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Vrae en Antwoorde

  • Do you only work with children?
    I work with clients of all ages (children and adults) and have 20 years of experience with especially children of all ages (I have worked at both primary and high schools). Currently, I find myself in a position where I focus a lot on young children (preschool to gr. 3). However, this does not exclude counselling with other age groups.
  • What is attachment and how does my parenting style affect it?
    Bonding or attachment mainly refers to the relationship between a child (baby) and his/her primary caregiver. A person's attachment style develops during the first three years of life and refers to how the person perceives the outside world regarding safety. When a secure attachment forms, the child will feel safe enough to venture out and explore the world. A lack of secure attachment will influence behaviour and may result in separation anxiety. The amount of consistent, predictable nurturing and security that a parent provides during this critical period of the child's first three years of life profoundly influences the young child's mind and behaviour. A consistent and appropriate response to a child's needs is paramount which explains my complete disregard for sleep training (letting a child cry until he or she falls asleep). If there is severe neglect or abuse during these first three years of life, the child may develop Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Sometimes circumstances beyond the control of good parents also negatively affect bonding (e.x., premature birth, early recurrent need for hospitalisation for either parent or child, trauma in the family, etc.). If you realise that bonding issues may be at the heart of your baby, toddler, or child's problematic behaviour, contact a professional as soon as possible. v
  • Is separation anxiety normal and why does my young baby or toddler have separation anxiety?
    A baby's normal development is to learn that separation from parents is not necessarily permanent. Young babies and even toddlers need to understand time, and their understanding of object permanence still needs to be established. Object permanence is the ability to understand that an object that has been hidden is still there. This is learned, among other things, through games such as peekaboo. Babies whose object permanence are not established, will think you have disappeared or will have no idea how long you will be gone, when you leave the room. Separation anxiety usually peaks between 10-18 months, and it is usually over by three years. However, this can temporarily re-emerge in times of uncertainty, increased anxiety, and significant changes (ex., when they change schools). The child's temperament and attachment style (which briefly refers to the degree of security that the child has experienced and internalised, often already during infancy) also significantly influence separation anxiety's development and progress.
  • My child has separation anxiety. How can I help him?
    The most important aspect is to create security in your child's life - predictable, consistent parenting with firm guidelines and boundaries is essential. Additional tips include: Often play games such as peekaboo to establish object permanence. Comfort your child when he feels anxious and insecure - now is not the time to scold him. Help your baby to expand her world by sometimes letting her out of your sight. Let her crawl to another room or hide away from you and explore the world on her own (safety aspects, of course, are always put first). Tell your toddler when you leave the room and come back - don't assume he knows. Do not leave your baby/toddler alone when she is already tired, hungry, or overwhelmed - plan separations according to her quieter times in the day. Provide a transitional object (soother) representing you as a parent in your absence (a soft toy, blanket, etc.). Do not prolong the farewell unnecessarily if, for example, he has to stay with the babysitter. Don't just disappear - even if Mommy goes to town quickly and the little one has to stay in Daddy's care. Prepare your child - this increases his perception of your reliability and predictability. If your child's separation anxiety worsens or no longer fits in with the age-appropriate expectations, contact a professional who can provide you with an evaluation and recommendations.
  • Is it harmful to force my toddler to give up his soother?
    Contrary to the traditional view that a soothing object indicates a weak bond, experts consider it a good bond. It also serves the purpose of a "transitional object." In other words, when mom is not there, or the baby feels a little sick or unhappy, he or she needs a substitute object, such as a pacifier, blanket, teddy bear, etc. The best advice I can give parents is to follow their instinct, especially not to expect the child to give up the soothing object when there are many fluctuations in their life and routine. Therefore, the lockdown period and overturning of school routine is not the time to expect them to be an adult suddenly.
  • Can the amount of counselling sessions be determined in advance?
