For a younger child, therapy often focuses on behavior change and parental involvement is a critical component to assisting a child in developing more adaptive ways of coping. Effective child therapy results in new, more socially constructive ways to express needs and learning adaptive behaviors to cope with stressful or frustrating situations. Critical skills to be developed often include impulse control, self-regulation, social intelligence, and judgment.
“Dan is the most gifted, insightful and innovative of therapists. He’s helped our son discover fundamental, healing truths about his life and his place in the world.”
With young children, effective therapy often does not focus on the discussion of problems. Problems are worked on in the context of play. To the skilled therapist, play is a powerful form of communication about the child’s ways of experiencing her world and expressing the difficulties he is experiencing. Play is also a form of healing. When a child “plays out” fears and difficult experiences in a context in which he is understood and coping skills are learned, the child is able to move on.
I believe that interventions that incorporate personal resources and activate one’s social supports are often most crucial to successfully resolving life’s difficulties and achieving real growth.
Family therapy brings family members together to solve issues that may be hurtful and distressing to each member, even though the problem behaviors may be decidedly displayed by a single member of the family.
“From the beginning, Dr. Griffin focused on what is, not what’s wrong. He joyfully pointed out strengths, keeping us as parents in the present moment, working on what’s real, giving us hard but effective ways of being and doing that have made the biggest difference in our family life and our child’s success in the larger community.”
Dan’s approach to this work is rooted in the belief that families are the single most powerful resource available to effect change, growth and healing. In traditional forms of psychotherapy, each individual works separately to solve his or her problems. In family therapy, family members work together to solve problems. The primary goal of family therapy is to identify, harness and strengthen the family’s resource. Family therapy has proven to be of great benefit to people at times of major life stress. Dan’s approach to therapy is goal–oriented and is aimed at creating solutions to problems in the shortest time necessary.
Individual psychotherapy with adolescents is similar to the therapy that adults engage in. Although often self-conscious at first, teens who are referred to therapy because of a problem often come to value therapy as an opportunity for growth and maturation. It is a place where they can focus on themselves, on their problems with family or peers, and on their fears, hopes, and dreams. Psychotherapy aims to help integrate their powerful emotional world with the emerging reality of adulthood.