My Overarching Perspective
I work my practice from the overarching strengths-oriented, ecological and trauma-informed perspectives. Individuals’ experience in life is based on a multitude of factors including biological make-up, family dynamics, interaction with various systems and the influence of other factors beyond their control.In my practice, I use an eclectic evidence-based practice approach by choosing models of interventions that are specifically oriented to the individual and family clients. Evidence-based practice is utilizing models of intervention that have been proven to be effective based on both quantitative and qualitative research in peer reviewed journals. The following are the current, most effective treatment modalities that I integrate into my practice.
MODELS OF INTERVENTION
Contrary to “problem-focused treatment”, this model of intervention focuses on the multiple positive characteristics, traits and experiences that each individual brings to his or her current situation. Helping to identify the unique experiences that have helped people achieve success often highlights hidden solutions to common stress and problemsthe clients which maximize the effect of the treatment into the home or other natural setting.
The natural mode of communication for children and adolescents is play. This is how children not only express themselves with their friends, but also how they work through challenging feelings and thoughts. Through using a combination of child-centered activities, expressive therapies, and therapeutic games, I use play to help children address some of the most challenging aspects of the complex challenges that these young clients face.
Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT)
Parents often come with questions as to how they can help their children in terms of their internal struggles and behavioral patterns. Through a systematic plan of action, parents can learn specific strategies and techniques that will help improve children’s behavior and maximize their strengths to make long-lasting changes that will transfer to their home environment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a strong evidence-based intervention used for a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, phobias, addiction, interpersonal problems, anger management, ADHD, oppositional-defiant disorder, and various other behavior and emotional conditions. Focusing on the connection between thoughts, feelings and coordinating behaviors, CBT uses the concepts of rewards, punishments, reinforcements, and modeling to reduce negative patterns and experiences and improve the overall experience of individuals, groups and families. Specific strategies and techniques are taught to the clients which maximize the effect of the treatment into the home or other natural setting.
Family Systems Therapy
Working with individuals, couples or families as a whole includes a general understanding of how our families of origin and our current families impact our behavior, thoughts, emotions and patterns. Using a combination of family therapy strategies and techniques, clients will gain a better understanding as to their own dynamics as well as patterns that may be transmitted across generations. Visual learning tools, use of role play and practical plans of action will be used to transfer knowledge into practice and impact change on the individual, couple and family levels of intervention.
Social work as a field prides itself as looking at individuals as they are in connection to all of the different systems that surround them. The person-in-environment (PIE) perspective helps to frame all of our problems and successes in the context of our relationships to groups, families, communities and society. Using exploration, discussion and visual learning tools, clients will gain a clearer view of the underlying processes that have impacted the way they learn, interact, behave and communicate. Suggestions and specific plans of action will be determined in order to maximize the experience with the various social systems to impact long lasting change.
The school system is intricately involved in the experience of our children and adolescence. In order to impact change on a broad span, I can work with the school system in different ways in the evaluation, assessment and treatment stage of the clinical experience. With the permission of the parents and children, I would connect with the teachers and other school-based professionals to explore how this particular system could be both enhancing and inhibiting change.
I am passionate about transferring the skills and techniques I have learned to others in the community. Over the last two decades, I have provided psycho-education through presentations and workshops to schools, places of worship, libraries and community centers on a variety of topics that relate to children and adolescents, including early intervention, social support, crisis intervention, trauma-intervention, bereavement, grief and loss, middle school transitions, and living with severe food allergies. Call or email me for more information on specific topics.