Your Therapy Questions Answered
It's normal to have questions about therapy! In this blog post, I'm going to answer some frequently asked questions about the types of therapy we provide at The Nest:
Is art therapy like an art class?
Art therapists are trained not to teach art (though we learn a variety of skills in order to help our clients) but to help people heal through art. It is different in that we are able to watch for certain content, give directives to learn more about a situation, and inquire further about the meaning - while being very conscious not to grade the art!
What if my child draws something with a gun or something violent?
Some kids do draw guns and knives, and wars. Even if you've never bought a kid a toy gun, there's a good chance they will pretend a stick is one, at some point. The violence in the art means something, but the meaning isn't always obvious or straightforward. It's our job as therapists to explore further.
Do I need a degree to make art?
No, anyone and everyone is an artist. Scribble, doodle, use art to make you feel better!
I'm not an artist! Can I be an art therapy client?
Of course! Making art is a great way to reframe a memory or a personal struggle. Your art therapist will walk you through the process, no matter how much previous experience you've had with art materials.
How is playing with my child going to help?
Play is the language of childhood, and even as a parent you can watch the themes of your child's everyday life play out in their lego building, or what computer games they prefer. Play is their way of processing and making sense of their lives. With me engaged in the play, I am able to give them language that correlates with the emotion or activation level of the scenario, thus helping them bring the experience into higher level thinking and away from the intensity that can take hold in lower brain centers (where feelings and implicit memories live). I can validate their emotions and struggles, while helping them learn to recognize when they are overwhelmed (and what self care tools might help in those instances).
How many sessions will it take?
Every kid is unique, and there is no way for me to predict this. I have had a child wrap up his biggest issue in 5 sessions. That was probably the most efficient case I've had. Typically we build trust for a couple sessions, dive into the feelings, cultivate empowerment, and either finish up or dive into the next layer. Some children have an ongoing issue like SPD or anxiety, and I can't magically remove that from who they are. What I can do is teach them how to make sense of it, how to own it and not be ashamed. I have seen a few complex cases for years, but typically a child will process far faster than an adult and as an average, I would estimate 15 sessions.
Do I / can I come in with my child?
I find it is ideal for me to work one on one with your child. That being said, many children with anxiety or trauma are scared to leave mom or dad, do we adjust accordingly (typically moving toward having them outside of the room). If a parent needs help learning how to play or interact then the focus of our work is on the relationship between you and your child, so we will have you present throughout.
Do you take insurance?
I currently do not take insurance, but hope to do so soon. I can provide a super bill for you to submit, and sometimes insurance will cover part of what you have paid. That being said, payment is due in full at the time of service.
Do you offer a sliding scale?
Yes, I reserve 25-30% of my client spots for sliding scale rates. Please inquire when you book your intake appointment to find out if a sliding scale spot is currently available.
What is Brainspotting?
Brainspotting was developed in 2003 by David Grand who realized that where people looked with their eyes had some direct connection to how they felt. It is a non-invasive therapy that can be useful with trauma. Founder of The Nest Creative Therapy Center, Krista Reinhardt-Ruprecht, is one of the few local practitioners who uses Brainspotting with children. In a typical session we will spend some time finding the right spot which activates the nervous system and then make art to further process the trauma. With adults we do the same except spend a longer amount of time accessing the spot. The possibility of rapid healing with this technique is profound.
Is Brainspotting safe?
It is. We are accessing memories and felt sense experiences in a different way than in talk therapy, so sometimes the days following a session might bring more introspection or clarity to the issue at hand. If the client feels overwhelmed, the practitioner will alter the spot to a less activating one. If someone comes into session in a distressed state the session will be more around a resource spot.
How do you know it's working?
The issue focused on in session should feel less "triggering" in the days to follow. It's not a magic pill, of course, and results will vary among people.
What is parent coaching?
Parent coaching is similar to therapy, in that we're processing through thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, but coaching is more goal-driven. We focus on what your parenting beliefs are, where they come from, where they are going and how to get to the next level of success in the family system. Whether you are a single parent or have four separate parents for your child, we will help you do the best job you can.
If my kid is the problem here, why would this help?
There is a family system at work, with every child. A child is simply another person, who has a bucket full of buttons to push, reactions to the world, and desires. It is amazing to watch how the behavior of one person in that family will effect the others. If your child has an outburst and your reaction is different than it used to be, they are going to be curious. They might even start to model your reaction when they are dealing with their siblings or classmates.
Why does this work?
We are complex beings who all come from a variety of other childhoods before becoming parents. Some of us are adoptive parents, who wonder why the way their friends parent doesn't work for them. Some of us were abused during our own childhood, which can trigger us into avoiding or seeking certain reactions from our kids. Some of us even had the perfect parents and feel like we will never be able to emulate that. It's important to take the time to learn what the best parenting version of you looks like, and coaching can help you discover this.
Do you have a question about therapy that wasn't answered here? Comment below, and we'll answer soon!