Expressing thoughts and feelings in a way that helps us to feel understood by others is one of the most important abilities we can possess. Many issues children experience often result from barriers hindering the growth of this ability. I facilitate the development of this ability by helping children and their families identify and express their feelings in a way they have not been able to before.
I treat children with anxiety, sadness, behavioral difficulties, poor social skills, trauma, bereavement, coping with divorce, and many other issues. Some of these issues result in part from a child's inability to express themselves authentically due to their belief that others may not accept their feelings. Children need adults to communicate to them that their feelings are acceptable and not dangerous, wrong, or silly. Despite parents' love and best intentions for their children, sometimes the help of a skilled therapist is needed to assist parents in communicating this to their children in a way they can understand and take in.
In my work with children I utilize their heightened imagination and creative potential to explore their thoughts and feelings and help them gain mastery. Children do well with insight-oriented work due to their decreased resistance to exploring abstract thoughts, feelings and dreams with talk and play therapy. This allows work to be done on a deeper level, allowing for lasting change.
When your child is in my office drawing a picture, playing with a doll house, or even singing me a song, he or she is letting me into his or her inner life through story-telling. My job is to notice themes, patterns, and potential feelings present in their stories, and to help them process and communicate their inner life to others. With therapy, a child gets the opportunity to recreate their world with me, practice social skills, process and overcome scary feelings and prior trauma, and to triumph.
I meet often with parents to share my observations, learn what is occurring in the child’s life from the family's perspective, obtain feed back and to offer suggestions for how parents can support their child’s therapy. I am also here to listen to you as a parent or care-taker and to support you during your child's treatment.
Click below to learn about my
social anxiety therapy group.
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Garden City Therapy is in Nassau County of Long Island nearby Franklin Square, Floral Park, Mineola, Hempstead, New Hyde Park, Carle Place, Uniondale, Westbury, and also serves: Merrick, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Oceanside and Long Beach. Office is located close to the LIRR.
Michelle Ambalu, Lcsw is a therapist in Garden City, NY providing adult and child counseling. She is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist with over 10 years of experience who specializes in Anxiety Disorders and Relationship Issues. Insurances accepted are Fidelis, Cigna, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, NYSHIP Empire Plan, and GHI out of network.
In addition to her private practice in Garden City, she has worked at numerous mental health clinics in Long Island and Queens where she provided counseling and psychotherapy to individuals and families and supervised social work students. She earned her Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Adelphi University in Garden City NY and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.
The following are professional organizations that Michelle Ambalu, Lcsw is affiliated with and supports: