- EMOTIONAL REGULATION
Understanding emotional regulation in children can be difficult. Sometimes, as parents, we aren't sure whether our child's behavior is normal or symptomatic of a problem that needs intervention. Our child may seem "out of control" and overreact to situations which can cause problems for them at school and among their peers. Problems with emotional regulation usually develop when a child hasn't learned to express their emotions in meaningful and socially appropriate ways. A child who attempts to "stuff" feelings like anger, hurt, sadness, and fear eventually begin to act-out on these feelings rather than managing them effectively. Lorna helps children address these problems by exploring their feelings, normalizing them, identify ways of expressing that are not only socially appropriate, but also in ways that are meaningful and promote healing.
- ACADEMIC ISSUES
In an academic culture with increasing class sizes, insufficient attention from educators, and an overemphasis on standardized testing, children face a number of complex challenges that can affect their ability to achieve to their potential in the classroom. Because of the stress this places on a child, they are also at risk of experiencing problems in other areas of their life. The academic problems a child may experience can range from academic underachievement to behavior towards peers and adults. A child may have difficulty sitting still in the classroom, comprehending various topics, or acting-out feelings of anger on a frequent basis. Through play therapy, Lorna works with children to identify their stressors and develop a plan for handling them more effectively. She also works closely with parents to ensure they are in tune with their child's academic needs and to address any possible learning disabilities.
- SOCIAL ISSUES
Ensuring that children have a healthy social life is important to their overall emotional development. As our children grow older, they develop relationships through various avenues, such as school, sports, and neighborhoods. However, children can also encounter a number of issues that will create social problems for them. Divorce, bullying, loss of a family member, or a placement in foster care can all profoundly disrupt a child's social development. A child who is a victim of bullying may isolate themselves at school out of fear or embarrassment. The instability and unpredictability created from divorce can impact a child's ability to function in various areas of their day-to-day lives. In play therapy, Lorna will help address some of these issues by creating games and stories which allow children to understand and practice socially acceptable behaviors.
The past years has seen a significant increase in the diagnosis of ADHD, which has created controversy because of the increase in the usage of medication to treat the disorder. Children struggling with ADHD generally have problems managing their impulses, sitting still for long periods of time, and concentrating on school work. This can create additional problems such as anxiety and mood swings because the child truly doesn't feel in control of themselves. The use of CBT in conjunction with play-therapy has been shown to frequently have a positive effect on helping children manage their impulses and build more positive alternatives to their behaviors. Lorna works with both children and parents to ensure that there is adequate structure and routine in the home as well as healthy outlets for the child, such as sports and other physical activities.