Wellspring Psychotherapy
 

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Helping Good Families with Challenging Situations

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             Deborah Rogers LMFT


   8 Crow Canyon Ct, Suite 110  San Ramon  CA 94583
 

                                                     925 831-2442   |   Call Today


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If you do what you've always done...
You'll get what you've always gotten.


            Anonymous

 

 

 





Parents



- Parenting Tips                                      - Parent Update Sessions
- Participating in Your Child's Therapy       - Helping Your Whole Family
- Common Stressors for Children              -  Knowing When to Call 


Your are the most important person in your child's life and your child wants to connect with you more than anyone else.  So it is wonderful to know that you have a great deal of influence in guiding your child toward positive ways of making that connection with you, and ultimately with themself.  

Since parenting is one of the most intense jobs you'll ever have, it can be such a relief to get a few new techniques from the experts on ways to invite the most positive outcomes.  And when the connection between you and your child becomes challenging, consider scheduling a few sessions with Wellspring to get you moving in the right direction again.

Check out some of the parenting tips listed below. 
 


Parenting Tips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Active listening and active communication are a set of skills that parents can use to support and guide your children in handling many of their own problems.  And using respectful ways to lead them through family interactions helps build their self-esteem and responsibility that will last them a lifetime .

"Seven Steps to Talking with Your Children"
Adapted from "Active Parenting" by M. Popkin

1. Listen Actively to Your Child. 
When you listen fully, you are not just a passive receiver of information, you participate actively in the communication process.  The goal is to encourage your child to express what he or she thinks and feels.  This can be done verbally, through play, drawing and other methods.

2. Keep Your Own Talk to a Minimum.
Give your full attention and acknowledge what you are hearing.

3. Listen For the Feelings That are Implied in What They Say or Do and Model How to Talk About It.
There are no wrong feelings.  Children experience relief when adults help by putting their child's feelings into words.  "You seem kind of sad today."
  "That must have made you feel really mad when your friend did that."  "I bet you are very proud that you finished."

4. Connect Feelings to the Content of What Your Child is Saying.
Then reflect those feelings back to the child.  "It looks like you are really excited about your drawing!"


5. Guide Children in Looking for Alternatives and Predicting Outcomes.
Especially when they struggle with issues or are acting out.  Helping your child become an effective problem solver means helping them look at alternative solutions and weighing the potential outcomes.  Adjust the degree of guidance according to the child's age and needs.  If you go too far and take over, the child feels discouraged,and misinterprets this as "You are not capable of doing things, so don't bother trying, you are not smart enough to learn how."

6. Let Your Child Have Some Responsibility for
Deciding Which Alternative to Choose.
Still provide safety boundaries and guidance, but just pull back a little bit and allow them the room to come up with some solutions.  Still be there with them and be supportive rather than just dumping the burden of responsibility on them and leaving.  Children who take an active role in finding solutions feel a surge of self-esteem and learn to accept responsibility for their choices.

7. Follow up by Asking What They Intend to Do and When.
 
After your child has had an opportunity to handle the problem, follow up by asking "How did it go with...?"  In doing this, you not only help your child make sense of the total experience, but you also confirm that your interest was genuine



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Parent Update Sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  

When your child is involved in their own play therapy sessions, once a month it is beneficial to come in to meet with the therapist for a detailed discussion of the progress that your child is making, your questions, changes your are seeing and any new challenges that might have come up.

Sometimes it isn't easy to recognize just what progress looks like until you understand some of the details that the experienced play therapist is noticing.  So its good to know that you are actually on track at times when you are wondering what the improvements might be.

Regular updates also give the therapist more information to work with as we look for the meaning of the play themes and metaphors.  That way the therapist can offer corrective guidance that fits the child's experiences more closely.  Which means the work moves at an optimal rate.  The play therapist will also be sharing some of the techniques used in your child's play session so you can use them in the home setting as well.

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Participating in Your Child's Therapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In many instances, it can be very productive to participate directly in your child's play sessions.  You learn so much and children often love it when their parent participates.  The benefits of adding this element to your child's work is determined on an individual basis.

If you like to read parenting books then you will enjoy having the opportunity to fill in some of the missing pieces by applying your new parenting tools in the play therapy session.

Because children act out many of their most challenging behaviors right there in our sessions, it gives parents a wonderful opportunity to receive valuable coaching as you apply new parenting skills.  Also learn important tips by watching the therapist apply techniques that will help your specific child the most.

So parents have the opportunity to gain valuable support while learning some of the effective tools that play therapists use.


Knowing When to Call  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A child might need play therapy if there have been one or more recent changes or a crisis in the family.  Large changes are easier to understand, but even small changes can be surprisingly challenging for children.

Look for clues for the presence of stress.  They can show up as acting-out behaviors, general irritability, withdrawal behaviors or becoming clingy.  If there are noticeable changes in their behaviors in general or if they start acting younger than they usually do, they might be experiencing some stress.

It is also very helpful to consider coming in for a few sessions as a preventative measure when you know that something stressful will be coming up.  This works well with doctor visits, starting at a new school and other unavoidable situations that are on your calendar. 
 

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Common Stressors for Children  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Children are usually pretty flexible, but that doesn't mean that they are not stressed by challenging situations.  For example, because they might go off to play right after their parent's have a loud argument we often mistakenly interpret that as meaning they were not affected negatively by the event. But they are definitely affected by the intense emotions that are around them.  

Here are some examples of things that are commonly stressful:
- Parents not sharing much undivided attention with their child.
- Child's difficulty regulating feelings in high stimulation environments.
- Fears of being abandoned by parents when parents are busy.
- Divorced parents, child struggles with feeling divided loyalty.      
- Custody issues and the challenges of living in two households.
- Using food as a way to self-soothe.
- Family members or others yelling and high intensity conflicts.
- The multiple layers and questions of what it means to be adopted. 



Helping Your Whole Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . .
Its amazing how much the whole family ends up feeling better once the child's issues start resolving.  Frequently, children end up playing the role of "canary in the coal mine".  They frequently let us know when something is going awry in the family system.

If your interest is sparked a little by this idea, read our article "Playing With Your Clients"
It gives a case example that illustrates this point. 



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Note: The use of this web site or email link does not 
in any way imply a patient-therapist relationship.

 

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Private Pay Patients                
Simply bring a check or credit card and have that ready at the beginning of each session. 


In-Network Patients               
Our office verifies your benefits, provides you with your remaining deductible amount, number of sessions allowed, and submits any required clinical information to your insurance.


Out-of-Network Patients         
Receive benefits directly from your insurance. 
Check or credit card payments required at each appointment.

We have helpful submission tips, office receipts and approved claim forms for patients who use their insurance out-of-network. 


Monthly Payments                     
Individuals and families with very busy schedules  sometimes use a monthly payment schedule to streamline the process even further.


Military Families                    
Confidential support for individuals and families using your Ceridian, TriWest, TriCare insurance.  Free sessions through Military OneSource.   www.militaryonesource.com at 800-342-9647. 


24-Hour Cancellation              
Your appointments are very important and they require a full 24-Hour notice in order to release your financial obligation. 

If you use insurance, please note that they will not cover missed sessions or late cancellations.  These  remain your  financial obligation.


Call our office to determine which billing method will work best for you. 


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When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.


               Tuli Kupferberg
                      


 

 

 

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