With comfort being key, I strongly believe that therapy does not always have to revolve around problems and negative emotions. Instead, I hope my clients look at each session as an opportunity to understand themselves better, find solutions to their struggles, and maybe even laugh a little because, after all, there is nothing wrong with lightening the mood on your journey to becoming a healthier, happier version of yourself.
My therapeutic work with children ranges from clients aged 4 all the way through high school graduation and is heavily influenced by my background as a former preschool teacher and camp counselor and program director. I love seeing kids evolve into their own people with unique personalities and interests while I help them navigate through issues of social development and emotional regulation. A huge part of my work with children is teaching them to notice the cues from their bodies that help them to recognize and identify an emotion, and then expanding their emotional vocabulary to help them communicate their feelings effectively. Tantrums, outbursts, aggression, and withdrawal, can all be indicators of big emotions that kids do not have words for, but when children have the words to truly express themselves they feel more empowered. I also use art, imaginative play, board games, fun crafts (lets get messy and make slime!), and sometimes we even take walks outside, to help younger clients remain engaged in therapy and learn that talking about your feelings can actually be fun!
My work with families is aimed at creating better communication, which means listening as well as talking. Family work can mean everyone in the room together, or sessions with different combinations of family members––there is no one right way, so let’s collaborate and determine together where support is needed.
A major aspect of this process includes parent coaching: parents need the space to find the best ways to support their kids and also deserve support themselves! I work with parents to establish clear family rules and expectations, set and hold boundaries while also remaining receptive to your children and their perspectives, and learn how to utilize different verbiage or ways of framing things to connect more successfully with your child.
The teenage years can be challenging, overwhelming, and confusing to navigate – not only for teens, but for their parents, too! Beginning in middle school, everything starts changing – friends, schools, schedules, bodies, emotions, social and familial expectations, responsibilities – and everything becomes more complex. Expanding the emotional vocabulary becomes more important as feelings become more nuanced and difficult to understand without the words to conceptualize what is happening. Does “I’m mad” mean annoyed, frustrated, or enraged? Throw in social media influences and pressures, figuring out who you are or want to be while also worrying how others perceive you, and the stresses that come with increasing academic pressure on the relentless march through high school towards college applications, and you see why many teens feel trapped in a constant pressure cooker. I work with my clients to unpack everything happening under the surface, build awareness of everything they are managing, and develop the skills they need to feel more in control and make positive changes.
I don’t believe there is a “one size fits all” formula for mental health, so my approach starts with understanding you as an individual. I will never pretend to be the expert on you. You are the expert on you – my expertise is in therapy, and when we both show up with our own expertise, that is when the magic of therapy happens. The greatest gift I received from my own therapist was a non-judgemental safe space to be imperfect and learn about myself, and that is what I strive to create for you as we engage in a collaborative and curious dialogue together. My modalities include psychodynamic, attachment theory, relational, CBT, sensorimotor, and Gestalt.
I am extensively trained in sensorimotor psychotherapy, a somatic modality of trauma treatment. Rooted in mindfulness, connection to the body and its internal wisdom, and integration of mind, body, and heart, sensorimotor techniques offer a path for processing and releasing trauma in the safe and nonjudgmental space of the therapy room. Sensorimotor does not pathologize trauma or the trauma response, but instead recognizes and honors the body’s drive to protect itself and survive. The power of the sensorimotor approach lies in learning to recognize and accept the messages your body sends to you, find new ways of responding to and regulating these signals, and ultimately create a sense of empowerment and internal well-being as you develop greater control over your own emotional regulation.
The 20s are a period of yet more huge developmental shifts and identity crises. Going to college, entering the workforce, pursuing goals and suffering disappointments, living alone or with roommates for the first time, managing money and adult responsibilities, dating and relationships––young adulthood is a time of constant change and intense pressure. What if everything you worked so hard for through years of school turns out to be a big disappointment, or just not what you expected? How do you renegotiate adult relationships with parents, family, and friends? What do you do when you look for the adult in the room and realize, with shock, that it’s you?!
I work with my clients to develop healthy, effective ways to process this thing called adulting, adjust to the freedom and anxiety of independence, and balance the demands of work and social life, while establishing good self-care habits and routines that will set you up for success throughout the coming decades. We will learn how to better tolerate the discomfort of living in the gray areas of daily life and the challenges that will inevitably arise, but we will also learn to celebrate the milestones and achievements along the way, too! