Home based services and clinical services in a traditional setting is such a hot topic today. Most often clients come to me after they have reached a threshold. Their child and/or children have been going to therapy for years and changes in the home seem to be non-existent and getting worse. My intention is to reach parents prior to reaching their limit as the reality is the longer you wait the more time it will take to unravel the “damage” done. I do suggest for some of my families depending on the age of the child they continue to see their child’s therapist although, for the sake of this article focusing on early childhood I personally feel along with specialist Cat Blake that children ages 3-6/7 should begin with in home services. Here’s why. Read below:
As a trained child and family psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience; I can testify to the fact that home-based services are more effective than the traditional meeting in the consulting room. There are many factors that lead me to this opinion. First, home-based services eliminate barriers to families accessing help such as child-care needs; particularly when the client is a family with young children. The parent (s) are not forced to hire a babysitter for the other sibling(s) as home-based intervention means the professional is working with all of the children. Second, there are so many more data points that the counselor can glean from a home visit. How do the members interact in real life and real time? How do they move through their space together? What is the quality of the non-verbal communication? In fact, the home-based therapist can then be creative in using the family’s natural environment to formulate more effective therapeutic interventions. For example, the therapist is able to see that child’s “quiet” space actually might not work due to its’ location close to the playroom. Seems logical and simple; but in the midst of parenting young children; parents often miss these concrete details. And to put it simply, it helps to have another lens to look at details such as these. Home-based therapy includes parenting skills and psychoeducation that the professional can tailor to meet their families. Results therefore are achieved quicker! Finally, the issue of privacy is a factor that deters some of my well-off clients from obtaining services. Home-based allows these families to get the help they need without running into others from their communities.
"Amanda has an amazing ability to find that fine balance between connecting with her clients and being able to effectively confront and/or guide them. She understands the nuances and challenges of day to day family life. This allows her to make effective and timely therapeutic interventions with her families. Not only is she a professional in my book - but also a heart-centered, warm, energetic and amazing friend."
I am honored to feature Cat Blake in Parenting With a Punch Blog.
Cat Blake, LICSW
CDC- Divorce Coach
Child and Family Psychotherapist