Child and Family Therapy
Parenting is one of the most important tasks of one’s life, and when a child is struggling, parents suffer deeply. It has been said that a parent is only as happy as his or her unhappiest child. It is a difficult decision to bring a child in for therapy, because often our own sense of competence as adults is in question when we are unable to resolve a child’s struggles on our own. That is why Nancy believes that it is the most courageous parents who bring their children for counseling, because they are able to look beyond their own concerns about personal competence to tune in to their children’s need for help.
When working with a child, Nancy takes a holistic, family approach, recognizing that whatever a child’s challenge may be, it will be improved by respecting the parents’ perspective and direct involvement much more than through individual child or play therapy alone. Because parents are truly their child’s best therapists, Nancy uses a great deal of coaching with parents to help them work with their child(ren) to bring about change and growth. Nancy usually meets with the parent(s) first when there is a concern about a child, to listen to their story and to explore which strategies or interventions the parents have already used and what they identify as their primary concern. Often, some changes are brought about during the brief clinical evaluation period, as Nancy begins to get to know the child and family. Small changes in strategy and interventions by parents can bring about improved behavior by the child. In most situations, some combination of child sessions as well as parent and/or family sessions will be the modality Nancy uses to support the child and family.
Nancy is flexible in her approach to meeting children’s and family’s needs for and ability to maintain involvement in ongoing therapy. Nancy has worked with families in longterm therapy as well as short term, brief treatment, and has been creative in working out individualized arrangements to support the needs of individual children and families.