Psychotherapy for children

It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self

Sad Child

Define Child's Main Difficulties & Goals

Unlike adults, children who come to therapy have minimal, if no, insight into why they are coming to see me. Parents are the ones who seek treatment for the child and are the ones with whom I meet first in order to learn their concerns about their child and help them define the goals of therapy.

Build a Trusting relationship with Parents and Child

Gaining the trust of both parents and children is very important. However, since the patient (in this case, the child) is not the one who decides to enter treatment, they may not have any motivation in the beginning to work with me. Therefore, I have found that obtaining the child’s trust is the most important goal of therapy before any more in-depth work can be done. Parents, on the other hand, have a desire to do right by their children and be the best parents they can be and this is a great motivation upon which an alliance can be built. In my work, parents are active partners in their child’s treatment, they know their child best, and it is by working all together, that their child can achieve lifelong changes.

All the family hands holding each other
Happy child on their knees playing on a rug with toys

Restore the Child's Well-Being

I help children address behaviors that are causing stress at home, in school, and with peers (eg. conflicts with parents, sibling or peers, impulsivity, sleep problems, attention problems, anxiety and depressive mood). With my help children learn about their emotions, what may trigger them, how to regulate them, as well as to resolve internal conflicts that might be at the origin of their challenging behaviors.

Use of Play

Children, especially the young ones, express themselves through play and it is through play that they learn about themselves, their relationships and the world around them. In my work, I use play therapeutically to help them address and resolve their difficulties.

Happy Family

Address the Parent-Child Relationship

While I work individually with a child, I also meet with parents to help them modify some of their parenting approaches to find new ways to address their child’s problematic behaviors. One of the main goals of this work is to restore the parent-child relationship that often gets disrupted by the child’s challenging behaviors so that the relationship can become a lifelong resource for both.

Raffaella Braga PhD © 2023

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