People often say that children do not come with an instruction book. While we know this is true, we guide parents and children to find solutions that will work with their unique situations. With younger children, we often do play, art, or sand tray therapy and concurrently can work with the parent(s) to come up with strategies in the home. We can also work with school personnel if there are some issues that need to be addressed educationally or behaviorally in the academic setting.
When working with tweens and teens, we often will do more talking activities, such as shooting hoops, card games, or just going for a walk. Kids in this age group are gaining more and more independence from their parents, and sometimes this transition can be challenging for the family. We help the parents choose realistic boundaries to have with their kids while we work with the tweens and teens to develop more emotional and social skills. Often we also work with the parent-teen/tween dyad to improve their relationship skills with each other.
Our team has a variety of techniques to help the adults as well. Premarital counseling has been shown to reduce the chances of divorce and can strengthen relationships Members of our team have been trained with Gottman principles and interpersonal communication skills to help to improve marriages. If one member of the family is dealing with a mental illness or an illness such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, the entire family is impacted, and we strive to help the family deal with such challenges. We can also work with individuals—often just helping one member can improve the dynamics in the relationships.