In individual therapy, I work to ensure your child feels safe and comfortable. I connect to your child in his or her level and work to understand the underlying concerns. Once a trusting rapport is established, I frequently use a "skills focused" approach, where I introduce life skills which your child can use to help face their challenges. Each client is unique and we work to choose the most beneficial interventions that will work for them. At times I will recommend some family sessions and possibly group session as well. In my 10+ years of experience, I have gotten terrific feedback on how the "skills focused" approach made real lasting change. The greatest outcomes have been with dedicated parents such as yourselves who are committed to supporting the process and encouraging carryover at home.
For your convenience, I am available to see your child in select schools in the greater Miami area. School sessions have the added benefit of allowing for increased communication between therapist and school staff (with your consent) to ensure maximum effectiveness in addressing school relating concerns.
At the same time, we utilize telehealth platforms to have parents join some sessions and /or schedule additional parent sessions at other times (via telehealth or in person) to allow for continuous parental involvement.
Please note that there may be space or logistical constraints in the school setting. Depending on the presenting concern, this may not be the best option for some children.
Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder that can cause children to freeze up and be unable to speak in certain settings (ex: school) even when their speech is normal in other, more familiar settings (ex: home.)
Selective mutism is frequently accompanied by social anxiety, which means a general feeling of anxiety related to social situations.
When left untreated, children are likely to develop avoidance habits so they won't need to speak up. Unfortunately the avoidance behavior can get continually reinforced over time when others assume they will not speak and begin to speak for them. It can get harder to break out of this cycle when the child becomes concerned that beginning to speak may attract undue attention, which they have been trying so hard to avoid. For these reasons, early intervention is highly recommended.