Child therapy is comprised of weekly 50-minute sessions. Work with children must involve the family, no matter the age of the child. In order for treatment to be successful, the therapist works with the parent and child to identify both, the needs of the child, and the caregiver.
Initial Phase: The initial phase is comprised of rapport building. This is the time that the therapist learns about the patients history, present life, and future goals. Through exploring the foundational bits of information that contribute to lived experience, the therapist and patient are able to begin identifying the areas that are cause for concern. Through continued discussion the therapist and patient are able to build a safe connection, or rapport, which allows for deep exploration of complex problems.
Working Through: The second phase, aka working through, is the part of the treatment that is dedicated to understanding the function of such problematic behaviors. Play, and art therapy are very large components of child work. For this reason child therapy differs from adult therapy in presentation, however the basic tenets remain the same. Once the therapist and the child client identify the problematic behaviors the therapist will use art, talk, modeling, role play and play to assist the child in learning and developing healthy ways of coping and/or managing behaviors and emotions. The working through process allow the young patient to literally work through, or process difficulties that he or she is experiencing in home or at school.
- Termination Phase: Lastly, the final phase of treatment is the termination phase. Once the client has been able to work though the difficult areas and has developed healthy coping skills the therapist conducts a review of the needs of parent and child to identify whether the changes seen have been effective in managing the problem or whether adjustment is necessary. In this phase the patient and therapist review the needs, goals, and outcomes of the treatment to ensure that the patient has developed the necessary coping skills to work through challenges.
Therapy often does not follow a specific time line, rather treatment is modified based on the needs of the patient. With that said, some treatments are long, while other's are short. As a clinician, I will evaluate your child's needs within the first 3 sessions. At that time I will share with you my thoughts on whether or not therapy will be well suited to meet his/her needs.