Child Therapy

        Catherine Young, MFT


The Art and Science of

Being Whole

Marriage and Family Therapist, license # MFC36431

Certified Hypnotherapist

Assessment and Parent Involvement

Services for children always starts with a thorough assessment. Parents are an important part of the assessment and planning process, and are partners in helping their children. 

I have extensive experience working with children and their families on a wide range of issues including adjustment difficulties, grief, trauma, attachment issues, anxiety, phobias, behavior problems, depression and mood disorders. Below are some of the therapeutic techniques I have found effective in working with children. I have additionally devoted an entire page to attachment theory and therapy.


Parent Consultation and Family Therapy

I work closely with parents to understand their child’s needs and behaviors and how best to address them.  I often work with parents on parenting issues and behavioral interventions for their child. I offer support to parents and provide family therapy to address issues directly with child and parent(s) as needed.  Therapy, whether individual, family or parent consultation, is always collaborative, safe and respectful. 

I have worked as a child therapist for over 16 years. I have a great deal training and experience. It is an area of expertise for me and I have assessed and worked with literally hundreds of children. I am hopeful that I can help your child.

Please call or e-mail to discuss your child or make an appointment.

Play Therapy

Play is a child’s natural way to process, explore and work through issues.  Play allows a child to explore and process thoughts, events and feelings that he or she may not have the words for or that are too sensitive or unconscious to be spoken.  As the therapist gently mirrors, witnesses, and reflects the child’s experience as expressed through play, healing can occur.

Play can also be used by the therapist to actively teach to and address specific issues.  One specialized form of play therapy is sand tray therapy.  In sand tray therapy, the child arranges figures and objects in the sand to create a world.  It is like creating a dream or a symbolic representation of an issue or situation.  The issue can be further explored through questions and manipulating the objects in the sand.  It is an excellent way for children, or even adults, to explore issues or concerns.  The experience is both visual and tactile, accessing different parts of the brain than verbal interventions alone.


Another way of reaching children is through the use of stories or metaphors to present healing messages to the child in a non-threatening way. Expressive arts, such as drawing, painting and clay also provide avenues for healing.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Trauma Focused CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used effectively with children to help them to change their behavior by identifying and changing their thoughts, or correcting cognitive distortions.  The idea is that it is the thoughts that we think that lead to our feelings, which often result in certain behaviors.  For instance, a child may experience a peer saying something rude to them.  As a result, the child may think, “Nobody likes me!” (a cognitive distortion), leading the child to think, “I’m bad” leading him/her to feel quite bad, and to act out with inappropriate behavior.  Similarly, a child who experiences trauma often believes it is his/her fault and maintains other cognitive distortions as well that lead to multiple problems for the child. By helping the child to identify and correct these distortions in the therapy, much healing can be achieved.

Attachment Therapy

Attachment therapy is a specialized therapy for working with children with attachment issues.  I have extensive training and experience with attachment therapy, including work with foster and adopted children. I have devoted a whole page to attachment theory and therapy.  For more information, go to attachment therapy.

Located in Glen Ellen (near Sonoma), CA                                       707-241-6919                         Email:


EFT and EMDR can be used quite effectively with children.  These therapies are particularly useful for children with trauma, PTSD, phobias, anxiety or any strong and difficult emotions.  For more information, go to emdr/eft.