Providing behavioral health or mental health therapy services
for ages 3 to 9 years, preschool and early grade-school age.
My therapy approach is relational with an emphasis on attachment.
I frequently will invite the parent into the session so you can start to understand
why your child is acting the way he/she is acting
and to equip you with the necessary tools you'll need to help your child.
My desire for your child is to help him/her understand that he/she is beautifully made. That he/she has some challenges and some strengths which need to be understood so he/she can feel secure and loved.
My desire for the parent is that you find empowerment and joy in being the parent God intended you to be. With support, you can be the bridge to your child finding joyful relations.
Specific evidence-based therapy techniques include (see below for explanation):
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT & TF-CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT & TF-CBT)
The National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists defines CBT as a form of therapy that is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change. CBT has a lot of evidence supporting its effectiveness with anxiety, depression, and other conditions. Trauma-Focused-CBT (TB-CBT) is an evidenced-based treatment for children impacted by trauma and their parents. It teaches skills in stress management, cognitive processing, communication, trauma processing, and safety. Dr. Pickerill was trained in TF-CBT at Cincinnati Children’s Childhood Trust.
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a useful therapy to assist individuals who have experienced a trauma to “reprocess” the trauma in a healthier manner. The EMDR.com website describes the process as follows:
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session. After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, she asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level. EMDR has had a lot of evidence to support its effectiveness. It has been found helpful for children with stress-related disorders. Dr. Pickerill was trained through the EMDR Institute, Inc.
The Theraplay Institute defines Theraplay as follows:
"Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding." It is an evidenced supported therapy for children with Autism, Attachment Disorder, and children who tend to be withdrawn, hyperactive, and/or disruptive. Dr. Pickerill was trained through the Theraplay Institute.
The Association for Play Therapy describes Play Therapy as a way of being with the child that honors their unique developmental level and looks for ways of helping in the “language” of the child – play. It helps the child freely and naturally express both what pleases and bothers him in a safe environment.
The Association for Play Therapy states:
Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings (Gil, 1991). In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language (Landreth, 2002). Through play, therapists may help children learn more adaptive behaviors when there are emotional or social skills deficits (Pedro-Carroll & Reddy, 2005). The positive relationship that develops between therapist and child during play therapy sessions can provide a corrective emotional experience necessary for healing (Moustakas, 1997). Play therapy may also be used to promote cognitive development and provide insight about and resolution of inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking in the child (O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983; Reddy, Files-Hall, & Schaefer, 2005). For more information on Play Therapy go to: www.a4pt.org See the Parents Corner.
Dr. Pickerill became a certified PLAY Project Consultant and Teach PLAY Consultant in 2018.
Internal Family Systems
Dr. Pickerill is IFS informed.
Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)
Dr. Pickerill is TBRI informed.