Child & Family Therapy

Freida aka Frieda Fenn familiesFamilies
The stress of modern life takes a toll on families. We often find time with loved ones affected by work demands. Stress builds and tempers get short. Our relationships can suffer. I use a strengths-based approach to understand your household members, examine the patterns you most want to change, and to encourage the growth and positive change for each member and your family as a whole. Whether the issues are childrearing, step-parenting or a struggling child, family therapy can help you create positive changes.
Sessions with parents and children can happen via Zoom, or in my garden. Both work well.

Childhood is the magical time when personality and temperament are developing. We often think of this as the time of life as free of worries and full of exploration and joy. Yet, children too can experience depression, anxiety, fears and have difficulty managing their emotions. These big feelings often “come out sideways” through heightened fears, worries, clinginess or tantrums that go on and on. I hold a Washington State Certification as a “Child Mental Health Specialist”. In family sessions, I incorporate each child, respecting their developmental stage in life.  I coach and support the parents since parents are the biggest influence on  a child’s life. You are the center of your child’s world.

Parent Coaching
Individually, I don’t see children under 13. However, I offer parenting sessions in which I act as a resource and coach. I have decades of experience with young children. I might provide reading materials, “homework” assignments, worksheets, strategies, child behavior charts or use role playing to practice new ways to interact with your child’s problem behaviors. I provide practical tools to help with daily family life. I support your family choices and values while giving you more tools to be a more effective parent. I encourage parents to use discipline as LOVING GUIDANCE rather than a punishment model.

  • Parenting Tips Hand-Outs
  • Behavior Change Charts for Kids
  • Anger Management Skills
  • Emotional regulation skills/self-calming/parent-lead calming
  • Increasing cooperation through affection, positive motivation and rewards

Attachment Therapy
This therapy is used to heal and enhance the relationship between a child and his or her parents or caregivers. We rebuild trust, and joyful engagement within relationship, enhance self-esteem and increase the emotional connection so that children want to cooperate. We work to build the bond of love so that the child feels safe to grow and depend on the adult. Attachment therapy works well in cases of adoption, trauma, interrupted connection with a child and caregiver through illness or separation and in foster parenting. I utilize the groundbreaking work and approaches of John Bowlby, MD and child psychiatrist, Mary Ainsworth, Ph.d. of developmental psychology, and Deborah Gray, MSW, LMHC.  I use Attachment approaches with foster children, adopted children, and children whose attachment with their biological parents was interrupted due to illness, hospital procedures or separation due to work requirements.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)  may include:

  • behavior plans, rewards for cooperation
  • written agreements between teens and parents, reviewed monthly
  • communication skills training for teens, parents, and younger kids in the family
  • anger managements skills
  • emotional regulation skills for adults and children
  • role playing
  • relaxation techniques
  • gradual desensitization to fear and anxiety triggers
  • social skills training
  • deep breathing skills
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • guided imagery to relax
  • mindfulness skills