Helping Children through Art Therapy and Play Therapy

Play Therapy pic
Play Therapy
Image: playtherapy.org

Clinical psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo operates a private practice in Irvine, California, where she assists families facing difficult circumstances. Dr. Miriam Galindo helps children process and recover from troubling events through the use of art therapy and play therapy.

Two types of therapy for people of all ages, particularly young children, art therapy and play therapy incorporate the professional standards of counseling with the use of play, imagination, and creativity to help children express, process, cope with, and heal from difficult experiences.

In art therapy, children are encouraged to express themselves and their experiences through the creation of art projects with the guidance of a professional trained in the arts. Through play therapy, children play and use their imaginations to share tough experiences and work through them while being guided by a mental health professional. The two forms of therapy are often used together.

CSULB School of Social Work’s Simulation Lab

CSULB pic
CSULB
Image: web.csulb.edu

Licensed in clinical psychology and social work, Dr. Miriam Galindo and her husband run a private practice in Irvine, California. For close to a decade she was a social worker at Olive Crest in Santa Ana. Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a master of social work from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

As noted by the School of Social Work at CSULB, social workers are unsung heroes. They may work in unfamiliar environments for long hours, just part of their normal work day. To help better prepare the next generation of social workers, the school established a simulation laboratory located at the Social Work Student Center.

The lab is a simulated home where faculty, consultants, and other experts work together to help train social work interns. Various scenarios are acted out, and there is always a mentor or coach in the scene who provides a prompt assessment of the scene and the action of the interns. The lab is a secure location where students can hone their skills before going out into the real world and meeting the families that may require their assistance.

Coping with Divorce for Children

Coping with Divorce pic
Coping with Divorce
Image: divorcesupport.about.com

A licensed clinical psychologist and social worker, Dr. Miriam Galindo has been part of an approved panel of experts for Orange County Superior Court since 2005. Dr. Miriam Galindo has been able to work with children and their families through many different aspects of a divorce, and she has a strong understanding of the psychological effects of divorce on a child.

Most of the effects of divorce on a child have less to do with the custodial situation, or even the change in environment, as the uncertainty involved in the divorce process. The presentation of new issues such as parental conflict and the lack of a unified front between parents can be difficult for children. Initial adjustment for children typically takes about two years.

Younger children tend to blame themselves and often imagine their parents getting back together. Older children, meanwhile, see the breakdown of trust and unity in their family relationships and become more independent. In many cases, it also has a negative effect on their first serious romantic relationships, which they expect to fail.

Negative effects of divorce can be mitigated with loving communication from both parents as well as reliable, consistent communication. Children whose divorced parents can maintain amiable relations in front of the child and make time for the child’s needs are more likely to adjust well.

NACCFI’s Forensic Interviewing of Children Course

National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers  pic
National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers
Image: naccfi.com

Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a master of social work from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies. Throughout her career as licensed clinical social worker and psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has completed a number of continuing education and advanced training programs, including Forensic Interviewing of Children through the National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers (NACCFI).

A self-paced e-learning course, Forensic Interviewing of Children is designed to help professionals learn the proper procedures and interview techniques involved in effectively questioning children, whether they are victims or witnesses of a crime.

Analyzed and reviewed by more than 1,500 practicing child forensic interviewers, the Forensic Interviewing of Children course features 40 hours of online training designed as part of the curriculum needed to qualify for child forensic interviewer certification. Other portions of the curriculum include 16 hours of peer review practicum and 32 hours of competency training.

Physically Abused Children Have Trouble Identifying Rewards

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic
Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

Miriam Galindo is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Irvine, California. Miriam Galindo also has served as a therapist in the Child Abuse Prevention Program at CSP, Inc., in Lake Forest, California.

A study performed by psychologist Dr. Jamie Hanson of the University of Pittsburgh indicates that physically abused children are less able to make choices that lead to rewards. Children who experience abuse often grow up in environments where punishment is always looming and rewards are rare and unpredictable. Thus, they don’t have the ability to adapt to new rules.

The researchers performed an experiment where abused and nonabused children had to choose between pictures of objects to earn points for a prize. One of the pictures was randomly chosen to award points significantly more frequently than the other. While both sets of children chose higher-value images more often as the trial progressed, the physically abused children lagged behind, choosing the correct picture in 131 out of 200 trials. The nonabused children chose the image 151 times out of 200.

Scientists posit the unpredictability and inconsistency of rewards at home may affect the decision-making abilities of abused children in social situations.

Children Communicate Complex Feelings through Play Therapy

Play Therapy pic
Play Therapy
Image: playtherapy.org

Licensed psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo has years of experience working with at-risk children and families. Today, Dr. Miriam Galindo treats juvenile patients in her work as a play therapist.

Play therapy is a growing form of mental health treatment for children of all ages, though the technique is said to be most effective for patients between the ages of 3 and 12. In play therapy, children are presented with a variety of toys designed to encourage creative fantasy play as well as toys that make it possible to demonstrate scenarios from real life.

Play therapists work to create a supportive bond with the children in a safe environment, allowing the children to feel comfortable enough to use the toys as a means of communicating their feelings symbolically through play. This mode of communication may allow the children to express feelings, fears, and ideas that they do not yet have the verbal language to explain.

Play therapy is often used to help children who live through traumatic experiences, including domestic violence, grief, disfigurement, and sexual abuse. Parents often seek the help of a play therapist when their child begins to display unusual traits or behaviors, including anxiety, aggression, social difficulties, and poor school performance.

How Co-Parenting Counseling Can Help in High-Conflict Cases

 

Co-Parenting Counseling pic
Co-Parenting Counseling
Image: psychologytoday.com