We see the powerful tension that children hold in their bodies. They feel the unresolved pain of parents and past generations. In response, they begin to operate in or sometimes oscillate between different ways of being:
-- "closed down" numbing (often seen in a "deadening of the eyes or "flatness" of expression)
-- masked or not-so-masked aggression
-- lying (sometimes hidden by learned or feigned "politeness")
Notice first, how a child walks. Is there a forward slope to the shoulders, as if to close the child's heart to pain?
Or as we often see, does a child almost stumble into the room, appearing dazed, confused?
The life of humans and their relationships is a confusing one today. On the world stage as amplified by social media, stories of death, hunger, and cruelty surround children.
Family life can be difficult and the world of children in school or at home can also be challenging.
This is why healing within a larger "family context" and also within the child's first and primary home-- his or her own body -- makes sense and works.
Here, as family therapists, we learn about the parent's caring for the child as well as the child's innate strengths and dreams.
In therapy, the child "plays through" and talks through, often at the symbolic level of fantasy, his or her inner conflicts, emerging over time with a stronger and more grounded sense of self.
We often hear parents say they want their children to succeed and to be happy in themselves. In therapy with one of us, children are literally reaching into themselves and building coherence within the "mess" of human existence. This is the "ground" on which a happier life can be built.