I have worked extensively with children and adolescents and continue to do so. This experience has included being the Treatment Director for children's services in Barrow, being a high school counselor, being co-author of books for elementary school teachers on teaching social skills and anger management in the classroom, being the curriculum developer for the social skills training program used nationally in all Job Corps centers, being Dean of Students at Ilisagvik college, providing counseling services to students at the Galena Learning Academy, and providing counseling to many children through my private practice.
I LIKE KIDS. And kids seem to like me.
Because children and adolescents think differently than adults the helping them requires skill and creativity in finding the ways they will open up and interact regarding things they find hard to face (and typically very hard to verbalize). I utilize drawing, face-painting, masks and costumes, sand tray creations, cartooning, games, teaching magic tricks, various forms of play, and even tea parties as any or all of these are helpful to addressing the child's difficulties. I also have had good success bringing in my two therapy dogs to help children, particulary if the child is having trust, emotional control, or responsibility issues.
When treating children it's crucial to help their parents or caregivers understand what's happening and what they can do about it. Unlike adults, who have learned to compartmentalize their lives, children need their therapy to continue at home and school as well, to the extent that that is appropriate. I enjoy working with families and school staff to ensure the children have the best chance of success, and that there is good feedback on how the children are faring in these environments outside of the therapy office.
For a few children the gender of the therapist is important. Most children's therapists are women. Some children benefit from having a man as a therapist, particularly if they have had bad experiences with male role models or need male affirmation of their value. Experiencing safety, trust, and the ability to disclose without that being damaging or dangerous can significantly help some children in preventing future relationship problems. Having a male therapist is sometimes very helpful for children who have experienced sexual abuse, through providing a positive adult male role model who can help them heal from the trauma.
In that regard, I also draw on my own experience of being sexually abused as a child. I have found that the understanding my experiences gave me, and the process I took to deal with those experiences, has been very useful in helping children with similar issues.
565 University Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Office: (907) 374-8777
Text: (907) 388-8963
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Monday - Friday 9 AM - 6 PM
Saturday and other hours by arrangement
ONLINE SESSIONS AVAILABLE
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