Q & A for Aimee

Why Play Therapy?

Play Therapy allows children, and individuals of any age to engage in enjoyable, creative interaction without expectation that they intentionally focus on "the problem at hand".   While engaging in play, individuals problem solve, plan, take turns, wait and practice countless other skills that enhance communication, build relationships and express emotions that otherwise may be uncomfortable or impossible to communicate verbally.  Having a hard time with something? Let's play!  

Can young children really engage in counseling?  

Yes!  Young children, as young as age three to four years old can independently engage in and take advantage of individual therapy.  I have always stated that any good therapist working with children will actively engage parents and caregivers and I require this.  Children aged three years old and older along with their parents can improve frustration tolerance, improve self regulation strategies and enhance relational skills towards building positive bonding experiences.   

Why Adlerian Theory and Adlerian Play Therapy?

Alfred Adler, practiced individual psychology and believed human behavior is goal oriented and the work is built on clients' strength to counter act any innate sense of inferiority.  Terry Kottman adapted the theory in 1990's for play therapy and believed children are "creative, resourceful and whole" and in believing such they are capable of engaging in the work towards change.  There are four main concepts that AdPT (Adlerian Play Therapy)  promotes in the work: courage, capable, count and connect.  When a child or individual experiences each of these Crucial C's, they begin to be able to progress through the stages of counseling.  https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.a4pt.org/resource/resmgr/publications/pt_theories/Adlerian_Sept2019_FINAL.pdf


What do you like about Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Almost everything!  CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a thoughtful and engaging model that engages individuals in the process of change.  It provides opportunity for very measurable moments of progress from session one to session six, such as a behavior being worked on or thoughts being tracked towards change.  The premise is based on Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors being connected along a continuous triangle.  CBT is an excellent tool for individuals who may struggle with anxiety or for those preparing for medical procedures or managing chronic health conditions.  For our comfortable and uncomfortable experiences, our thoughts, feelings and behavior run along the triangle and at any time we can in fact create a shift in one of those areas to change the rest of the experience.  CBT can be used with most children age seven or eight and older and always in parent sessions, consultations and counseling. 



Is there a reason why you require family/caregiver involvement when a child is actually the client?  

Yes, there is.  Children are doing a lot of work everyday, figuring out how the world is working around them, putting pieces of the puzzle of life together and it is important to set aside time for parents/caregiver to ensure an understanding of this work and understanding.  Requiring this involvement at my practice will increase the likelihood of success on the goals set at intake with the parent/caregiver, improve overall family communication and bonding as well as countless other benefits the session itself will provide.  "Regular" family sessions will be determined as needed for each client though anticipated to occur every four to six weeks.  Regular sessions also may reduce the need for telephone "check ins" when counselor and family are able to set aside time to focus on skills being built and goal setting.  

Any other questions, or if you are interested in setting up a free 15 minute consultation, email Aimee Zagaja, LCSW at  AimeeZagajaLCSW@gmail.com or call 860-916-3003 and leave a message.