During counseling sessions, I provide play therapy and sandtray therapy for children between the ages of 4 and 12. Play is the natural way that children explore and learn. Child-centered play therapy and sandtray therapy approaches provide children with an opportunity to express themselves in a nonjudgmental and accepting environment. This nonthreatening approach helps children work through and resolve their underlying struggles, fears, and concerns.
With play therapy, children select from a variety of toys in the playroom and act out various scenarios and stories. In sandtray therapy, children select figures to create a scene in a tray filled with sand. When a child finishes his or her scene in the sandtray, he or she tell a story about what is happening in their scene. Both approaches help children discover new and more beneficial ways of resolving and dealing with their individual challenges. During sessions, I help children learn and practice effective coping strategies and support them in learning new and more effective ways of expressing themselves and reacting in difficult situations.
I am also available to meet with parents to help with managing disrespectful, uncooperative, and aggressive child behaviors. I have found that strengthening the parent-child relationship and creating a reward/consequence plan can help to motivate children to improve their cooperative and respectful behaviors. Once children gain confidence in utilizing the coping skills learned in therapy and feel supported and understood by the adults in their lives, they begin to show significant improvement. All behavior has meaning and when children feel better emotionally, they behave better.