As a child counselor in the Portland area, I have experience working with children from infants through teen years. Whether therapy is initiated because of an impactful event or parents seeking new tools to empower and connect with their children, I can help.
Sometimes children, like adults, can benefit from therapy. Therapy can help develop problem-solving skills and also teach them the value of seeking help.
Many kids need help dealing with school stress, such as homework, test anxiety, bullying, or peer pressure. Others need help to discuss their feelings about family issues, particularly if there's a major transition, such as a divorce, move, or serious illness.
Life events — such as the death of a family member, friend, or pet; divorce or a move; abuse; trauma; a parent leaving on military deployment; or a major illness in the family — can cause stress that might lead to problems with behavior, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning.
Play therapy is most beneficial for children ages 3 through 12 years old. Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002). Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development.