I specialize in therapy for children and preteens dealing with anxiety and trauma, based on both solid research and creative play.
Licensed Professional Counselor in Davidson, NC
As a Registered Drama Therapist, I have pursued thorough postgraduate training to use storytelling, make-believe play, art, and improvisation as powerful tools to help children heal from anxiety and trauma. I am a graduate of the Kint Institute's Art and Trauma Treatment certificate program, based in New York City, and have taught theater to adolescents at a therapeutic boarding school for teenagers in crisis in Northern Utah.
I am a Registered Play Therapist who has presented on play therapy to refugee relief workers in Athens, Greece. Becoming a play therapist requires extensive, in-depth postgraduate training as well as extra supervision. Children naturally learn, solve problems, and make sense of feelings through play, and I believe almost every child in counseling could benefit from a play therapy approach.
I am certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a form of CBT used for children with PTSD. I am also certified in the MAP protocol, which takes the most effective CBT skills available and modifies them to make them more kid-friendly. I find CBT is especially effective for kids struggling with anxiety, because it helps them learn skills to gradually face their fears and "talk back" to worries.
Children can be just as deeply impacted by trauma, grief, and abuse as adults. Because young children are so connected to their parents, witnessing a parent's trauma can lead to symptoms in a child, as if they'd experienced it firsthand. I use 3 forms of therapy specifically designed to help heal childhood trauma--TF-CBT, PCIT, and CPP--to help kids and parents manage common trauma symptoms such as tantrums, sleep problems, and anxiety.
In my practice, I only work with kids ages 2-13, so child issues are what I see all day, every day! As a Registered Play Therapist, I have specialized training in how to help kids work through feelings in the way that is most natural for them. I've worked with children of many backgrounds, including working with kids in every borough of New York City. Before becoming a therapist, I worked as a teacher and caregiver for kids with special emotional and behavioral needs.
Childhood OCD can be hard to spot, especially at first. Kids with OCD often feel frustrated and even embarrassed by their worries, which can quickly lead to hopelessness about things ever getting better. Exposure Response Prevention is considered a "gold standard" for OCD treatment, and I modify this approach to make it kid-friendly by adding in art and play therapy. In my office, kids with OCD learn how to talk back to their worries, learn skills to relax, and gradually face their fears.