Welcome to my website! I’m Dawn Kufeld and I’ve been working with children (Birth-18yrs) and their families for over 25 years. My passion began when I was working on my Bachelor’s degree in Communication (emphasis in Theater) and Psychology.
Types of Therapy
This therapy allows the client to take more of a lead in discussions so that they will discover their own solutions. The goal is for the client to achieve greater independence which will allow the client to better cope with any current and future problems they may face. The Therapist will be a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgement and acknowledging the client’s experience without moving the conversation in another direction.
This therapy is when a Therapist trained in play uses the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development. The Therapist can use playtime to observe and gain insights into a child’s problems. The Therapist can then help the child explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma. Through play, children can learn new coping skills and how to redirect inappropriate behaviors. Family play therapy can be very effective at strengthening family relationships.
Therapy focuses on the client and their relationship to other people. The goal is to improve the quality of a client’s interpersonal relationships and social functioning to help reduce their distress. The Therapist will focus on the most pressing relational problems in order to support the person wishing to make changes.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Therapy focuses on helping the client to become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so the client can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. The Therapist will help the client notice such negative thinking patterns and help the client to learn how to reframe their thoughts to be more positive and helpful.
This therapy works with families to help nurture change. Therapy may include all family members or just those able or willing to participate. The goal is to help family members improve communication, resolve conflicts, nurture relationships, heal, and move forward together as a healthy, resilient, family unit.
Therapy aims to help a parent and child repair ruptures in their relationships and work to develop or rebuild an emotionally secure relationship. The Therapist helps the caregiver to develop and display emotional responsiveness to their child in order to help the child to develop a secure and trusting attachment along with a positive internal working model of self and others.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
This therapy identifies and changes the client’s negative thinking patterns and pushes for positive behavioral changes. The Therapist will help the client to acknowledge that their experiences are real and how to accept who they are, regardless of challenges or difficult experiences.
Therapy focuses on helping children and parents process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events. The Therapist helps the child and family to manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors along with enhancing safety, growth, parenting skills, and family communication. The Therapist will offer skills and strategies to assist the child and family in better understanding, coping with, processing emotions and memories tied to the traumatic experiences, with the goal of promoting the child and family to create a healthier and more adaptive meaning of the experience that took place in their life.
EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
This therapy focuses on helping the client to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. EMDR helps clients to reprocess traumatic information by a process of eye movements and adaptive information processing that allows the client to experience a peaceful resolution. The Therapist will lead the client through an eight-phase, non-invasive treatment that includes history-taking, preparation (practicing eye-movements), assessment/identifying the trauma memories, validating cognitions, rating levels of disturbance, desensitizing (eye-movements), installation of positive thoughts, body scan (clients observe physical response and report), and closure of the treatment in which instructions are provided to the client for safety and containment between sessions.
Who We Work With
Pre-adolescence is a time of great changes in your child’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. It’s a time of growing independence but it can also be scary for kids. While it’s completely normal for your child to start turning away from you and relying more on friends, kids this age are still very much in need of parental support and guidance even when they tell you otherwise. My goal is to help you and your preteen/tween understand how they are changing both inside and out and how to help them and you as parents to move through this transition smoothly.
(single parents, same sex parents, grandparents, and other guardians)
A parent’s job is to raise children to be the best men and women that they can be. It’s a huge responsibility, one that requires patience, love, and understanding. Specifically, it means that you take care of your child’s physical and emotional needs and you put your child’s needs before your own. You are your child’s provider and make sure to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. You are their protector and do everything possible to ensure your child’s safety. You provide unconditional love for your child. You are a counselor and confidant for your child by providing them with advice and encouragement. You are a teacher for your child teaching them right from wrong, how to conduct themself in social settings and everything in between. You are a role model where you lead by example. My goal is to help provide parents the support and guidance often needed to fulfill such an important role. It’s a wonderful journey to experience and one that can be empowered by positive support and enlightenment.
Raising a baby is both exciting and challenging. This is a time for developing the bonds that will last a lifetime, providing your child with the inner resources to build self-esteem and the ability to relate positively to others. Toddler developmental milestones, preschooler development, and school-age development are all times of enjoyment as well as times of challenges, frustrations, and uncertainty. It is during these developmental stages that parents need to impart a moral code that their child will gradually internalize. Parents must be able to provide praise and encouragement but allow their kids to sometimes experience natural consequences for their behavior or provide logical consequences to help them to learn from mistakes. My services help children and parents to navigate successfully through these crucially important ages and stages while making sure to consistently provide a nurturing environment to safely and securely foster a sense of trust between child and parent.
Adolescence can be a confusing time of change for teens and parents alike. Methods of discipline that worked well in earlier years may no longer have an effect. Parents may feel frightened and helpless about choices their teen is making. While these years can be difficult, there’s plenty parents can do to nurture your teen and encourage responsible behavior. It is during this transition that I help teens and parents establish the following; create an atmosphere of honesty, mutual trust, and respect, create a culture of open communication, allow age appropriate independence and assertiveness, teach basic responsibility, teach acceptance of limits, teach thinking before acting, and provide a stable, safe and loving home environment. These skills will help to add to the many other positive skill sets and character development of your teen and help them to be successful and productive young adults.
How We Communicate
Telemental Health is an alternative to office visits for those who are busy, seek convenience, live in rural areas, are homebound, and/or prefer a more immediate method for services. My sessions are conducted by secure, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing for residents in Arizona.
Opportunities for Messaging through email and chats are available through my secure, encrypted, HIPAA-compliant Practice Management Program (CounSol). Reliable internet access is required along with a private environment for your sessions.
How We Work
My counseling and therapy treatment approach consists of working with the child individually (if appropriate and dependent on age) and as a family. Young children often heal and express themselves through their play. I often assist parents in learning how to play with their children constructively, including how to follow, lead, guide, and interpret their child’s play interactions. I am not a registered play therapist, but I have received extensive training in play therapy. I encourage parents to play with their children and explore ways in which to promote healthy bonds and enhance healing.
Additionally, I work with pre-teens and teens helping to guide and facilitate their ability to communicate, express feelings, and form healthy ways of thinking.
It is incredibly important to teach adolescents effective ways of coping, developing personal goals, and promote healthy relationships with their family, peers, and others. Parents are very much included in their child’s treatment and will be provided the opportunity to address and work on various parental challenges they may be facing with their child/children.