Play is the language of childhood. Therapeutic play uses open-ended, expressive tools to invite creativity, stories, wishes & worries into the room. Children making sense of traumatic events often find comfort in moving sand, building miniature worlds, and giving voice to puppets. My work is to see and understand your child's point of view. For kids who struggle with fears and feelings, big questions, or finding their voice, the playroom offers a safe space.
Many approaches used in family therapy address the needs of every member. This is a foundational concept for my understanding of attachment patterns as a dance between different members of the family. My graduate studies included 3 family therapy classes, and I routinely and actively involve parents in your child's therapy whenever possible. My mentors have emphasized balancing the needs of all family members as an important way to understand how everyone is affected by problems and stuck spots.
As a foundation for human development, attachment theory is a primary foundation of my work with kids & families. I've studied in college & graduate school, and continue with professional development in this area, building each new tool and approach on this bedrock. My certification in Therapy with Adoptive & Foster Families focused on attachment, as well as professional conferences I still attend. The parent-child approaches I use emphasize this theory.
Many of my workshops & groups are related to parenting & attachment. I've trained for several years with Hand in Hand Parenting, an attachment-focused and trauma-savvy approach to gentle parenting. Modern brain science has a lot to share about the power of emotions. I've studied with several leaders in the field of attachment + interpersonal neurobiology, especially related to gaps in early development as a result of chronic stress, adoption, grief & loss, or childhood trauma.
I became a therapist to work with adoptive families. As an advocate for youth in foster care, I learned about child welfare in Oregon. After grad school, I was certified in therapy with adoptive & foster families. I now lead workshops for foster parents & adoption staff. ~75% of my practice is with clients touched by adoption, including kids and adults adopted at any age, adoptive parents, and birth parents. Open adoption, grief work, identity, and search & reunion are common topics.