Child Therapy

Is your child is sad, nervous, fearful, frustrated, shy or aggressive? Is he/she having trouble with boundaries, listening, or is simply disinterested? Is your child insisting that you do things for him that he previously did without problem? Does your child occasionally act out in response to a change in plans, behave perfectly at school but give you hard time at home or vice versa? Is your child harassing his siblings or friends or being rejected by others in his class? Is he having trouble studying, confronting teachers and other adults? Does he play computer games all day and does not cooperate with the program (homework, after-school activities, basic hygiene). If you answered yes to any of the above, and these behaviors do not go away and interfere with the well being of your child and family, treatment can help.

 Call me: 058-4076720
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My name is Dr. Gal Sivan, I am a licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience in treating children ages 4-17 in the United States and Israel. I have been trained in public and private care settings in the most recent methods for treatment and diagnosis of children. Today, I work at the Children and Youth Clinic at the Abarbanel Mental Health Center in Bat-Yam, in addition to my private practice.

Child therapy consists of two parallel processes which promote each other: therapeutic sessions with the child, and parent management training. In working with the child, I use a combination of advanced approaches and  evidence-based clinical knowledge to help children express themselves and process their experiences and to learn adaptive coping skills. From the psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, developmental, and motivational approaches, I will assemble a set of tools and a specific treatment plan for your child.

In child therapy we focus on teaching adaptive skills while encouraging expression and self-advocacy. Child therapy is often helpful for coping with anxiety, depression, insomnia, trauma, social worry, obsessive thoughts or irrational fears, social difficulties, self esteem and body image concerns, trauma or significant life changes. Treatment can also help your child adjust to recent changes such as transitioning from K to 1st grade, a new baby in the family, moving and relocation, parents’ separation and loss. Therapy supports the child and parents and allows for a more successful coping with social, academic, and developmental challenges in the future.

Play Therapy 

One of the main methods for treating children is play therapy. Through play therapy, we gain access to the child’s world and his experiences in his own language and from his point of view. In “play” the child directs and assigns roles and plays out, together with the therapist, a scene from his daily experience. Through play and games, he processes his experiences, shares his feelings and thoughts and feels empowered, managing the situation and talking about it from his point of view. Play therapy can also be a collaboration between the child and the therapist around a familiar situation, a role-playing game or a simulation of a complex experience. Children experience the language of the symbolic game as accessible, safe and rich, through which they are naturally accustomed to learning about the world and practicing their experiences, knowledge and abilities. Shifting from the verbal traditional talk-therapy to the playroom, allows the child to be in control. By manipulating the situation, the child reconstructs their experience and finds a safe place to process it. Play therapy allows the child to repeat and recreate an experience that perhaps bothered him, to imagine and act out the possibilities of a different reality, one he would have wished for. In therapy, as opposed to reality, there is always space and time to think about one’s possible responses and to undo or redo one’s actions. In other words, playing out the situation in therapy allows the child to cope with a less stressful or stimulating version of reality.

Through the reconstruction process in play therapy, the child experiences relief and assurance, similar to the relief an adult experiences by sharing their experiences with a person they trust. Re-telling a story or recreating a scene from personal experience in the presence of a therapist, can empower the child. In addition, during play therapy there are opportunities to try out different behaviors, to exchange roles and identities and to experience the situation in a more understandable and less threatening way. Child psychotherapy includes the use of many other tools such as creative and expressive art, music, board games, and movement games that teach the child about emotions, help him develop empathy, understand himself and his surroundings, and strengthen his self-confidence and emotional and functional tools at his disposal.

Parent Management Training 

The second part of child psychotherapy is parental management training. Parental management differs depending on the child’s age and the family’s needs. Parent management training is a supportive framework that complements the therapy sessions and advances treatment between sessions. Through parent management trainings, the therapist learns from the parents about the difficulties they and their child experience and constructs a clearer picture of the problem and progress. In these sessions, the therapist teaches and guides the parents how to support the child and provides them with professional knowledge. The therapist can direct a parent to useful behaviors and approaches and gives them tools to deal with their child’s challenges. The therapist helps the parents build their authority and manage communication with their child. With guidance, you can improve your ability to support your child and feel more confident in the choices you make and limits you set. In parent management sessions, I can help you understand and accept your child in a realistic, hopeful and future-oriented way. Each family is unique; therefore, the training is structured according to the family experience and needs. Parental management can be suitable for any family or environment in which a child lives.

If you notice a behavioral change that interferes with your child’s functioning and does not seem to pass, or if the family is facing a change that will affect the child, it is worthwhile to consider the possibility of treatment.

Contact me, I am happy to help


 Call me: 058-4076720
  Leave a Message