Wisdom Within Counseling, LLC. Marriage and Family Therapy. 461 Main St. Niantic, CT 06357. Call/Text: 860- 451-9364. KatieZiskindMFT@gmail.com.
Welcome To Wisdom Within Counseling: Session 1
Welcome! I am glad that you have made it here! The first sessions is a meet and greet. I get to know you, your child, adolescent, or teen, and your family, and you get to know my personality. This is the stage where, as a parent, you decide to commit to the whole process for your child’s self-confidence, social learning, and positive coping skills. Therapy in general is a process that takes commitment, time, patience, and perseverance.
Positive change takes time. Watch this quick video for a walk through of what to expect in therapy.
A Long-Term Growth Process
Your child or teen has taken their whole life to arrive where they are now, so it will take a bit of time to rebuild positive skills, develop confidence, and a healthy sense of self. As your child or teen lets go of negative behaviors, they will simultaneously be learning positive coping skills from family and individual sessions. Read about parent session, here.
Sound Mental Health – A Well-Worth-It Investment
Likewise, it takes time to learn the skill of riding a bike without training wheels, or perhaps a whole summer to learn to swim confidently. Similarly, the process of positive growth takes time. If you have gone through a recent divorce, your child or teen will be going through feelings of loss, anger, frustration, projection, excitement, dread, happiness, and more. Think of your child or teen’s therapy sessions as an investment in their lifelong mental health skills and social-emotional success for years into their future.
Re-Setting Engrained Family Patterns
As you know, family patterns of substance and alcohol abuse repeat themselves unless support is provided. As well, ways how we express or shut away feelings are also passed down. And, the work they do now will impact their own family for generations to come. Your compassion and commitment to consistency with weekly or twice a week sessions, as well as twice a month parent conversation sessions, will make a huge impact on your child or teen’s therapy growth.
The Essential Commitment Phase: The First Month (4-5 weeks)
The first month of therapy is critical to your child or teen. We schedule weekly therapy sessions (or twice a week if self-harm is present). During the first month, two parent conversation sessions, spaced two weeks apart, will be held. In your parent conversation sessions (parents only), I get to learn more from you about your family story, your desires for your family, what your family has overcome, and better understand your child, adolescent, or teen within the context of your family.
Expect A Combination of Parent-Only Sessions, Individual, and Family Sessions
In these parent conversation sessions, we remain focused on the goals and treatment of your child, adolescent, and teen. However, I also look at how your child or teen’s negative behaviors were/are creating tension in your family system, putting stress on you as a parent, and affecting your marriage and couple unit.
The Beginning: The Trust Building Phase (8-12 sessions)
After the first month, the first 8-12 weekly sessions are the trust building phase. For children, adolescents, and teens, depending on their needs, the number of sessions vary. I integrate art, yoga, music, and run animal therapy groups alongside talking to build trust, to help your child or teen boost confidence, and to help them connect with the therapy process. Depending on the age of your adolescent or teen and their specific needs, I provide individual sessions, family sessions, and sibling sessions as well as animal therapy group. During this time, there is joining, accommodating, and connection occurring, so weekly therapy sessions are essential. Parent conversation sessions are continued every two weeks, especially if an adolescent or teen is having individual sessions simultaneously.
Middle: Positive Growth, Challenges, and Change (5-9 months into therapy)
After the beginning phase, in the months afterwards, your child or young adult will then typically feel safe and comfortable allowing their deeper feelings to be released. During this phase of the therapeutic process, the deeper therapeutic and family work is done. Your child, adolescent, or teen will be more expressive in sharing about deep issues such as, divorce, death/loss of a parent, LGBTQIA+ related issues, sense of self, identity issues, eating disorders, parent conflicts, and peer conflicts. Positive change will begin to be noticeable. Therapy is a long-term, supportive growth process. However, when the end of therapy is near and appropriate, we make a plan to set your child or teen up for success.
Animal Therapy Groups
Through counseling and animal therapy groups, in their own words, parents have shared how their child and adolescent feels like they belong in the world again. Parents also share how they enjoy that their child is being engaged and stimulated in new ways through my experiential, mixed-method approach, as a positive part of the counseling process.