Helping kids and parents look at patterns of expression for mutual understanding. 

I love seeing kids, from age 5 to 85.  I’m a Dad myself.  Kids bring out the fun in me. As a family therapist, I will mostly see your child and you at the same time. 


You are the expert on your child and you already know what works and what doesn't – so first I have to learn a lot from you.  Then I’ll get to know your child.  Children show us more than they tell us about what is wrong, or right, with them.  They show us through their actions, fears, play, drawings, and some words. We’ll look at all that together. 


Then I’ll get to know how you and your child interact with each other. I look for the patterns between you that work pretty well, and the ones that don’t.  I will help you understand your child better; and help you learn how to guide him or her differently.  Along the way, we might discover some important things about you also.  Children can be extremely challenging; especially when they come with special needs and differences that are hard for others to understand or cope with.  But children bring out the best in all of us too.


I enjoy helping children with anxiety or depression, anger, school or peer problems, ADD or other learning problems, the pain and confusion of parents divorce, and most other painful experiences that unfortunately befall our kids sometimes. 


Many child therapists are using the Internal Family Systems model of therapy with children.

Some excellent books, written for children, about this are:

“Polly and Her Parts”, by Alison Bigs

“Nathan Meets His Monsters”, by Joseph Kropp, PhD

“Kids, Parents, & Everyone Has Parts”, a book on CD by Lois A. Ehrmann, PhD

“Everyone Has Parts; the Self-Led Guide to Understanding Your Own”, the companion book on CD also by Lois A. Ehrmann, PhD.

“More Than One Way to Be OK, Developing Cognitive Flexibility with Children”, by Ronit Gross, LCSW-R


And don’t forget the recent hit animated movie, “Inside Out”, a wondrous portrayal of the emotions, or parts, inside a 12 year old girl when faced with a painful change in her life.





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© 2016 Alan Sumwalt       Designed by Kate Erickson.  Modified by Andrew Sumwalt