Therapeutic Approaches and Interventions
Therapists at Arizona Family Counseling are familiar with a variety of ways to help children and families express themselves. Art is just one way to do this.
Drawing family members and their connections may help a child express his or her relationships to them. Drawing or painting one’s hopes and dreams may help cast a vision for what healing can look like. Drawing protocols can hope clients overcome bad dreams, process past events, and even work through self-esteem issues. Therapists use a variety of artistic mediums in therapy, and are open to client suggestions as well!
Arizona Family Counseling serves couples in all stages of life, from dating to engagement to marriage and re-marriage. Couples therapy can help individuals assess their relationship patterns, attachment, readiness for marriage, and more.
Couples therapy may include administration of the Prepare/Enrich and/or attachment assessment if desired and considered therapeutically appropriate. Couples therapy is not just for individuals who feel their relationship is in trouble, but also for couples who have a great relationship and want to make it better, or who just want an informal check-up from time to time to infuse their relationship with new life.
Trauma pioneer Bessel van der Kolk suggests that the body stores trauma, especially when the mind cannot process it. Specializing in trauma and attachment, Arizona Family Counseling therapists believe that healing is a whole-person experience. Therapists may therefore include practices such as deep breathing, stretching, and dancing in session to promote relaxation, regulation, and processing.
Not a fan of these forms of movements? Tell the therapist what type of movement you enjoy and perhaps it can be integrated into your therapy. If movement is not your thing, counselors can help you engage your whole self in therapy via other means.
Therapists at Arizona Family Counseling believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Family therapy assesses not only individual struggles but also the relationships between family members in order to help the entire family reach its goals. Family therapy may include both individual and group sessions as the counselor works to understand the roles of each family member and the function of the family as a whole.
Integrative parenting is a unique program that focuses on the needs of children and parents both separately and independently. Integrative parenting teaches children and parents skills for recognizing and coping with feelings, de-escalating conflict, and more.
Integrative parenting is typically used for attachment trauma in children and can include EMDR to re-process trauma and help install new positive thoughts. Integrative parenting can help children understand the jobs of their moms and dads, recognize when they are being triggered by their past, and nurture strong, healthy relationships in the present. Integrative parenting may include not just one therapist, but a team of therapists to help you and your family meet their goals.
It has been said that play is the language of children. Our child and family therapists recognize that children are not always able to verbalize their thoughts and feelings, so they use play as a means by which to facilitate self-expression. Play therapy may include role play with toys, the child telling a story using toys, board games that teach emotional awareness, and more. The goal is to make the child feel safe and comfortable expressing himself or herself in ways that feel comfortable and natural.
Children who have experienced trauma may especially benefit from play therapy as it allows them to express thoughts and feelings from times before they had words, or when they were not allowed to speak words. Play therapy may also facilitate attachment to caregivers, as it breaks down barriers between individuals by creating enjoyable experiences that can unify.
Adults can also benefit from the stress-relieving, inner-child benefits of play therapy. The best part about play therapy at Arizona Family Counseling is that it is tailored to the specific needs of you and your family. Have a favorite board game? Let your therapist know and perhaps she or he can incorporate it into services. Is your child a fan of a particular TV show or superhero? Tell your therapist and see how the interest can be used in therapy. Therapy is about healing the whole person, and play is an avenue for incorporating body, soul, mind, and spirit.
Sand Tray Therapy
Sand tray therapy involves the use of a therapeutic sand “box” along with figurines used to tell stories. Sand tray is a form of play therapy in that it uses objects, rather than words to convey thoughts and feelings.
Therapists at Arizona Family Counseling offer sand trays to both children and adults as a way to communicate without words. Clients can explore thoughts about self and others, life themes, hopes, and dreams all in the sand tray.
Clients with sensory needs may find tactile information from the sand especially soothing. The sand tray may not be for everyone, but it is available to everyone who is a client of Arizona Family Counseling, both in the office and via telehealth.
Solution-focused therapy is a form of brief therapy that focuses on the client’s inner strength, seeking to bring out that power to pursue further healing and growth. Solution-focused therapy helps clients focus on small achievable goals, celebrating successes and how those successes conglomerate into a greater sense of life achievement.
Solution-focused therapy is more about solving problems in the present than it is about processing past issues, so if you want help right here and right now, this might be the therapy for you. (Counselors are, of course, willing to explore how the past influences the present if that is of importance to the client as well.)