Child and or Adolescent therapy differs in the process of how the therapy is conducted.
With children, 8 to 12 years of age, the process combines both play and dialogue in mutual interactions. The play can include drawing, painting, building toys, and games. The therapist observes the actions of the child noting them and makes use of these non-verbal communications to talk together about what is being observed. In this process of mutual interactions the child develops a sense of safety and connection with the therapist that facilitates working through of problematic areas. Often through initiation by the parents or therapist a parental consultation takes place at variable intervals in the treatment.
In adolescent therapy the focus is on stated issues surrounding school, peers, and parent/family concerns. Often the conflicts are heightened by one or two of these areas being problematic at the same time. The adolescent is being asked to improve academic performance and to abide by the family rules and values. Most of the clinical work evolves out of 'anecdotes' presented by the patient and by observations and interpretations by the therapist. What evolves during the treatment is a series of specific actions, mutually determined, to engage to work through the problematic area.