Kristen conceptualizes cases from an attachment theory perspective. There are an incredible number of research studies illustrating the power of the relationship between parent and child. Because of this, she is constantly looking at ways to strengthen familial relationships because the best behavioral, cognitive, and emotional outcomes are consistently seen in children with a secure attachment to a parental figure. While case conceptualization is from an attachment perspective, she draws on numerous effective interventions to have successful results.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a research supported, time effective treatment option for trauma. EMDR capitalizes on the brain’s natural healthy processing of events in order to reprocess how memories are stored. Find more information here.
Children learn about and understand their world through play. Also because language development lags behind children’s cognitive development, play is an important vehicle for children to express themselves. Play therapy allows a therapist to enter in to the child’s world and is a venue for expression, understanding, and healing. Music, dance, art, building materials, puppets, and dolls are all used in play therapy. Find more information here.
Sensory and Movement Based Interventions
When our sensory needs are met, then we are within a window of tolerance to successfully participate in therapy. When there is too much arousal (hyperarousal) or too little arousal (hypoarousal), then we aren’t able to fully participate in psychotherapy. Kristen uses a variety of methods to get kids and teens within their window of tolerance so she can maximize the benefits of therapy. Examples of methods used include walking, yoga, sitting on a yoga ball, fidget toys, and/or weighted lap blanket each targeted to increase or decrease sensory input. There is a strong relationship between sensory needs and emotions and behaviors. This understanding is evaluated for and used throughout therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy examines negative thinking in order to create healthier, more realistic cognitive patterns. CBT is based on the foundation that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have an interactive relationship. Please click here for more information.
Mindfulness is the ability to be present and aware of what is happening in the moment without judgment. Mindfulness grounds us and keeps us from living in the past or the future. Mindfulness strategies are taught to help with emotion regulation and to gain insight and awareness. Here are some fun examples of how to use mindfulness with kids.
Attachment Based Interventions
These interventions are primarily drawn from Karyn Purvis and David’s Cross Trust Based Relational Interventions (TBRI®). TBRI® is a researched set of interventions to help build trust and connection with children from trauma backgrounds. These interventions can alter brain chemistry through a holistic approach to tremendously improve a child’s ability to regulate emotions and build attachment relationships. TBRI® draws from neuroscience, attachment research, and sensory models. Please click here to learn more. (https://child.tcu.edu/about-us/tbri/#sthash.K8lfyDPk.dpbs)
* Kristen also uses aspects of narrative therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and gestalt therapy to support the therapeutic process.