Parents are included as important and respected collaborators in all phases of the evaluation and treatment of their child. Typically, I begin by meeting with the parents together and separately, in order to gather a thorough history through each parent’s knowledge of their child. I may ask you to bring in testing reports, classroom teacher reports, and baby book if you have one, so that I can learn about your child’s developmental milestones and life events that have taken place. I also see the child two-three times. This evaluation process leads to a recommendation going forward. Sometimes a “wait and see” approach makes sense, other times working with parents to provide tools for managing behavior is most indicated. If psychotherapy for the child is recommended, I meet with your child once or twice weekly where the symptoms are explored through the use of play materials, with the goal being that of restoring a child to the path of development that has gotten off track. Regular meetings with parents provide an opportunity for parents to collaboratively share their ongoing observations of their child so that that information can be integrated with the therapy.
Rather than using words, children use play in ways that symbolize their deeper thoughts and feelings. The problems are worked through in the course of non-directed play and is understood by a thorough grounding in knowledge about child development, attachment theories and an in-depth understanding of your child’s particular conflicts. Interpretations are geared to what is age-appropriate and focused on the play itself so that the child doesn’t feel judged or shamed.
Sometimes an extended evaluation combined with psychotherapy makes the most sense. If psychoeducational testing is indicated, I refer to a network of colleagues I trust and upon whose competency I can rely.