Play Therapy is a treatment method which utilizes a child's most powerful learning tool: playing. It has long been known that playing is a natural part of human learning and development. Children instinctively use play to learn about themselves, their physical world, and their relationships in the world. Play Therapy harnesses the learning and curative power of play to help children address and resolve their own challenges. Play Therapy gives children a safe psychological distance from their problems, encouraging problem-solving skills, interpersonal communication, and adaptive behavior, particularly when faced with social or emotional skill deficits. Play Therapy empowers children to express their feelings, thoughts, and troubles, even when they do not yet have the verbal language to do so. In Play Therapy, toys act as the child's words and play is the child's language. Play Therapy is also useful for promoting cognitive development, as well as helping children reach their own insights into ways of resolving dysfunctional thinking and inner conflicts. Additional Play Therapy information is also available at this website - www.a4pt.org
INDIVIDUAL THERAPY FOR ADOLESCENTS
Teens experience a great deal of change simultaneously in their young lives. Hormones trigger unprecedented physical changes, including sexual consciousness. Their social lives become more complex and less centered around the parental units. Their cognitive and emotional abilities grow as drastically as their bodies, and a more mature sense of self begins to emerge. Adolescence is characterized by young people exploring their own personal power and the responsibilities that come with that new power. Teens often struggle with how to know their own needs and communicate them assertively, how to resolve conflict peacefully, and how to make beneficial choices. All of this happens to young adults at once, in a rather short window of time! Individual adolescent therapy entails one-on-one time between the counselor and the teenager, helping teens get a handle on their new personal landscape, equipping then with tools and techniques for embracing their growth and transformation.
INDIVIDUAL THERAPY FOR ADULTS
Change does not stop at adolescence. Once we reach adulthood the new landscape of emotional autonomy is not so new anymore, but still subject to shocks, challenges, and changes. To stay in balance, an individual must make occasional adjustments. Individual adult therapy encourages adults to examine personal experiences, thoughts, behaviors, and feelings which may be undermining their own happiness. Through individual adult therapy, clinicians help individuals to identify their problems, break them into manageable parts, and tackle the issues thoroughly and consistently. Individual adult therapy can also help adults find ways to enhance their personal support system and improve relationships with themselves and others.
As time passes and unfamiliar changes occur, maintaining family balance and harmony can become challenging. For example, when children reach adolescence, the entire household's center of gravity changes, affecting the teen, their parents, and siblings alike. Change and growth of the family affects all of the domestic relationships. As the family grows, both in age and in size, needs and priorities grow and fluctuate with it. As a result, stress and frustration can build up in all family members, leading to detachment, lapses in communication, and a chaotic family structure. It is at these moments that it becomes more important than ever for the adults and the children to work together, to be honest about their feelings, to communicate them clearly and amicably, and to make changes to meet each other's needs and the greater needs of the household. Family therapy helps families define a flexible and resilient family model, giving choices and boundaries to children and teens, while maintaining the essential strength and support of the parental roles. Family therapy is geared toward improving communication and conflict resolution skills, enhancing empathy among family members, cultivating mutual respect, and empowering all of the family members. Combining individual therapy with family therapy can significantly enhance results.
Couples therapy helps two people involved in a relationship gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict and improve relationship satisfaction utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions. Couples therapy can resolve a current problem, prevent an exacerbation of problems or simply provide a “check-up” for a happy couple that is experiencing a period of transition or increased stress. Common areas of concern addressed in couples therapy include issues with money, parenting, sex, infidelity, in-laws, chronic health issues, infertility, gambling, substance use, emotional distance and frequent conflict.
EMDR THERAPY (ALL AGES)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an emergent treatment technique with growing clinical applications. EMDR Therapy has been found helpful in dealing with trauma, anxiety, grief and loss. EMDR Therapy is based on the theory that humans use eye movements similar to the ones that occur during REM sleep cycles to access memories. Traumatic memories which overwhelm normal coping mechanisms, like abuse or military combat, can be dysfunciontally locked away in memory networks where they may reside for long periods of time unprocessed by the brain. Years can go by while the trauma stays locked and buried in the brain, leading to sensory flashbacks, nightmares, and inappropriate overreactions. EMDR Therapy helps unlock those traumatic memory networks and process the memories by associating them with more realistic and positive information in the brain. Additional information can be found at www.emdr.com
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events. TF-CBT has proved successful with children and adolescents (ages 3 to 18) who have significant emotional problems (e.g., symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, fear, anxiety, or depression) related to traumatic life events. TF-CBT can successfully resolve a broad array of emotional and behavioral difficulties associated with single, multiple and complex trauma experiences. Children and parents learn new skills to help process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events; manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related traumatic life events; and enhance safety, growth, parenting skills, and family communication.
SOMATIC EXPERIENCING (SE)
Somatic Experiencing (SE) therapy may help move a person forward from the “frozen” image or memory of their traumatic experience. When a person encounters a traumatic situation, they may either fight back, get away, or not act on their urges. At times during SE therapy the patient can describe the traumatic experience and then talk about the body senses or mental images that come up, many times with the eyes closed. The therapist can guide the patient through somatic experience tasks that help release stored emotions, which can be shut down at various levels within the nervous system. As the trained somatic experiencing therapist guides the patient’s session, the treatment may require the patient to be very present with their body and to talk about different sensations they are experiencing as they begin to release stored emotions. In this way, SE differs from other types of therapy. A sense of confidence and the ability to face the traumatic experience again without the negative emotions can also be a benefit of this unique type of treatment.
SCHOOL BASED SERVICES
Lorven Child and Family Development proudly partners with Lexington City Schools, Davidson County Schools, and Thomasville City Schools to provide therapeutic services in the school setting. By providing therapy in schools, LCFD is able to provide clinical intervention in an environment where children often struggle the most, and consultation and support for educators to increase awareness on the effects of childhood mental health in the schools. Providing mental health services in the community encourages systems to work in collaboration to address the complex issues and diagnoses that we see in child and adolescent mental health.