Five Benefits to Art Therapy for Children

Licensed psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo treats children and families at her practice in California. Dr. Miriam Galindo uses art therapy to help young children.

Psychologists use art therapy to provide patients with a way to explore their emotions and distresses in a less structured manner. The use of art therapy, particularly with children, can provide a range of benefits, including:

1. Improved communication. Children generally possess a more limited vocabulary than adults, which can make it difficult for them to put their feelings and concerns into words. This may be especially true for children still learning the primary language of the country they live in. Art therapy provides an alternate means of communicating through paintings, drawings, and visual expression.

2. Nonthreatening venue. Many children find question-and-answer-format sessions intimidating and may express reluctance or hostility about discussing certain topics. The creation of artwork allows children to approach issues in a nonthreatening way and gives them a better sense of control. Therapists can then speak with children about their drawings to help them interpret and explore feelings and uncover solutions.

3. Versatility. The number of issues art therapy can aid children with is nearly limitless. Its use can be applied to dozens of situations, including the death of a family member or friend, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and trauma involving physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

4. Relieve stress. Art helps to relieve stress by focusing the mind on the task at hand and providing a free-form way of expressing emotions.

5. Improved self-confidence. Creating art allows children the opportunity to accomplish something or learn a new skill, such as a new art medium or technique. Encouraging creativity and artistic expression can help children gain confidence by acknowledging the art they produced or the new they skill acquired during the session.

Testimony of Children in California Custody Proceedings

As an approved expert for Orange County Superior Court, Dr. Miriam Galindo helps to ensure that custody proceedings protect the best interests of minor children. Dr. Miriam Galindo also provides co-parenting and child counseling for young people involved in contested divorce cases.

In the state of California, courts do not force a child to testify against his or her will. However, courts do permit a child 14 years of age or older testify to his or her preference of custodial parent unless doing so would not be in the minor’s best interest.

If testifying in court is deemed not to be in the best interest of the minor, the court must provide an alternative means of learning the child’s thoughts on the matter. This typically involves enlisting the services of a guardian ad litem, evaluator, or other professional, who speaks with the child and confers his or her opinion in court.

A child younger than 14 may testify if a court determines that he or she is sufficiently mature to state an informed opinion. Younger children may also share their opinions via a mediator or other third party, though the court may take into consideration the age and intellectual abilities of the child. Furthermore, if the child is younger or easily influenced on a particular topic, the court may request that the child testify in chambers and away from the parents.

California State University Youth Outreach: Change Agent Productions

Miriam Galindo, Psy.D., is an independent clinical psychologist based in Irvine, California. In addition to her professional background in youth counseling, Dr. Miriam Galindo maintained an active interest in social work while completing her graduate studies at California State University, Long Beach.

As one of the leading public colleges on the West Coast, the California State University system is committed to engaging students in intensive research through cutting-edge projects. The CSU School of Social Work combines this goal with community development initiatives, assessing the impact of innovative projects such as the Change Agent Productions digital arts program.

Created from the YMCA Youth Institute in Long Beach (another program overseen by the CSU School of Social Work), Changing Agent Productions strives to provide inner-city youth with workforce development opportunities at a professional studio. Assignments range from professional video productions to graphic Web design projects. In addition to providing youth with paid internships and technology skills, all profits from the work support other programs in the Youth Institute. Changing Agent Productions has been active since 2007. The School of Social Work is responsible for case-study reports and impact evaluations.

An Introduction to Different Family Therapy Techniques

Dr. Miriam Galindo is a licensed social worker and clinical psychologist based out of Irvine, California. For more than a decade, Dr. Miriam Galindo has emphasized family law services and family therapy.

One of the overarching ideas behind family therapy is that a family, in many ways, functions as a single emotional unit. The feelings and actions of one family member affect all other members, and those members subsequently go on to further influence one another. With that in mind, there are a few different approaches a professional can take to family therapy.

Structural family therapy, for example, closely examines the family dynamic within a therapeutic setting. In a controlled environment, therapists can better identify family subsystems, such as those that occur between siblings. Established by Salvador Minuchin, role-playing is a common technique utilized during structural family therapy.

