About My Clients
While working with me, your child will learn to creatively use their strengths to cope with major life adjustments (parents separating, a new sibling, grief, moving homes or a new school, and/or academic challenges), anxiety, or chronic illness and physical disability. One way your child is constantly developing is their verbal communication. Creative therapy techniques are effective for kids and adolescents as it allows them to non-verbally tell their story through pictures and play.
My Background and Approach
Your child does not have to be an artist or have art experience to work with me. Instead, the heart of the work we do together will be creating a space and structure that can support them in resolving their challenges through creative expression. I start by building a trusting relationship with your child that will allow them to feel safe enough to learn to access their feelings. Through practice accessing their feelings in a safe space, your child will ultimately be able to put words to those feelings. I have been working with children in therapeutic settings for the past seven years and in a clinical mental health setting for the past three years. I started my career by volunteering through a variety of art programs with inpatients at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I did my graduate internship and post-graduate work at a community mental health agency where I worked with children and families.
My Personal Beliefs and Interests
Before going to school to become a Child Art Therapist, I intuitively understood that non-verbal communication was the most effective way to connect with kids. This is because I wished my own child therapist, who I saw for separation anxiety, had tried to connect with me this way when I was a kid. I remember looking around this child therapist’s room at all the toys and art supplies he had but never offered to play with me. I wound up spending most of the time there wondering about all the other kids who got to play while it always felt like he sat me down on the couch and interrogated me. I didn’t trust him and often simply did not have answers to his questions. His method didn’t work for one main reason – he never engaged with me at my developmental level to build a trusting relationship. Building this trusting relationship through play and art can take time, but I know personally it is more effective than trying to make your child talk about something they don’t have words for yet.