies that you can use with your child and model it for you if needed. You try using them at home and bring in the results of how it’s going. We’ll have follow up sessions to see how our plan is working and how to fine tune it.
Sometimes all that is needed is parent skill-building and your child never needs to come to meet with
me. Sometimes we need to do a combination of parent skill-building and child or family therapy.
If I do work directly with your child, I may enlist you as the “at home coach” to reinforce the skills and strategies that I have taught your child. I typically have a brief check-in time with parents at the start of the session.
If your child is a teenager, the parent skill building may involve periodic parent meetings, recommended resources, and, as appropriate, parent-teen joint session time.
What can it help with?
Parent skill building can help you deal with your own frustration, annoyance, and worries. It can help
with limit-setting, with getting kids’ attention, and with managing a variety of your child’s behaviors.
Fundamentally, it helps you feel you have a more secure road map that you can use in your day to day
life with your child or teen. In two-parent households, it can help parents more effectively act as a team and decrease parental disagreements and stress.