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My focus now is working with children from divorced families and giving them a place to find their voice, and how they’re going to work through the conflict and learn to love each parent, without feeling like they have to please each parent when going back and forth. They develop how to be themselves while learning the new family system.
My background with kids comes from working in the foster care system, where I helped families that were removed from their children see each other again. I developed an interest in children primarily because I was concerned how much of their lives are not their decision, and how what they have to deal with at a young age is based on the people who raise them.
Often I see child therapy as a short term process where kids come to me when symptomatic, and once symptoms have been resolved their therapy with me ends, and may revisit. Children are simple in that they will tell you what is wrong.
In my therapy with children I use several different communication techniques. I use play therapy, sand tray therapy, art therapy, and feeling education exercises to get them to talk to me and explore their feelings. I also work directly with parents to help them continue strategies and get some of the insight I have gotten with my sessions with their child. I like both parents to be involved as much as possible, and feel that the work done in therapy is extended into the family and school system the child is more likely to settle down.
I have had the opportunity to work with the UC Berkeley preschools as a consultant. My work here is also very holistic. I work in the classroom with symptomatic kids. I also work with their parents to develop structure and strategy at home. Teachers often reach out to me to develop more strategies in the classroom for whatever the child needs to work on. Many of the children I see in the pre-schools develop a sense of their identity relationally, so when I’m working in the classroom I’m also working with their peers that gravitate towards us. I address several issues like aggression, not being able to share, not following directions, etc. My sense is that when everybody is focusing on the challenge issue for the child, and we address it in all facets of the child’s life, it can be resolved pretty easily. At times, children need outside support and referrals, and I often utilize socialization groups for kids where they get to have a place to practice the behavior that is hard for them to do in the classroom.
~The decision to have a child is to accept that your heart will forever walk outside of your body.~ Katherine Hadley.
If you would like to learn how your child can begin play therapy, or have any questions please call 415-563-4342 or 510-883-9312, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule an 15 minute inquiry phone call by clicking here.
Susan Regan, MFT has offices in Berkeley near El Cerrito and Oakland and in San Francisco, close to the Civic Center and Nob Hill. 415-563-4342 or 510-883-9312.
*Quotes are typical of what clients say, though to protect confidentiality, I have not used names or exact words.