APPOINTMENTS:

Children and Family Counseling Options

 

 

To make an appointment for your child and/or family, either send me an email at deborahruthdavis@hotmail.com or call 785-224-5538.

 

For Tricare recipients you will need a referral from your Primary Care Physician in order to get started with counseling. Those who utilize an EAP (Employee Assistance Program), it will be necessary for you to contact that program so they can get you set up with services through this office.

 

NOTE: Basic information regarding payment options will be discussed and determined at the Intake (or first) session.

Children and Family Counseling

Children and Family Counseling has become an important part of my private practice. The techniques and skills utilized focus on connecting with the child in a relaxed way, so that the child feels comfortable to talk about things that can be very upsetting and/or challenging. Art Therapy and Play Therapy are utilized in order to assist with this process.  

With the parents/primary caregivers, I work with them on understanding how to model and follow through with the skills I am using with the child, that most specifically meet the needs of the child. These skills often have to do with regaining control over the emotional environment of the home, and creating a structured environment that will decrease and eventually eliminate the challenging behaviors of the child.

 

This is accomplished through the use of such concepts as Behavior Modification, Rewards for Desired Behaviors (utilizing Behavior Charts), identifying and then adjusting Sensory Sensitivity, and Self-Care of the Primary Care Giver(s).

 

MORE DETAILS on Therapeutic Approaches:

Art Therapy

Art Therapy is utilized both for Assessment purposes (determining the specific challenges the client is going through, and then coming up with the best way to assist the client in dealing with these challenges) as well as regular therapeutic interactions. When starting to see a child/teen for counseling I spend the first 3 sessions assessing the client. Then, on the fourth session, I meet with the Parents/Primary Caregiver(s) to go over the assessment findings and make recommendations. Children/Teens indicate that they look forward to coming to do Art Therapy, and Parents often state how impressed they are that the assessments done were so "spot on" with their child. It's a fun yet HUGELY affective way to do counseling with children and teens.

Play Therapy

There are many approaches to Play Therapy. The one that is utilized the most in my private practice is designed to have the child/teen feel so relaxed and happy that he/she is ready to talk about the challenging issues going on. This often happens during key moments in Play Therapy where the client is more open to dialogue. Knowing how to set these moments up and then accessing them with sensitivity and competency is what makes this approach so valuable. A great deal of information can be gained from a client during these times. Research has also found that children who engage in regular play activity with an adult who is actively engaged with the child can increase neuronal development, which in turn allows for the child to function more affectively. Part of what I also do is train the parents in what this type of affective play looks like and how to practice it effectively.

Behavior Modification

Often times neither children/teens nor parents know what is causing behavioral issues in the child/teen. This can be extremely frustrating for both parties. Behavior Modification is about using certain environmental structures to assist with identifying the expected behavior (i.e., focusing on what you WANT to see as a behavior, rather then what you DON'T WANT to see), and then giving a consequence (earning the reward, or removal of the reward) that the child/teen has to experience. Often, the success of this practice is dependent on the parents ability to let go of being "emotionally triggered" by the child/teen. Working with the parents on how to do this then creates a situation where the unwanted behavior goes away, and the wanted behavior occurs more "naturally" and spontaneously, leaving both the child/teen and the parent(s) feeling happy and loving!

Behavior Charts

One of the biggest challenges to having Behavior Modification be successful, is the identification of Healthy Consequences (good or bad) for the action of the child/teen. Many times the natural consequences of a child's actions are emotion related (the primary care giver gets angry and yells or takes things away from child/teen). However, in this environment the child/teen can learn how to use those same emotions to get what he/she wants. This is not done consciously, but is a learned behavior. "Behavior Charts" identify what the expected {positive} behavior is AND an appropriate reward that will create enough motivation in the child/teen to follow through with the change in behavior. It also puts the feeling of control over the emotional state of the family back where it needs to be...with the parent, not the child. This will assist in decreasing stress for the parent, and decrease the anxiety levels of the child. Both of which are crucial for mental health in a child/teen.

Internet Addiction and Children/Teens

One of the biggest contributing factors to children's negative behaviors is internet addiction. When this is changed it makes a HUGE (positive) difference in the child's behaviors. Research has indicated that the irritability, anger outbursts, lack of follow through, unwillingness to listen, and rebelliousness (to name just a few) are present in those children/teens (and adults) who access more than 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on age) of internet/gaming/technology use a day. This is due to the combination of adrenaline and dopamine that are released in to the system each time a new message comes in (texting, Facebook, emails, etc.) or a hit in the game is made. The combination of these two naturally occurring hormones in the body is the equivalent of an illegal drug hitting the system. For this reason alone I have developed a whole structure to assist parents in "re-programming" their child's brain to not be addicted to the internet. There has been a great deal of success with this structure, and parents often come back to indicate that their child's behaviors have "done a 180" degree turn (from negative to positive).

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DIRECT CONTACT

ADDRESS

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Direct contact is arranged by appointment, which can be established through email or telephone message.

 

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Burlingame, KS 66413

and

KODIAK, AK 99615

deborahruthdavis@hotmail.com

MAIN CONTACT NUMBERS

785-224-5538 Cell
785-397-1015 Fax
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