Do you feel like you are at your wit's end, trying to help your kids manage their behavior and BIG feelings? Do they seem to worry a lot, cry or seem 'shut down'? Or maybe they are being extra defiant--more than other kids their age. Or perhaps something scary or painful happened to them, and they are having a hard time getting past it.
Many experiences can effect a child's mood and behavior, including a new sibling, medical trauma, a history of abuse or neglect, conflict over gender identity or being LGBTQ, symptoms of ADHD, PTSD, issues of adoption, acculturation, or problems associated with a recent separation or divorce. Or it may be that your child is now a 'tween', and is developing unhealthy behaviors to cope with this big transition.
Sometimes there is a clear cause for a kiddo's behavior, but sometimes there just isn't--they were acting fine one day, and the next day it's like revenge of the bodysnatchers.
If any of these descriptions fit your child, I will help you explore the causes of their behavior, and work with you to get them back on the right track, so they can be the awesome kid they were born to be!
As a Registered Play Therapist and Certified Sandplay Therapist, I use play-based modalities including:
My play therapy room includes:
In addition to play-based therapies, I may also incorporate traditional talk therapy with your child, if she/he is at a developmental level in which they are able to sit and talk. Or I may incorporate techniques from EMDR therapy. No matter the approach, it is my goal to support them to process trauma and/or other issues, and to then help them practice and use valuable coping skills (such as mindfulness, anger management and positive self-talk).
Snacks and Drinks in Session
Children often arrive hungry after a long day in school, and so I provide snacks and healthy juice or water for your child. I also allow children to chew gum during session to encourage regulation and focus. Please let me know if your child has any allergies or other restrictions.
Parent Involvement in Therapy:
Did you know that you, the parent/caretaker are the most important person in your child's life, and are an essential element in their healing process? Healing takes place faster and behavioral changes last longer with parental involvement in therapy. I will see your child for only one or two hours a week, but you spend much more time with them than that. Although you may be feeling frustrated with your little one's behavior, it is important to not give up--and to be open to trying out new strategies to help your kiddo with their anger, impulsivity or sadness. Parents who are able to be emotionally regulated and present are welcomed in the therapeutic process, and I may recommend a course of initial play therapy with me and then filial therapy, depending on the attachment needs I see in your relationship. I will provide empathic suggestions and resources to support you as the parent/caretaker in helping your child with their difficult emotions. Parenting support and check-ins are required at a minimum of once a month.
Separated and Divorced Parents:
As it is in the best interest of your child, I am only able to work with divorced parents who are willing to co-parent civilly, and can come in together for parenting support sessions. If you are struggling with a highly conflictive relationship or are battling for custody and are not willing to co-parent effectively, I am unfortunately not able to see your child. Since I would be solely your child's play therapist, I am also not able to engage in the dual relationship of supporting you legally (including working with CFI's and attorneys and testifying for you in court).
Working as a Team with Parents and Caretakers: Communication
If your child is under the age of 15 (if they are 15 or over, they will need to give signed permission), you have every right to information about how your child is doing in play therapy, their struggles, and their improvements. In order to maintain trust with your child, I may not give you every detail about what they said, what they played with and how they played with it, but I will certaintly give you information about themes I see emerging, and may ask you questions to help fill in the gaps. It will therefore be important for me to know about any recent changes at home or in school. I look forward to supporting you in supporting your child!
Maggie Young (she, her, hers)
950 S. Cherry St., Suite 419
Denver, CO 80246
Phone (call or text): (720) 316-1182
Hours for psychotherapy:
Hours for PLSR: Thursdays 10:00-3:30