I feel that it is within healthy relationships that true healing can be found and prefer to work with children along with their caregivers. When working with families and children, I use a very playful and engaging approach to help facilitate change and healing. My techniques are largely based off of emotion focused and attachment based theories. I have received training in family play therapy, attachment play therapy, Theraplay, and EMDR. In addition, I have been trained as a TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) caregiver and actively utilize this parenting paradigm in my own home.
Although, I work with families with children of all ages, I am passionate about working with younger children and those newly home. I feel I do my best work with infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and school-aged children. I also enjoy the challenge of working with children that have endured pre-verbal trauma.
What is EMDR
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Through EMDR therapy, clients are able to find healing from symptoms and the emotional distress that is the result of disturbing life experiences. Often when traumatic events occur, the event gets "trapped" or locked in the brain with the original picture sounds, thoughts, feelings and body sensations. Whenever a reminder of the traumatic events comes up, these pictures, thoughts, feelings and sensations can continue to be triggered. Unfortunately, these triggers can cause disturbing thoughts or behaviors.
Through the combination of focus on distressing stimulus and bilateral stimulation to the brain using eye movement from side to side or a device called tappers aka "buzzies" (small objects that a child can hold in her hand that vibrate and alternate from right to left side) the brain works to heal the emotional wound. Once the brain is able to digest and reprocess the memories stored in the emotional part of the brain in a more adaptive manner, healing can occur and symptoms decrease or disappear.
Heidi has been trained in a specialized EMDR approach by the Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska. Through the combination of EMDR and family therapy, this approach provides a protocol for helping children and their families develop a more secure attachment and healing for the child.
What is TheraPlay
Theraplay is a child and family therapy that I utilize to build and enhance attachment, self-esteem, trust within relationships, and playful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the child as worthy and lovable.. This technique helps the parent regulate the child's behavior and communicates love and safety. This helps the child feel secure, safe, connected and worthy.