Therapeutic play uses whole-brain, open-ended, expressive tools to invite wishes + worries into the open. Children making sense of trauma can find comfort in music and movement, building miniature worlds, making art and animating puppets. Play offers a way to help kids who struggle with fears and feelings, big questions, or finding their voice. Approaching even serious problems with play reveals your child's point of view and teaches them new tools for managing themselves in the present moment.
Many approaches used in family therapy address the needs of every member. This is a foundational concept in understanding attachment as a dance between family members. My graduate studies included courses in family therapy, and I actively include parents in child therapy. I believe in balancing the needs of all family members as we work to understand how everyone is affected by shared 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.