Children and parents naturally have a lot of questions about what therapy means and what the experience will be like. At The Safe Calm Place, therapy is first and foremost about finding healing within a safe relationship and making room and time for all feelings. Just as we learn addition before algebra and we read sight words before chapter books, we cannot achieve true emotional health without first learning ways to identify how we feel, communicate our feelings safely, and regulate our emotions during and after periods of stress.
One form of stress that I focus on in particular is childhood traumatic stress, or when a young person’s ability to cope is overwhelmed by a traumatic event and the symptoms that follow interfere with daily life. Young people experience trauma in many forms: separation from a caregiver, witnessing violence in the home or community, bullying, multiple moves and transitions, abuse of all kinds, neglect and more. Therapy for traumatic stress at The Safe Calm Place means children will learn about trauma, build skills for coping with distress and big feelings in order to process trauma memories. Parents will also learn more about trauma and how it impacts them, as well as how they can best encourage healing in their child.
I believe that recovery from mental illness or trauma can never happen in isolation and that children experience the most growth when they learn about themselves (and the world around them) in connection with compassionate adults. I know that therapy enhances and encourages the systems of healing that occur naturally in the body, and receiving treatment from one stressful experience can help strengthen the resiliency of a child’s response to any future stressor. Therapy becomes a singular place where education, discovery, emotion-regulation, and verbal, artistic, and written expression all support a child’s growth and healing.
What types of therapeutic techniques and methods are used?
Play is the primary language of my work with younger children, planting roots that support strengthened emotional expression through verbal and other healthy, creative means. In coordination with play therapy methods I use an attachment-based framework with children, adolescents and their families and add to this mindfulness, sand tray therapy, Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as needed and appropriate.
Where is The Safe Calm Place located?
The Safe Calm Place resides at 2350 Washtenaw Ave. Suite 16 Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Parking can be found above, from the Washtenaw entrance or in front of the suite, as accessed by the Stadium Blvd. entrance.
When is the best time to seek therapy?
I believe anyone can benefit from therapy, but I have witnessed it to be most helpful when parents and children are ready to engage in the conversation and work necessary for healing and change. If families are ambivalent but curious enough to learn more, please contact me for more information or to have any of your questions answered.
Who does The Safe Calm Place serve?
The Safe Calm Place welcomes young people ages 3-21 who are seeking relief from symptoms of emotional distress. Youth who are experiencing symptoms of trauma, anxiety, mood dysregulation, or concerns with behavior or attachment are welcome. Family work is important to therapeutic success, especially with younger children, and will also be discussed and considered with adolescents and young adults.The treatment methods used will be developmentally appropriate, and in all cases will encourage relationship-building, resourcing, processing, and future planning and preparation.