I am an Auckland based child psychotherapist. Choosing a therapist can be an overwhelming experience, so please feel free to reach out via email for more information. I currently have availability to take on one new client.
My particular areas of interest include working with children and adolescents who may be non-verbal, not themselves or struggling to find words for their inner experiences and feelings. I also have experience working with high-risk young people.
It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.
– D. W. Winnicott
My approach involves relational child psychotherapy which utilizes a range of specific play materials. The child is encouraged to gradually express parts of their inner self and develop a therapeutic relationship both verbally and non-verbally. Within this relationship, connections can be made between the therapist and the child’s whānau to better understand the nature of their conflicts and difficulties.
Child psychotherapy can be effective for a range of presenting challenges, including anxiety, low mood, self-harm, difficulty sleeping or toileting, anger, loneliness, grief, somatic complaints, those questioning their gender or sexuality, adjustment difficulties, separations and trauma. This work is suitable for children aged 5 – 15 years however dyadic work with children younger than 5 may be possible with consistent participation from a parent or caregiver.
Beginning your child in psychotherapy can be a challenging experience for parents and caregivers also. Parent feedback sessions are held regularly to check in on progress and discuss how things are going at home.
Child psychotherapy is a child-centred practice, which works at the young persons pace and comfortability.
Every child has a right to a thoughtful, regular presence accompanying her during a terrifying journey… regardless of whether or not she can speak, think, or experience being physically healthy.
– Jeanne Magagna
I work psychoanalytically and psychodynamically through play therapy and relationship.
Psychotherapy is often bought in at a time where other methods have been attempted and failed. Psychotherapy is an approach often utilised when situations are confounding, confusing or unclear. This may be because psychotherapy looks towards the sometimes concealed, or unconscious, aspects of communication to better grasp what is occurring. In work with children this has become intensely important due to their limited or sometimes compromised abilities to accurately explain in words how they are feeling, why they are feeling this way, and what might make them feel better.
I currently work as a psychotherapist at the Child and Family Unit (CFU) in Starship Children’s Hospital as well as the adjacent Mother Baby Unit (MBU). These are acute psychiatric units, with CFU serving the upper half of the North Island.
Previous work history includes working at a West Auckland mother-baby mental health respite service, in which mothers and their infants are supported 24/7. The purpose of this facility is to assist families experiencing difficulty and distress following the birth of an infant.
I have also worked for an NGO service providing support groups and mentoring to children and adolescents whose parents experience mental illness.