    For a therapist to get to the origin of emotional trauma or an emotional problem, it can be compared to drilling for water. When someone decides to sink a borehole, there is usually a water shortage, and the existing reserves are no longer sufficient. After much consideration and weighing all the factors, the decision is made that the borehole will be worth the cost and effort. Although well-researched geological methods are followed to identify the source or water vein, there is always some risk that the first attempt will fail. Then the decision must be made to drill a little deeper, and sometimes it is necessary to drill through several layers to get to the good vein. When someone decides to go for counselling, there is an awareness that the existing emotional reserves and skills are no longer sufficient to lead a quality life. In determining the origin of an emotional wound, proven and well-researched methods are also relied upon. However, there is always a degree of unpredictability, especially since man and his psyche cannot be placed in rigid boxes. Getting to the source of the emotional wound requires the client to be committed and not give up too soon. In the case of children, I often experience that a specific problem may have been present and growing since pregnancy or early childhood. It is then unrealistic to expect that problems must be solved within a few sessions. Be assured that I am very aware of the sacrifice it costs you in both time and money to see the therapy process through. But like anything else in life, only those who follow it devotedly see results. And even after the borehole has been successfully installed, the owner must ensure that the equipment is regularly serviced and maintained. Are you experiencing an emotional drought and it is time to drill for new emotional reserves and skills? Then it is time to contact a therapist you trust to help with the drilling.
  • Why does my child need boundaries?
    Consistent boundaries and their application (discipline) are one of the most essential factors in making your child feel safe. You wouldn't let your child run over a suspension bridge without safe side barriers. In the same way, your child needs boundaries in his daily life to be able to feel internally regulated and safe. If you just let your children go and don't respond appropriately when they test the boundaries, they will feel you don't notice them. They will ultimately feel that you don't care.
  • Will you recommend sleep training?
    Stress is a normal part of life. However, in the case of long-term stress in a young child's life, it later has a significant negative influence on the child's life - both on a psychological and physiological level. This means that the child will most likely struggle to concentrate at school and even show behavioural problems. Adults can even become physically ill. Parents with babies who often wonder about the so-called "sleep training" and "cry it out method". I do not recommend this because it causes unwanted stress. Crying is your little one's way of indicating discomfort or need, and by not responding to it, you are simply teaching him or her that they have nobody to meet their needs and that he or she cannot rely on you. The crying will stop after a while, but this should not be seen as positive - your child has lost hope that you will come.
  • Why is emotional literacy so important?
    Emotional literacy is the ability to recognise and understand your own emotions, to ultimately better understand other people's emotions. As soon as we can name an emotion correctly, we move from a fear response to a thinking response. Your brain therefore no longer reacts with fear, but calmly thinks about the emotion and then better strategies (plans) can be made to deal with the emotion. As the saying goes... "If you can name it, you can tame it". It is therefore very important that your child learn from an early age to correctly identify her emotions and you as a parent must be her guide on this journey. Many children tend to sort all negative emotions under anger or sadness, while sometimes it may be frustration or disappointment or discouragement that they experience.
  • How can I guide my child to develop emotional literacy?
    Cherish all emotions - explain that we all experience different emotions on a daily basis, and that sometimes we may feel angry or scared. We just shouldn't hurt someone else even if we don't feel well. Read stories about emotions. There are several helpful books available. Discuss TV and movie characters' emotions while watching a movie together. Use examples in daily life. When you are in the shop and see a child who is emotionally out of control, discuss what could possibly make him feel that way, and what he can do to feel better.
  • Are you a play therapist?
    I am not a registered play therapist, but since play is the child's language, I use therapeutic play in my counselling sessions.
  • What are your fees?
    This practice's fees fall within the prescribed structure of the medical funds. You can claim the fees back if you have a sufficient medical aid. Feel free to send a WhatsApp or online message to inquire about costs.
  • How long does a session last?
    The standard duration for a counselling session is 60 minutes. However, it also depends a lot on the technique and approach. With children, it is sometimes necessary to limit the sessions to 30-45 minutes (depending on age and concentration span). When Gestalt Colour Therapy, Dino therapy, and Astro therapy are done, scheduling a two-hour session is sometimes necessary.
  • How long before I see improvement in my child's behaviour?
    It is not an easy question to answer. Improvement in behaviour depends on several factors (ex., the nature of the problem, cooperation of the client and family, etc.).
  • Can you write me a report that I can submit to the court to get custody of my child?
    I don't do any forensic assessments and therefore cannot provide such a report.
  • Can you prescribe medication for my child's concentration problem?
    ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can only be diagnosed by a pediatrician or pediatric psychiatrist, and only a person with a medical degree may prescribe medication. I can help with support, parental guidance and the learning of certain skills that are important in the holistic management of ADHD.
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