Individual psychotherapy with children between the ages of four and eleven can be beneficial in assisting the young person to gain a deeper awareness and understanding of their worries and concerns through a confidential relationship with the therapist. Play and creative mediums facilitate the exploration of their inner and outer worlds in relation to the self and others. Sessions are tailored to suit each individual child's needs and the aim is to obtain psychological growth and healing.
Parents play an important role in the treatment process of their children. If the child is to take steps toward healing, family dynamics need to improve along. Therefore, parenting sessions take place alongside the therapeutic work with the child giving the parents the opportunity to reflect and discuss their parenting approach with the therapist in order to gain a better insight about what works and what doesn't. This holistic approach guaranties a better outcome for the family.
Adolescence starts as early as eleven or twelve years and it accompanies many physical and emotional changes. Puberty often occurs in this stage. The body and the brain go through massive transformations. In this challenging journey toward adulthood, teens often face an emotional roller coaster while they tackle the demands of puberty and social pressures from school and peers. Issues like low self-esteem, irritable moods, anxiety, depression and aggressive behaviours might show up during this period as emotional reactions to the stresses of the environment.
Adolescent Psychotherapy facilitates the exploration of these challenging feelings and behaviours within a safe and confidential therapeutic relationship. ُ Teens can communicate their worries and concerns either by talking or through other mediums such as arts, sand play, story telling, games and so on.
The research shows that many young people feel more at ease talking to a therapist online. Being in their own comfortable environment and having more control over the sessions is less overwhelming for them and allow them to share their feelings more easily.
Reflective Parenting Sessions
Individual work with parents can also be undertaken online. These sessions give the parents the opportunity to identify their triggers or the ways of relating to each other or to their child that might be negatively impacting the family dynamics. Parents can then work on developing new and healthier ways of communicating with their child. Parenting sessions may also assist the parents to gain a deeper awareness of the child's perspective and enable them to adopt a more empathic, nurturing and reflective approach toward parenting as opposed to a reactive one.
Parenting sessions might be a part of the therapeutic process of the children. In this case, the child is seen separately for therapy and parents can have their own sessions to work through their struggles or in order to get equipped with helpful parenting skills.
It is also possible for parents whose children are not in therapy, to have a few number of reflective parenting sessions in order to improve their understanding about their parenting styles. Psycho education is an important part of my work with children and parents. When parents develop awareness on how their actions impact their children, they become more keen to make the right choices.
Therapy with TCKs
Expat life has many privileges. It brings lots of opportunities such as seeing the world, exploring different cultures and meeting new people into the life of people who live it. TCKs are often reported to be more adaptable human beings who have the ability to think globally, the capacity to be accepting of other people and cultures and so on. However, the repeated cycles of separation and loss of their familiar environment, friends, teachers, favourite culture etc. might lead to a sense of "unresolved grief" as well as difficulty in finding a sense of personal and cultural identity. These feelings, if left unprocessed could cause psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Therapy with TCKs focuses on exploring the loss and grief that these individuals carry inside but are not encouraged to get in touch with. The losses are not always concrete ones. TCKs deal with existential losses such as " the loss of a sense of self", "the loss of home" and "the loss of identity". Exploring these losses and the unprocessed grief that accompany them, give TCKs relief from internal turmoil that they often carry.