My Approach to GuidanceWith more than 25 years of experience as a child and parent psychologist, I provide individualized, thorough, and practical guidance to each family. I'm seen as a validated specialist by pediatric, mental health, and educational professionals. Parents are very satisfied with the changes they are able to make and the results they achieve. (See Testimonials)
In our work, we will look at your viewpoint and your child's. Together we look at the reasons why this child is more challenging than your other children. (Or than other children you know.)
You and I look at your parenting approach and your parenting hopes. I help you see the changes to make and why and how exactly to implement these changes. My guidance also includes working on any significant Mom and Dad differences in parenting. My work with you both is not so much about finding a compromise, like it would be in marriage counseling, as it is about explaining and teaching both of you the best changes that are known in parenting to significantly diminish the problems you came to see me about. The guidance sessions are very interactive and parents' input is welcomed and integrated into the specific advice.
Most of my counseling is directed to the parents but children can be included in the guidance sessions when they are old enough to both participate and benefit from this experience. (This option will be included again when Covid is over.)
My approach with all families is thorough and organized, caring and responsive. I share my personal experiences as a parentthose that have been difficult and those that are joyfulwhen they are relevant. I love working with families and welcome them to my home/office for our work and/or by phone until covid is over. Parents and teachers also welcome me when I come to observe at home and school. Maybe that's why many parents have chosen to stay in touch over the years to update me on how things are going or to do some additional work.
How Do I Help Families?
- Initial Phone Call
Call me at (650) 364-4466. I'll call back that day and set a 15- to 20-minute telephone time with you so we can talk. I'll ask you to tell me enough about your main concerns so I can describe the help I'd provide and the cost.
- Making an Appointment
Call me directly when you're ready to set the first appointment. I'll mail you directions to my home/office and I'll reconfirm the appointment several days ahead.
- First In-Person Session
I meet with only the parents for the first session so you can tell me all about your childwhat he or she is like, more details about your concerns with examples, how have you been handling these situations, what kinds of Mom-Dad differences you have in your parenting approach, and all the other relevant things you and I need me to know. Your child doesn't come to this session because it would be too difficult for you to talk freely, as well as unkind to your child. (Young babies, of course, are welcome.). At the end of this session, I'll give you a questionnaire to take home and fill out only the questions we didn't cover. (You have the option of doing in person sessions by phone until Covid is over.)
- School Observation
A school observation will be useful if the teacher has concerns about your child. When we meet I'll explain exactly how that gets set up. It's common for me to have a phone conversation with the teacher before my observation. (During Covid, I can still observe in person at schools.)
- Home Visit
The purpose of this visit is for me to see the difficulties you are experiencing with your child and the ways you're handling them. This visit is very valuable in my determining the most useful guidance for your family. Although it may be a little uncomfortable for you, at the end of the visit you will be relieved that I saw what you wanted me to. The approach I usewhich I explain when we have our first sessionenables the child to forget that I'm there. This is an innovative tool and part of what makes my guidance so individualized, complete, and useful. (If parents don't want an in-person home visit during Covid, I'll explain the use of audio or video recordings that you'll be able to email to me instead.)
- Feedback and Guidance Session
This is the session in which you will get guidance on the issues you raised in the first session. (This is usually a two hour session.) The reasons for your child's challenging and difficult behavior are explained, and the new approaches to use are described in detail. This is a very interactive session in which you'll be able to look at the advice from many angles so you can raise any concerns about implementation. This makes the tools become very workable for you. Parent are encouraged to record the feedback session on their phone whether the session is done in person or on the phone.
- (FYI: Appointments can be scheduled on consecutive days or spread out as far as you want.)
- A Second Feedback and Guidance Session
You may want a second session if there were many issues that you needed to address and/or because you want time to work on the issues and then continue.
- Counseling with Your Child
Sometimes, you and I will both want your child to meet with me. We set that up so that you come with your child and stay during the session so you are fully informed about all that we talk about. (During Covid, in-person is up to the parents.)
- Guidance to the Teachers
If a school observation was needed, a consultation is provided to the teacheroffering her guidance for the issues she's having with your child. For consistency between home and school, I integrate my advice to you with the suggestions I make to the teacher. This usually results in the teacher feeling helped with new approaches for her to use. The teacher feedback will be discussed with the parents first.
- Follow-Ups after Our Guidance Sessions
You're welcome to schedule additional sessions if needed. In addition, I encourage all parents to call me when they have questions about any of the issues we've worked on. I will call you back within a day or two with additional guidance. There is no fee for any short follow-up calls.
For some issues, you and I only need one session which includes a shortened version of your issues and my giving guidanceall in that one session.