In-House Services

Infant Mental Health Counseling

Infant Mental Health emphasizes the importance of healthy social-emotional development in infants and toddlers.

  • Early development always happens through the day-to-day interactions between the baby or toddler and his or her primary care givers (parents and others with whom the child spends a significant amount of the day and has a strong emotional connection).
  • The infant-caregiver relationship is central to social and emotional development and wellbeing.
  • Anything that affects the relationship between the baby and his or her caregivers can have an affect on the infant’s mental health.

The field of infant mental health works to optimize the psychological, social and emotional well being of infants and toddlers in relationship with their caregivers, environment and culture, and with respect for each child’s uniqueness (The New Mexico Association for Infant Mental Health; Issues Brief No. 1, Infant Mental Health Fundamentals).

At Small Steps, clinicians work within the home of the caregiver and observe, interact and train caregivers on how to meet the mental health needs of the baby and understand their baby in ways that can promote the future healthiness of the baby.

For more information please go to www.nmaimh.org.

Experiential Play Therapy

  • Children’s language development lags behind their cognitive development, therefore, they communicate their awareness of what is happening in their world through play.
  • The use of toys enables children to transfer anxieties, fears, fantasies, and guilt to objects rather than people.
  • In order to understand a child’s perspective of the event or situation that brought them into therapy, the therapist observes and interacts with the child through play as a child leads. Slight changes are made by the child each time through play. An experiential play therapist helps the child move into a healthier perspective of the situation.

For more information about play therapy, please visit www.a4pt.org.

Theraplay

Theraplay is a modality of therapy that promotes a healthy parent-infant experience.  The therapist brings a caregiver and their child together to give them an active, here and now experience of a new way of relating. She guides them in the experience of interacting in ways that foster attachment and create joyful interaction. This direct experience is a unique feature of the Theraplay approach.

For more information go to: www.theraplay.org

Caregiver Psycho-Education

Small Steps educates the caregiver about their children’s behavior, perspective, development and self understanding.  Small Steps emphasizes and encourages caregivers to be actively involved in nurturing healthy children.  Caregivers are able to have their own sessions and group sessions to discuss what challenges they face and are given tools to overcome them.

Circle of Security Parenting

The Circle of Security is a relationship based early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children. Decades of university-based research have confirmed that secure children exhibit increased empathy, greater self-esteem, better relationships with parents and peers, enhanced school readiness, and an increased capacity to handle emotions more effectively when compared with children who are not secure.  Offered in English, Spanish and Japanese.

Co-Parenting Classes

The term ‘coparent’ may also be used to describe a situation where, following divorce or separation, the child’s parents seek to maintain equal or equivalent responsibility for the child’s upbringing.  Small Steps provides co-parenting classes that promote a healthier relationship between biological parents and a healthier relationship with their children.

Art Therapy

Art Therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the Art Therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

Dance and Movement Therapy

Based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected, the American Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.

Home Visiting Therapeutic Interventions

Sometimes office-based therapists offer in-home services when specific skills, like parenting, can be demonstrated and practiced in the home. This allows the counselor to observe the parent-child relationship in action, providing insight into family dynamics. Home-based therapy can be particularly beneficial in therapy for caregivers with babies and toddlers, children showing disruptive behavior patterns and for children with high-needs or developmental delays.

To schedule an appointment or inquire about our services please contact us by phone at (505) 933-4639, or by email at julie@smallstepschildcounseling.net