Play Therapy

Many children experience difficulty managing emotions or behavior at some point. When the struggle seems to be more than a passing developmental phase, short-term play therapy can make a world of difference. Children ages two through twelve use play in the way adults use language. They communicate their fears, hopes and conflicts not by talking directly about them, but by playing about them. A skilled child therapist can use art materials, games and pretend play to understand, interpret, and guide a child to have a better sense of what is going on in their inner world. This in turn helps difficult behaviors to settle as the child feels seen and heard. In addition to the child’s individual sessions, parents can join in meetings with the child and therapist together. Since play therapy is a collaborative process, parents will also work with the child’s therapist to better understand and support their child. Play therapy can address issues such as separation issues, intense sibling rivalry, resistance to toilet training, anxiety, and processing divorce or separation. Through the language of play, cognitive strategies and parent involvement we help you to help your children through a difficult time.

Sophie was having such a hard time at school and having so many temper tantrums at home. We were worried and at our wits end. Coming to Soho Parenting ourselves and having some play sessions with Sophie really helped us understand how to help her with her emotions and set strong limits. It made us closer as a family.
— Melissa and David, parents of Sophie, age 7 years

Informal Play Assessment

Sometimes parents are concerned that their child is struggling with a developmental vulnerability or a behavioral/emotional issue, and they are not sure how to address the situation. It can be helpful and reassuring to schedule a combination of a child play observation and parent feedback sessions with a child development specialist. These sessions can determine the nature of the issue, and the best strategy for how to deal with the problem sensitively. If play therapy or parent guidance would be helpful, we can provide those services here at Soho Parenting. If we determine that a referral to another professional or service is needed, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, educational guidance, or a formal developmental evaluation, we will facilitate these referrals.

I was so worried about Jack’s talking but also worried that I was over-reacting. The play session taught me so much about what was realistic to expect from him. We were able to get connected to a great speech therapist and he’s making great progress. Coming here was a comfortable first step.
— Rachel, mother of Jack, age two years

School Observation

Second to being at home, children spend the majority of time in their school environment. If your child’s school raises a concern, it is often hard to know if your child is struggling with behavior or learning issues, or if the expectations at school are too high. The best way to ascertain what factors are at play is to have an impartial child development professional from outside the school do a thorough observation in the classroom. Much can be learned from a visit to the classroom: social interaction with peers, academic work, the relationship between your child and the teacher, and the fit between your child and the school culture.

Soho Parenting provides an initial parent meeting, an hour-long observation in the classroom, contact with school director and teachers, and a follow up session with recommendations.

Our preschool recommended occupational therapy for our son. We were upset and hesitant to dive into an intervention we didn’t know anything about. We went to Soho Parenting, scheduled an in-school observation and got a great sense of our son in the classroom. We decided together to implement a plan in school and at home, including getting him more sleep! We will reassess in three months. If we decide he needs OT we will work with someone Soho recommends and they will collaborate. We feel so much more settled.
— Catherine, mother of Ben, age 6

Therapy for Teens

Teenagers are experiencing record levels of anxiety. Increased academic expectations, our culture’s obsession with college admissions and the impact of social media intensify the normal adolescent angst about fitting in, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and an increased interest in sexuality. This all comes together at a stage of life when many teens are naturally trying to be more autonomous from their parents, yet still need mature guidance and support.

A sensitive therapist—not a family member, not a peer—but a grounded guide, who can give perspective, tools for managing anxiety and a wise sounding board can make these years easier. We offer a combination of modalities like supportive talk therapy, mindfulness, cognitive therapy, art therapy, EMDR and IFS. Therapy at Soho Parenting can help a teenager feel understood, learn from their necessary mistakes, and listen to their own wisdom as they grow and change.

To me, therapy is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity that I get every week to uncover another layer of myself. Being able to identify and explore my feelings at seventeen years old, is a tool that I have set up for myself to go through life.
— Maggie, age 17