Family & Play Therapy Can Reconnect You and Your Children and Bring the Family Closer.

Denver & Westminster Family & Play Therapist Can Help Your and Your Children Find Relief in Your Struggles and Deepen the Family Bond. 

"Play allows us to develop alternatives to violence and despair; it helps us learn perseverance and gain optimism." --- Stuart Brown, MD, Contemporary American Psychiatrist

  • Do your children or teens appear to be more worried, distraught and anxious?
  • Are you observing or getting more reports about your children or teens reacting more with anger and aggression and having behavior problems at home and at school?
  • Do you notice your children or teens having more sleep disturbances and health problems like headaches, stomachaches, or getting sick more frequently?
  • Do your children or teens’ reactions towards you during conflicts remind you of you and your partner’s interactions?
  • Is family time becoming more difficult? Spending time together seems more distant and aggravating? 
  • Do you want your children to have stronger emotional security and affective relationship skills?

The Impacts of Parental Fights on Children

Marital or relational conflicts and quarreling are inevitable and natural in a romantic and intimate relationship.  Disagreements and fights can actually deepen the understanding and connection between partners.  According to New York Times’ article, “Want a Happy Marriage? Learn to Fight a Good Fight,” “those couples who were unhappy, but fought well, tended to have become much happier by the time they were contacted again three years later.”

That means, whether or not parents fight does not have a huge impact on a child’s well–being and development.  It is how parents conduct themselves when they are fighting and how they resolve the conflicts that has important, lasting impacts on their children. 

“Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” --- Jim Henson

Some research suggests that children as young as six months absorb their parents' distress. Children become anxious and insecure in social settings, which impact their long term ability to adjust and adapt to their environment and experience.

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According to E. Mark Cummings, a psychologist at Notre Dame University, kids pay very close attention to their parents’ emotions and interactions with each other. Those data and experience determines their internal emotional experience and their sense of safety and security in the family. 

Children suffer the collateral damage when they witness their parents fight in aggressive, hostile ways (such as name calling, screaming, slapping, throwing, hitting, criticizing, lack of self-accountability and honesty). Lack of healthy, constructive ways of resolving differences between parents also have harmful consequences on children's physical, emotional and psychological growth and development.

Children feel more fear, aggression, instability, hopelessness and anger. Children might also experience depression, anxiety, guilt and shame because they interpret the fights as their fault and blame themselves for the problems. They will have withdrawn, angry, avoidant, or aggressive behaviors at home and at school. Children can also develop physical and medical conditions like restless sleep, daytime sleepiness, stomach issues, headaches, biting nails, etc. 

But don't worry! According to Child and Adolescent psychologist, Nancy Cahir, much of the collateral damages children experience due to parental conflict can be undone. You and/or your partner can get Couples Therapy/Marriage Counseling or Sex Therapy with one of our relationship therapists (YY, Shaun, & Carol) to help you learn better self - regulation skills and communication skills to more effectively resolve differences.

Parents can consider doing Marathon Couples or Individual Counseling or Couples Retreat with YY Wei,  MSW, LCSW to speed up their repair and reconnection. It is about fight better and more constructively and respectfully!

Your learning and practicing new relationship skills combine with learning more effective parenting skills with our Denver & Westminster Family and Play Therapist, Kristen Sandine, LPCC, NCC, can help you and your family expedite the progress and have the relationship that you all want.

How Can Family Therapy/Therapist Help?

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on strengthening family interaction and reducing distress and conflict to reduce distress and conflict. A family therapist is a professional who has been trained to help parents and children improve their interactions and communication with the goal of reducing distress and conflict. The therapist views problems as a systemic issue so she will look at the strengths and the weaknesses of the whole family instead of just one particular person.  The therapist observes, interacts, gathers information about parents and children in order to know what need to be adjusted and changed.

The Denver & Westminster family therapist and play therapist, Kristen Sandine, LPCC, NCCat The Relationship Center of Colorado can help you and your partner learn and develop a more productive way to manage your arguments so you can change from destructive conflicts to constructive conflicts.

“Why family therapy… because it deals with family pain.” – Virginia Satir

The goals for family therapy is to:

  • Develops and maintains healthy boundaries
  • Fosters cohesion and communication among family members
  • Promotes problem solving through understanding of family patterns and dynamics
  • Builds empathy and understanding
  • Reduces family conflict and strengthens family bond

How Can Play Therapy/Therapist Help?

Play Therapy is a therapeutic model that uses the power of play to build interpersonal relationship with clients and help clients manage their internal and external life stressors. It focuses on empowering and giving clients the tools to resolve psychosocial, emotional difficulties and achieve personal goals and development. Play is children's language.

According to the Association for Play Therapy, play therapy is beneficial and effective in addressing the following issues: 

  • Behavioral problems, such as anger management, grief and loss, divorce and abandonment, and crisis and trauma.
  • Behavioral disorders, such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism or pervasive developmental, academic and social developmental, physical and learning disabilities, and conduct disorders.

"In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior. In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself." --- Lev Vygotsky, Russian psychologist

A play therapist is a trained professional who has done the necessary training and followed the guidelines set by the Association for Play Therapy, The therapist is skillful in using play and creative activities to build relationship with child and help child express thoughts and feelings.

There are two approaches to play therapy:

  1. Nondirective play therapy is based on the principle that children can resolve their own issues given the right conditions and the freedom to play with limited instruction and supervision.
  2. Directive play therapy uses more input from the therapist to help speed up results. Play therapists use both approaches, depending on the circumstances.

Meet Kristen Sandine, LPCC, NCC

At The Relationship Center of Colorado, we have Kristen Sandine, LPCC, NCC, who is a trained family therapist and play therapist in Denver and Westminster areas, with years of experience working with family and children in office and in home settings. Kristen is trained in family therapy and both approaches of play therapy as well as  Her passion for doing family therapy and play therapy in Denver and Westminster areas is evident through her warm interaction and effective work with clients.

Want know to what other Denver Counseling/Therapy services we offer that can help you?

Please Contact Us for Your 15 Min Free Denver Counseling/Therapy Phone Consultation Now.