Strategic family therapy, on the other hand, prioritizes work outside of a therapeutic session. Paradoxical intervention is a popular technique used by strategic family therapists, like Jay Haley and Cloe Madanes. During an occurrence of paradoxical intervention, a therapist will encourage a family or a certain member to pursue a course of action that seems at odds with the family’s desired therapeutic goals. When successfully used, paradoxical intervention can quickly help family members appreciate the gap between what they desire as a family unit and what their present behaviors resemble.

Benefits of Using a Doctor of Psychology in Custody Cases

California resident Miriam Galindo, Psy.D., serves as a private child custody evaluator in the state of California. On an approved panel of experts for the Orange County Superior Court, she has conducted 286 evaluations to date through her private practice. Dr. Miriam Galindo possesses expertise in social work, family therapy, and child psychology.

In child custody cases, it is not uncommon for attorneys and courts to work with psychologists to determine how a child’s well-being is served in the home of one parent versus the other. A psychologist can be consulted to shed light on the characteristics of a parent’s lifestyle, positive or negative.

Although parents are unable to present their child’s recounting of events in court as evidence, they may take their child to a psychologist or psychiatrist to describe any incidents that may have a bearing on the case. The professional can then testify in court on behalf of the child, safeguarding his or her best interest. To ensure the best outcome possible, a parent taking advantage of this option should seek out a doctor of psychology, whose credentials in courtroom testimony far outweigh that of a licensed clinical social worker or marriage, family, and child counselor.

The 730 Evaluation: What It Is, and What Is Involved

A former California social worker, Miriam Galindo, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and registered child play therapist. Dr. Miriam Galindo currently provides counseling services to families and children involved in high-conflict divorce cases through her private practice in Irvine. She regularly works with the Family Law Division of the Orange County Superior Court and was recently sought after to complete a 730 evaluation for a case involving the filming of children for the show Real Housewives of Orange County.

Ensuring the best interests of the child, a court traditionally enforces a 730 evaluation to determine if child or substance abuse is occurring or whether the mental health of a parent may prohibit proper care of a child. Additionally, a judge may request a 730 evaluation if the child’s upbringing is in question.

In the state of California, a custody evaluator, appointed by a judge or selected by a judge from a list submitted by members of both sides of the custody case, is called upon to complete the analysis. A custody evaluator may hold the title of psychologist, psychiatrist, qualified social worker, or marriage and family therapist. He or she provides to the court insight into potential issues regarding parenting or mental health by conducting a psychological test, interviewing parents and family members, observing interactions between the child and parent, and completing home visits.

In the resulting report, which is submitted to the court, the custody evaluator addresses parenting characteristics and the quality of the parent-child relationships. Further, the professional addresses how the parents perceive their child, as well as the pressures placed on him or her.

Helping Children Cope with Divorce

Dr. Miriam Galindo, a licensed social worker and licensed psychologist, currently maintains a private practice with her husband in Irvine, California. With a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies, Dr. Miriam Galindo provides psychological counseling to children in high-conflict divorce situations.

Divorce is a stressful and confusing experience for children, so it is important that parents help their kids through the process by maintaining stability at home, attending to their children’s needs, and being positive. At first, discussing the situation with children is often a difficult task, but telling the truth, addressing the changes that will be happening, and telling children often that they are loved help alleviate the pain and confusion. Parents should explain in a simple way why the divorce is happening and emphasize that, while things may change between parents, both parents will always love their children.

It is also important that parents do not blame their spouse, as difficult as it may be. Speaking badly about one another and quizzing children on what happens at the other parent’s house makes the situation more stressful for the children. Sometimes, getting help for one’s own painful feelings helps with staying positive and supporting the children.

Parents should also allow children to express their feelings about the situation. By allowing children to be honest about what they feel, parents are able to learn the best way to support and help them through the process. Any misunderstandings that come up should be calmly addressed so that the children understand what is happening. Finally, a consistent message of reassurance and love is an important part of the divorce process for children.