About

 

My Approach

Every child and their parent has to find their strengths, learn to live and work on their weaknesses, find and keep friends, value and accept guidance by their parents. Some children or teenagers have to learn to live with medical, sensory, ability factors that limit or advance who they are. Some have gender identity issues, cultural adjustment or genetic conditions. All of these characteristics give life a different perspective.

As children, teenagers and their parents, we all are under pressure to be or feel like someone who is accepted or valued. For some that seems to be easy, whereas for others it seems to be a daily struggle.  Still each of us has to find his or her personal abilities to draw from when finding the way. Finding support from within and from others, finding ways to overcome obstacles can be difficult. In the beginning of positive change is recognizing and accepting how things are for now. For some that can be very hard and is a process of difficult grieving and letting go of who they wanted to be or who they wanted their child to be. Learning difficulties, reading problems,  overactivity, not getting along with peers, not listening to parents, tantrums, feeling isolated, experiences of abuse, each of them can be a tremendous roadblock in itself to healthy development in a child. Children have their own way to process and work on overcoming difficulties. They can overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties, if they can learn to trust, have achievable goals and feel reflected in the glimmer of their parent’s eyes. Then they can feel the high five that tells them it was good what they did. But for some it requires lots and lots of working on it.

A tennis coach once told me that learning tennis was really easy, you just had to practice the same shot a million of times, the same way. Personal changes are similar which has led to some therapists calling themselves coaches. And there are similarities, but not in a mechanical way of repeating movements, more so in that practice makes perfect even when it comes to learning different cognitive, behavioral or emotional ways.

What are the pathogenic beliefs that hinder a child’s development? What do you and she have to do to overcome them? Giving up without trying in children with ADHD is often based on the experience that they cannot direct their attention. Teaching them to persist and that their own effort leads to success is the healing factor that helps them trust their own resources to be successful, through effort. Since it involves feelings, thoughts and contradictory experiences those tendencies are hard to sort out. (For parents that is reflected in statements like “Do as I say not as I do” and for children, it is reflected in the face-saving, and annoying “I knew that!” response when you tell them something. Navigating those contradictions is difficult and requires humor and acceptance.  “In order to feel good about himself, a child must be successful in his own eyes, not just in your eyes. Self-esteem is an inner feeling: Sometimes it corresponds to outer reality and sometimes it doesn’t.” (Dr Greenspan)

Personalities and coping styles develop early in children. There are anxious, over responsive or emotionally under-reactive children. Then there are high energy and never-slowing-down ones. Some diagnoses can contribute to global processing and relational characteristics, like Autism, Bipolar, OCD. Each of those tendencies requires a different kind of parenting and corrective therapy.

For some it is important to know what kind of therapeutic approaches I use and have received training in. I use different kinds of therapeutic approaches including Floortime, Play Therapy, Mindfulness practice, Interpersonal Psychodynamic and Behavioral therapy approaches.



5402 Holly Rd. STE 104
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

drgraf@therapysecure.com
(361) 992-7780

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