As a practice that encourages transparency, and as professionals that emphasizes research, we want you to have all the information possible to determine if we may be a good fit for you. We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have.
About Therapy with Us
Do you play with kids when you do therapy with them?
Yes! Whenever possible, I try to make therapy fun and upbeat, especially for children.
I do not offer play therapy, however. My understanding of play therapy is the therapist is specifically trained in engaging in specific play techniques and interpret from the child's play themes and patterns for the child.
How my play differs from this is I play with children to engage them in the therapy process, however, I am having discussions with them about the things they are in therapy for. Therefore, I use games to build rapport and make it easier to talk about difficult topics.
How do you do therapy with a toddler or preschooler?
When I work am working with a family of a toddler or preschooler client, I often have one or two sessions in the beginning of their therapy journey to get some clinical observations of the child's behavior and emotional responding.
Research demonstrates that working with parents of young kids is the most effective in making treatment gains. This is because parents are in the child's context and can help the child regulate or implement behavioral strategies when they child needs those strategies the most!
So therapy with a toddler or preschooler often involves parent-only therapy sessions.
Can my child's sibling be involved in my child's therapy?
We have to think hard about what the benefits of this may be. After thinking through the pros and cons of this, it is often determined that it is not in the client's best interest to involve the sibling into the client's therapy sessions. For example, I often ask how might involving the sibling impact the therapist/client relationship, and what benefit beyond what we are already doing may involving the sibling have on treatment gains?
Instead, some parents opt to help teach siblings how to respond effectively to the client's behaviors.
Although, there may be some sitautions in which involving the child's sibling may be beneficial, and I am open to that option.
About Dr. Sarah
How did you get into working with children in therapy?
I worked at Northwestern University for a short period of time, when my goal was to get my PhD in Cognitive Psychology.
At NU, I collaborated with a Developmental Psychology team, and started to become interested in child development.
I then worked at the world renowned Summer Treatment Program at the University at Buffalo, where I worked 12 hour days during a summer camp for children with ADHD and related disorders.
Once there, I realized how fun these children were, and how they tended to get a bed rep from some adults and peers in their lives, but when just a few modifications to their environment were changed, these children really developed into their potential. I don't know that there is anything more powerful than being able to help children see how awesome they are and help them realize their own powers and potential!
What is your training in working with children in a therapy setting?
This is such a great question to ask.
I have years of experience working in the renowned Summer Treatment Program with Dr. William Pelham--who created the behavioral program--for children with ADHD and other behavior difficulties. I've worked hands-on as a group counselor, running parenting groups, social skills groups, managing frustration groups, as well as school and home interventions.
I've worked in Children's Hospitals, university centers, and schools.
As such, I am well-trained in working directly with children in therapy settings.
I also use behavioral techniques
What should my child call you?
You can call me Dr. Sarah, Dr. Haas, or Sarah! I'll follow your (and your child's!) lead on this one!