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Child Therapy

It is difficult to watch your child struggle. When your child experiences trauma, anxiety, or distress, you may notice changes in peer and family relationships, behavior, energy levels, and cooperation. With their limited ability to understand the world and make sense of their emotions, children need support and guidance in order to move through these difficult experiences and meet their potential. At Steel River Counseling, child therapy addresses the needs of the entire family by 1) providing quality, engaging therapy for the child, and 2) equipping parents/caregivers with skills for handling challenging behaviors, improving the parent-child relationship, and supporting the child's emotional growth and well-being.

Kaci Ott provides child therapy at Steel River Counseling. During the first session, Kaci meets with caregivers without the child present in order to learn about the family's concerns and goals, the child's history, and to discuss which therapeutic approach would be a good fit for the child. Throughout therapy, Kaci collaborates and consults with parents to work towards goals, work on new skills, strengthen the parent-child relationship, and track progress; as the parent-child relationship is of utmost importance in a child's emotional health and well-being.

Focus Areas

  • Trauma and PTSD

  • Attachment

  • Abuse history

  • Grief and loss

  • Adoption and Foster Care concerns

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Highly Sensitive Children

  • Behavioral concerns

  • Phobias

  • Parent-child relationship


  • Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT):  Children communicate most effectively through play because of their developmental stage and the order in which a young brain develops. Play therapy is, therefore, a powerful and well-researched approach for helping children to grow, change, and heal. A play therapy office has a variety of toys intentionally selected because of the content children can express through them. As children play, the therapist responds and interacts in specific ways to help the child to grow in confidence, social skills, ability to regulate emotions and behavior, and to work through difficult emotional content. Read this article on the AAPT website for more information on CCPT and the research supporting it.

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT): This evidence-based model is effective for children who have experienced trauma such as abuse, grief, physical injury, or witnessing something disturbing. Children learn techniques to express and regulate emotions through activities and games, work through a narrative of what happened, and build skills for future resiliency. Parents are a key part of the treatment process and meet with the therapist individually and with their child throughout the process. Kaci is a Nationally Certified TFCBT.  For more information on TFCBT, click here.  

  • Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI):  This attachment-based model is used primarily for children who have been adopted or are in foster care. It is also relevant for children who have experienced developmental (long-term or early) trauma. TBRI helps children to heal through relationship with the parent/caregiver and therapist using play, games, activities, role play, teaching, and trauma-informed parenting approaches. Kaci is a trained TBRI Practitioner. To learn more, visit the TBRI website.  

  • Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT):  In this model, parents learn to do weekly child-centered play therapy sessions with their child at home. This helps strengthen the parent-child relationship, equips the parent with tools to support their child, increases the child's ability to regulate emotions, and decreases problem behaviors. This model requires a high level of parental involvement and motivation. 

  • Other approaches:  Kaci also uses a variety of play-based activities, role play, games, and sandtray therapy to teach new skills and improve a child's ability to regulate and express emotions. CBT techniques are used to address OCD and phobias. 

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