The initial meeting between client and therapist is the consultation. This is the time for the therapist to gather information, learn about the presenting problems and create a plan. If the client is a young child, Jaxi’s first meeting will be with one or both parents. If the client is an older child or adolescent, Jaxi may meet with him or her alone for this first session. And if the client is a late adolescent or adult, Jaxi will meet with that client alone. After the consultation, Jaxi will suggest a treatment plan best suited to that individual and/or family. In the case of a child, sometimes there is no need for that child to engage in ongoing therapy. In these cases, it is the parents who will most benefit from some supportive counseling and education. There are other times when the treatment plan will include the recommendation of therapy for the child or adolescent. Every situation and every family is different and every case is assessed uniquely.
Individual therapy is a process in which the therapist and the client explore the issues, emotions and conflicts related to the presenting issues. With an adult or an adolescent the therapy modality would be “talk therapy”. With a child the modality would be “play therapy”.
Play therapy is geared mainly toward young children at specific developmental levels. Since play is the natural language of children, this therapy makes use of a variety of techniques, including playing with dolls, toys, games and art materials. These techniques allow children to more easily express their feelings. All of the child’s thoughts and emotions become accessible through the play.
There are times when it is advantageous for family members to be seen together in a group, even though it may seem as though it is only one family member that is exhibiting signs of stress or difficulty. Family therapy is a way to help family members understand and improve the way they interact with each other, which in turn promotes positive feelings and well being in each member. Family therapy may include all or some members of the family. Family therapy may also be dyadic work, for example, therapy with a mother and a child.
Parent Groups are a great way for parents and caregivers to learn more about the developmental stages their children go through while receiving guidance and support regarding the universal difficulties, challenges and emotions involved in raising children. A sense of community is fostered among group members and support is shared.
Children’s groups provide an opportunity for children to improve their communication skills and work on interpersonal relationships. Such groups enable children to gain confidence and strengthen their self-esteem which will help them with friendships, conflicts and periods of emotional upheaval. Group is a safe and comforting place to explore one’s most difficult feelings, thoughts and issues.