Child and Adolescent Therapy
One of the great passions of my life is helping children and teens. My training internships in Cheyenne, Wyoming and in San Antonio, Texas involved therapy with children and teens. I use a combination of child therapy (meeting alone with a child) as well as family therapy (meeting with the parent and child together) and parenting coaching (meeting with the parents alone) when I am helping children and families. As a child therapist, I am goal focused towards ending the problems you are noticing in your child.
Before starting child or adolescent therapy, my standard procedure is to do an evaluation of your child. If you think your child may have ADHD, depression, anxiety, or any other mental health problem, then I complete a thorough evaluation of those problems in addition to other problems. My evaluation of your child is very thorough and includes the following:
- an initial session with the parent(s) to gather history and information
- a session with your child
- a session with your whole family
- a consultation with your child’s school and observation of your child at school (optional)
- a final meeting with the parent(s) to share with you the written results of my evaluation and for me to make suggestions and recommendations for helping you to assist your child.
Play therapy has been used successfully with children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, physical/sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters. Play therapy can help children to take responsibility for their behavior and replace inappropriate behavior with more successful behavior, develop new and creative solutions to their problems, develop respect and acceptance of themselves and others, learn to experience and express emotion and to be empathic with respect to the thoughts and feelings of others, and learn new social skills.
Dr. Stephanie provides her services and free advice in and around Silver Spring, Laurel Baltimore, and Columbia in the state of Maryland (MD).
I commonly help children and teens with the following kinds of problems:
- behavior problems at home or school.
- adjustments to divorce, death of a loved one, or other life transitions.
- symptoms of anxiety such as unusual irritability, clinginess, physical symptoms such as regular headaches or stomach aches, or a child complaining of unusual fears.
- symptoms of depression such as unusual tearfulness, isolation, negative comments, or other self-destructive behaviors.
- problems or conflict with friends, family relationships, or dating relationships.
- healing from incident(s) of sexual, physical, or mental abuse.
In addition to five years of training in marriage and family therapy to achieve both a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. I have completed the following trainings to enhance my skills as a child therapist.
- Helping Children of Divorce Rebuild and Assisting Couples in Crisis. June 24, 2005. University of Maryland Department of Social Work. Baltimore, MD.
- The Worried Child: Recognizing Anxiety in Children and Helping Them Heal. March 17, 2005. Rockville, MD.
- Confidentiality and Dual Relationships in Play Therapy: Ethical Decision Making and Applications. October 2003. Association for Play Therapy. Annual Conference. Norfolk, VA.
- Images of Grief and Healing. April 12, 2002. Texas Association of Play Therapy. San Antonio, TX.
- Therapeutic Limit Setting in Play Therapy: Building Positive Character Qualities. April 13, 2002. Texas Association of Play Therapy. San Antonio, TX.
- Play Therapy Case Studies from Children and Adolescents in Basic Residential or Foster Care. April 13, 2002. Texas Association of Play Therapy. San Antonio, TX.
- Depressive Disorders in Adolescents. March 27, 2002. Behavioral Health Services, San Antonio, TX.
- Forensic Interview Training of Child Sexual Abuse. March 11, 2002. Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, San Antonio, TX.
- Introduction to Filial Play Therapy. September 16, 2001. Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center, Video Workshop Completed.
- Child Abuse Today. August 10, 2001. Training with Dr. Nancy Kellogg, San Antonio, Texas.
- Small Voices: Assessment and Play Therapy With Abused Preschool Children. April 6, 2001. Texas Association of Play Therapy, Houston, TX.
- Play Therapy with Sexually Abused Children. September 27, 2000. Alamo Children’s Advocacy Center, San Antonio, TX.
- Hands-On Child-Centered Play Therapy. July 8, 2000. Corpus Christi, TX.
- Attention Deficits Update: Latest Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment. June 8, 2000. San Antonio, TX.