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EARLY CHILDHOOD AND INFANT MENTAL HEALTH.
- Therapy Program: The field of Infant Mental Health is focused on working with young children (from infancy to 5 years old) in their most natural context, which is often through the relationship with a parent/caretaker. This therapy is often referred to as parent-child dyadic therapy and can be used to address issues related to behavior, bonding, postpartum depression/anxiety, previous trauma and attachment.
- Wellness Program: The vision of this program is to encourage parents, from the beginning, to understand their role in their relationship with their child. A strengths based approach is used to understand interactions between a parent and child, with the aim of supporting optimal relationships, rather than assessing for pathology.
- Child therapy often involves play therapy, given that children do not communicate their distress in the same manner as adults. Play therapy is a structured and evidence based approach to helping children overcome psychological distress resulting from, but not limited to, previous trauma (e.g., school bullying, harmful experiences), anxiety, depression, emotional intensity associated with intellectual giftedness, and behavior problems (through collaboration with parents/schools and the utilization of behavior management strategies and techniques). Not all children rely on play to engage in therapy. Older children and adolescents may utilize talk, in therapy, similar to the way in which adults can.
- The process of family therapy emphasizes the importance of understanding the family as greater than the sum of its parts. By doing so, each available family member is encouraged to take part in the therapy process by attending sessions consistently. The first, and most important, shift is from the perspective that one person is a cause of distress to the acknowledgement that each and every family member has an impact on the dynamics that have resulted in distress.
- The team approach, within our practice, allows for a whole family supportive experience. For instance, parents of children involved in child therapy are supported by either the child therapist or by clinicians within the practice that can support the parenting process.