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    Children & Play Therapy

    The Play Room

    When you’re child comes into the playroom there will be a variety of toys.  These toys are selected specifically to help your child to communicate their thoughts and feelings.  As you will recall, toys are words for a child.  In the playroom, you will see toys to help your child express feelings related to anger, sadness, family dynamics, love, disappointment, self-esteem, self-control, and many other feelings.   Play is the language.


    Play Therapy …

    • Children communicate thru play
    • Experience thru play, learn thru play
    • Empowers builds, teaches, self-control
    • Builds and improves self-esteem and self-worth
    • Feeling expression and management
    • Improves and Increases Creativity
    • Relationships will improve
    • Healing will occur

    The Session

    Your child’s first session will consist of an assessment-gathering of information.  Your child may be present; however, be aware we will ask questions you may not want your child to know/hear and which may be uncomfortable.  Gathering information about you (the parent) is pertinent to what is going on in your family and with your child.

    Subsequent sessions will last approximately 45-55 minutes long.  There are times when sessions may only be 30 minutes.  This is based on the child’s needs and tolerance to therapy.  Clinicians who work with your child use an integrated approach consisting of Child-Centered Play therapy, cognitive play therapy, Adlerian play therapy, expressive arts, and sand tray.  Child-Centered Play therapy is used predominantly during the beginning sessions which helps your child to feel safe, accepted, and empowered.  Limits are only set as needed.  As your child begins to trust and feel accepted, other directive approaches will be integrated based on your child’s needs.

    Family Participation

    At Waves Counseling Services, we strongly believe parents, caregivers and families need to be involved and are the experts.  For your child to be successful it is important that you and your Clinician communicate, partner and collaborate.  Therefore, we ask parents and Guardians to meet independently of your child at times, and other times we will have family therapy as needed. Your Clinician is availabe as a resource and support.

    Therapy for Teens

    Is your teen under a lot of stress? Do they not seem as happy as they once did? Are they suffering from an eating disorder? Do you suspect they are using drugs?

    Most of us remember our teenage years as a combination of great fun, burgeoning freedom and a tremendous amount of stress. During this time our hormone levels are skyrocketing, making us feel emotionally out of control. We also feel a greater need to perform well academically and fit into social circles. All of this stress can take its toll on a teen’s mental health and overall well-being.

    Common Life Challenges Among Teens

    Teens can often face some serious life challenges that impact their mental health and well-being.

    • Loss – Loss can come in the form of a death of a loved one, including a pet, and it can also come in the form of parental separation or divorce. Loss also happens when a family moves to a new location and the teen must go to a new school.
    • Stress – A little stress is normal in life and can even be motivating. But too much stress can cause burnout at any age. Many teens face tremendous amounts of stress to do well in school, hold down a job, and be accepted by their peers.
    • Violence – Teens that are bullied at school or at home suffer, and often alone. If not dealt with, the aftermath of violence can result in PTSD symptoms.

    This is not an exhaustive list of reasons why a teen may want to speak with a therapist by any means. If you think your teen could benefit from therapy, please reach out to me.

    What Are Some of the Best Types of Therapy for Teens?

    There are three general types of therapy for teens experiencing mental health issues:

    Individual Therapy

    In these private, one-on-one sessions, a therapist will typical use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help the teen make a connection between their thoughts and feelings, as well as understand how these impact their behavior.

    Group Therapy

    Group therapy can be very effective because it allows teens to see how their peers handle their problems. Most groups have five to seven teens and one leader who will ask questions and guide the conversation.

    Family Therapy

    In this scenario, the teen would go to therapy with their parent(s) and sometimes even with siblings. This style of therapy can be very beneficial as it allows the family to communicate effectively and respectfully.

    Which type of therapy will be best for the teen will be determined by a trained therapist. Often, he or she will use a combination of all three of these types of therapy.

    If your teen is struggling right now and could benefit from therapy, please reach out to me.