Therapy for Children

When my 10 year old daughter told me she hated school and wanted to be home schooled, I didn’t know what to do. Dr. Henningsen helped us all figure it out.  My daughter has found some new strategies and is much happier. I wish I had found her sooner. —Leysha (mom)

Play Therapy: Raising Emotionally Capable Children

Therapy for ChildrenI provide therapy for school aged children aged six and older. Play therapy is a tool I frequently employ to help children express feelings of anger, fear, or sadness.  I also use sand tray, a form of play therapy, that allows a child to create a story by selecting and arranging figurines and objects in a sandbox.  The story the child makes in sand gives visible and tangible form to unexpressed feelings.  Engaging the imagination in play therapy or sand tray play creates a safe space for a child talk about or explore feelings.

School Performance

Is your child lashing out in anger at school or falling behind academically?  Therapy for children who struggle with sadness, ADHD, or bullying at school provides a much needed a safe place for them to talk about their feelings.  They may not want their parents to know what’s going on for fear of disappointing them in some way.  Once the child has come to trust the therapist, the therapy session gives them precisely the privacy and safety they need to grapple with their problems.

Since I have had experience teaching and counseling in schools, I understand the process and can easily interface with the school and parents to create a team approach.

Coping With Loss And Transitions

If there is a death in the family or a divorce, your children can suffer emotional setbacks.  Children always sense and take in more than we think they do, but they lack the words or understanding to create their own narratives.  In my approach to therapy for children, I use art, games, puppet play, humor and building miniature worlds in sand to help children to open up and explore their feelings.

Divorce: It Isn’t Your Fault

It is not uncommon for a child to feel responsible for the break up. “It’s my fault” or “if only I had been good” are themes that frequently occur.  Moved by strong feelings of anger and abandonment, children may act out destructively in a confused attempt to bring attention to themselves or to force parents to get back together.

Recommended Reading For Parents Of Young Children:

Ronald Rapee et al, Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-By-Step Guild For Parents. Help your anxious, sensitive, sometimes head-strong child and yourself learn practical tools for compassionate child rearing.

Myrna B. Shure, Thinking Parent, Thinking ChildAuthor presents a problem-solving approach which can boosts children’s emotional thinking skills and moderate anger on both sides.

Linda Lantieri and Daniel Goleman, Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques To Cultivate Inner Strength In ChildrenExcellent suggestions and insight.  Lantieri has taught peaceful negotiation and community building in NYC.  Goleman first coined the words for the topic of emotional intelligence.

Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein, Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope and Optimism In Your Child. Helps parents focus on strengths not weaknesses using effective strategies gleaned from their own practice.