Your home is your sanctuary, its where you and your family feel safest and most comfortable. Therefore, I provide support and services in the home instead of a clinic or office setting.
Between juggling doctors appointments, medical treatments, school, and extra-curricular activities, it can be very challenging to find time for a family to travel to an office for an appointment. Additionally, for those who are grieving, the mental and physical exhaustion can significantly impact ones ability to travel to appointments. I understand the complexity of managing chronic health and life circumstances and because of this I offer a flexible approach to working with children and families.
Services for Individuals & Families
Child Life Services are offered for a variety of challenges you and your family may be experiencing. Life transitions such as a divorce, birth of a new sibling, or moving to a new town all have the potential to impact your child's ability to cope with and manage stress. Likewise, medical and healthcare related stressors such as a chronic illness of a parent or sibling, a new diagnosis, hospitalization, bereavement, or the anticipated death of a loved one may also impact your child's ability to cope with and manage stress. Here are some examples of situations where Child Life Services may be appropriate for you and your family:
Illness:Navigating a chronic illness is difficult for the entire family. For children especially, it is not only confusing but can be a scary experience to learn they have an illness. I use a blend of therapeutic and supportive techniques that emphasizes effective coping and can assist you and your child in better understanding a diagnosis, answer questions, and clarify misconceptions.
Parental Illness:When a parent or family member is hospitalized I utilize age appropriate language to help to address your child's fears, worries, or concerns, explain the illness, and suggest coping skills that can aid in positive and strengths based coping.
Sibling support:Having an ill sibling is a difficult experience for the whole family. For the well sibling there are added challenges and stressors. Using a blend of therapeutic support and play, expressive arts, and age appropriate education I will work with your child to address their unique concerns and challenges.
Psycho-education & Medical Preparation: Through the use of play, age appropriate language, and demonstrations I will teach your child coping skills to use during medical procedures. When needed I may also accompany you and your child to medical appointments to provide on-site support or collaborate with the child life department at their medical facility.
Birth of a new sibling: Using developmentally appropriate language and play I will prepare your child for the birth of their sibling and work with you to create a family plan for the arrival of your new little one. Perinatal support is also available for high-risk pregnancies.
Divorce: When parents separate or file for divorce the equilibrium of the family is disrupted. This disruption can oftentimes cause conflict, confusion, worries, and fears of the children and teens affected. I will work with you to develop health coping strategies for the entire family, offer opportunities for expression, and provide an outlet for the whole family to partake in.
Bereavement & Grief Servicesare available for individuals, couples, and families. Grief is a natural emotional and physiological response to the death of a loved one. Grief expresses itself uniquely in each person and there are no pre-scripted stages or time line for the expression of grief. Often times people describe their grief as coming in 'waves' as the intensity ebbs and flows. For children and adolescents, grief oftentimes expresses itself in behavior changes, fears and anxieties, and somatic complaints such as headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue. Below are some examples of bereavement & grief support I provide:
Anticipatory loss/palliative care: When a parent, sibling, or child has a terminal or life-limiting condition the use of age appropriate preparation, play, and therapeutic support is provided. Additionally, I can work with your child's school to develop a coping plan that spans across all areas of their daily life.
Funeral and Memorial Service Support:Using honest and age appropriate language I can help answer questions your child has about death and dying. For children that attend funerals or memorial services I can work with you and your child to develop a coping plan. If appropriate, I can attend the service to be an on-site support for you and your family.
Perinatal Support: Some expecting parents may receive the news that their baby may be born with a life-limiting condition. Through the use of supportive counseling, end of life planning, and legacy building I can assist your family in developing a coping plan that best suits your needs.
Legacy building:When a family member is facing a life-limiting condition I use expressive art and play to aid in creating memories and making meaning for the entire family.
Bereavement Counseling:Counseling is available for individuals, couples, or entire families. During grief counseling I work with you in understanding your own grief process, the process of others in your family, and help you to create healthy ways of expressing your grief.
Referral to Bereavement Groups: Support groups can be incredibly helpful for providing social and community support. I can work with you to identify the appropriate group, or if there is a community need I can host a time-limited support group
Adult Bereavement Group: Join me for a bi-weekly open ended, donation based grief awareness group. This group is slightly different from other support groups. The emphasis of this group is to facilitate awareness of grief and loss rather than provide a specific curriculum. The open-ended and ongoing nature of the group allows for you to come at any point and leave at any point in your grief process. Some choose to come for a few sessions or month, while others will drop in once or twice a year.
Expressive & Holistic Artsare creative approaches that tap into unspoken emotion, focus on present moment experiences, and allow for deep human connection. Arts-based approaches provide an opportunity to express non-verbally through the use of play, art, music, drama, and dance. The creative process itself can be healing. As such, with expressive arts the emphasis is on the process of creation rather than the product. When emotions or experiences are too difficult to express verbally, the process of creation can evoke powerful and transformative experiences that can lead to growth and improved well-being, a broader way to express feelings, learning new coping skills, and improved self-esteem and self worth. Below are some examples of expressive and holistic arts approaches I provide:
Expressive Arts: Through the use of art, music, dance, drama, and play I can provide opportunities that tap into unspoken feelings and provide a safe outlet for the expression of emotion. There is no need to be an 'artistic person' to gain benefit from the healing power of the arts. All that is required is an open mind.
Mindfulness:By paying special attention to the present moment, our breath, and what our bodies are telling us we can begin to incorporate relaxation and stress reduction in our daily lives. Mindfulness practice is appropriate for children and adults and can be used in any situation throughout the lifespan. By teaching beginning mindfulness activities and exercises I can work with you and your family to find a mindfulness plan that works for you.
Reiki: Reiki is an ancient healing arts modality that uses subtle energy to aid in relaxation, stress reduction, and offer you the opportunity for self-reflection.
Guided Imagery: The use of guided visualizations can aid in managing and coping with anxiety, stress, and support overall wellbeing. I incorporate art, play, and healing techniques into our imagery work and teach you the necessary steps to utilize this effective tool.