To set up counseling for your child and family (sliding fee scale), call 860-486-3692
How the Humphrey Clinic works with Children
Children ages 4-12 are seen at the Humphrey Clinic. Parental permission and participation in therapy is required. Typical issues for young children include behavioral or social problems at school or home, anxiety, depression, dealing with family conflicts or major transitions like divorce. The Humphrey Clinic works from the philosophy that children are powerfully influenced by the adults in their lives, and therefore benefit from their support and feedback no matter what the presenting issue is. Individual sessions with children will be interspersed with family sessions to allow for the child to have some individual free play and expression time as well as support and feedback from parents. Children are encouraged to communicate with parents and parents are coached to receive and promote a positive understanding of their child’s needs while creating structure to help them to grow.
Play is considered an important learning, resiliency and communication tool, particularly for children. Clinicians use many forms of play, such as art or games to encourage children to work through their conflicts and to engage with parents, siblings and friends.
See Stuart Brown Tedtalk “Play is more than fun”
See the National Organization for the Education of Young Children website
Story Stems / Listen & Lead
The evidence-based MacArthur Story Stems Battery is a creative and fun way for children, parents and clinicians to identify family themes from the perspective of children and integrate those themes in parenting strategies.
- Explore how each parents’ individual and family history impacts their views about parenting with each other,
- Encourage strategies for “tag-teaming” as parents
- Provide activities to focus on loving attention, play, reflective observation
- Incorporate the child’s perceptions in parenting strategies
- Explore firm, fair, age-appropriate limits and positive negotiation
- Assist parents with brainstorming routines, supportive activities
- Assist parents with navigating conflict calmly, managing high emotion
- Assist parents with encouraging their child’s ability to learn, grow and contribute to the family and community
The purpose of administering these stories is to help us to better understand how a child views their world at the moment. Story stems is not a diagnostic tool, but identifies particular strengths or “protective factors” that a child may have that will buffer them from adversity over the course of their lives. These stories show us capacities for “resilience,” and can also help to identify themes that a child may think or worry about. While story stems provides a structure to learn about a child’s inner world, parents will know best how it relates to their real life experiences and how to incorporate it with their family therapist.
There has also been research that shows that young children’s views of their world can be impacted and influenced by caregivers experiences, which also supports the Humphrey Clinic philosophy that through helping adult family members and incorporating their needs into our thinking, we are able to positively affect children.