After six years working in public and private schools, I founded Socorro Consulting to ensure access to quality mental health care for young people in the Twin Cities community, and to help build more just, effective and equitable approaches to school discipline.
Approach to the work
Finding a therapist who's a good match with your (or your child's) personality, interests, and goals can be an arduous process, and the relationship between the client and the therapist is a key factor in how successful the work will ultimately be. I am always happy to talk with prospective clients about what the work we do looks like to help inform the decision making process. Often, we find alignment and begin working together; sometimes we don't. If we decide we don't match well, I'm able to provide referrals to other providers who may be a better match.
In considering a therapist, some qualities you may want to consider are gender preferences; race or ethnicity preferences; religious preferences; age preferences; and the therapist's theoretical approach. To help answer some of these questions, it's helpful to know more about which theoretical ideas drive my work with young people.
Collaborative Problem Solving
I believe that kids do well if they can, not because they want to. Challenging behavior is often a symptom of a child struggling to meet a demand or expectation that the child doesn't yet have the skill to meet. Through the Collaborative Problem Solving approach to challenging behavior, we can help solve problems durably, pursue high expectations and help children and adolescents build the skills they will need to thrive. Collaborative Problem Solving is a set of philosophies and practical tools that have demonstrated success across a wide variety of settings.
Collaborative Problem Solving represents the vast majority of my practice with children and families at present.
A Collaborative Problem Solving consultation with a family typically follows a pattern like this:
Sessions 1-4: When we begin working with a new family, we start with several sessions alone with the parent(s) or caregiver(s) to learn about the model, generate a list of problems to be solved, and plan for an initial Plan B conversation.
Sessions 4-8: Once we have a plan to address one or more problems to be solved, we invite the parent(s) or caregiver(s) to meet together with the child for a Plan B conversation that can be facilitated by the consultant. Over the next few sessions, we'll have an opportunity to work on Plan B conversations, and parents will have an opportunity to practice the skills with support from a certified practitioner and trainer of Collaborative Problem Solving.
Ongoing support: Once a family feels comfortable taking Plan B home, we often end our ongoing work. Continued support is always a phone call or e-mail away, and we can meet again any time to troubleshoot Plan B.
Plan B conversations can be billed to insurance as an out-of-network provider, or can be covered by self-pay. Self-pay rates are presently $50/session and can be schedule as often or periodically as parents would like. Please contact us for more information.
Every child, from the youngest to the oldest, has many skills, beliefs, values and abilities that aid them in responding to problems that arise in their lives. The narrative therapy approach believes that people are not the problem, problems are the problem. Narrative therapy recognizes individuals as the experts of their own lives, and utilizes an individual's unique expertise and wisdom to reduce the influence of problems in their lives. Many people find the non-shaming, non-blaming narrative approach to be tremendously empowering, insightful, and even fun!