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Jessica Drachenberg

Jessica DrachenbergJessica Drachenberg

Child/Adolescent | Families | Trauma

Getting to know me as a therapist
I’ve been practicing Marriage and Family Therapy since 2014 in the Chicagoland area as well as in the Phoenician Valley of Arizona. Since graduating from Wheaton College, I’ve honed my specialization in therapy within early-childhood trauma (ages 0-5), attachment relationships between children and parents, and working with non-traditional family structures. In family play therapy with me, you and your children get to try out sensory integrated play as one of the primary vehicles within therapy to experience healing in how you relate to each other in the family.

Some of my training and credentialing include:
    • Child-Parent Psychotherapy
    • Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics
    • Circle of Security-Parent Group Facilitator
    • Sand Tray Play Therapy
    • Functional Family Therapy

Why seek out early-childhood therapy for my children?
Seeking out therapy at or before age five for your child has the greatest ability to change their life trajectory even with the smallest change implemented. Your child’s template for understanding the world is being formed during this time, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on his/her experience so far. Experiencing a traumatic event such as divorce of parents or death in the household (read more about childhood trauma here) before age five will have a greater impact than if that same experience happened later in life. While your child may not be able to tell you about these experiences, their bodies remember, and you may recognize the effects through his/her behaviors or actions. Often, this is what brings families with young kids to therapy. The earlier we can start working through emotional and behavioral issues your child may struggle with, the better chance they have of developing healthier/age-appropriate social skills and making academic progress later in life. In the long run, your child can have greater success in finding his/her identity and forming authentic relationships.

What therapy will my children receive?
Therapy with children (roughly 12 years old or under) includes the parents/primary caregivers because of the important role that parents play in the life of a child. Child work is often family work! I believe in preserving the parent-child relationship, whereby I am not coming in between you and your child, which is why I will meet with you first so you can get a feel for who I am before introducing your child to me. Within this first session, I get to hear what the presenting concerns are – without fear of others hearing or how it will be perceived – as well as begin building the relationship with you in wondering what your child’s actions or behaviors are trying to communicate to you about their needs. From there, I hold a flexible rhythm within the therapy time that can address the concerns and needs, using play – since play is the primary language for kids and the way they most effectively learn. Often, my role is to support you in therapy and be your safety net as you are the safety net for your child in feeling safe and secure. I also do a lot of “wondering” with the child and the parent/caregiver within session time to better understand the actions of the child and the parent/caregiver and the reasoning behind it.