Parenting


"When a child doesn't feel understood, little things can become big issues" 

                                                                                                                  - Daniel Siegel, MD, author of Parenting From The Inside Out

Whether you are preparing for the arrival of a newborn, worried about your emotional connection with your infant child, struggling with your toddler's meltdowns, dealing with your preschool child's need to be in control, struggling with your child's adjustment in school, or trying to remain emotionally connected to your teenager, you can benefit from an objective, professional and empathic consultation.


How I can assist you in becoming the parent you want to be:

~Help you read and understand your child's behaviors & needs
~Develop daily routines that foster a sense of safety resulting in improved frustration tolerance and calm.
~Help you better understand you own attachment style
~Process traumatic stress in yourself or your child that is impacting your relationship with one another

From Infancy to preschool
Little children have minds of their own and, from the first day of life, enter into relationships with the people who take care of them. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers constantly change and learn new things, and pose new challenges for their caregivers. Child rearing can be deeply rewarding at best, and traumatizing for both parent and child at worst. Usually it is somewhere in between with a mix of good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments, moments of joy, laughter and warmth, and moments of disconnection, anger and frustration.
The most powerful parenting tool is understanding of oneself, one’s history and feelings, hopes and dreams, and particularly one’s own attachment relationships with one’s parents. As Lieberman (2005), an expert in the field of early childhood mental health, points out, “ghosts in the nursery,” the unprocessed emotional injuries that we carry around, can get in the way of connecting with our own children. Little children make sense of the world and themselves through their relationships with their parents.

Children
The latency period from 6 to 12 years of age is usually the most conflict free time in a child’s life. When all goes well, the child is oriented toward the world and learning. However, if the child struggled with forming a secure attachment earlier in life, his or her relationships with teachers and peers might be negative and get in the way of learning. Loss and trauma affect each child differently and can disrupt his or her functioning and relationships significantly.
Supporting a child in making sense of what happened, supporting his or her ability to not get overwhelmed by emotions, and understanding that it wasn’t his or her fault are some of the things we would work on in therapy. Depending on the age of the child and personal inclination, I would engage the child in play or art therapy. It might also be necessary to include the parent in therapy and conduct dyadic therapy to support the reestablishment of trust and attachment.   
My approach to helping you develop your relationship with your child is not by giving advice, but by helping you discover the parent you want to be, and to develop your trust in yourself. Parenting is always trial and error. Making mistakes is generally not the problem; being unable to reflect on mistakes and learn from them is. I am here to help you develop your “reflective capacities” or what Peter Fonagy  (2006) calls mentalization: The ability to keep your child’s mind in mind and to learn how to repair your connection after moments of breakdown.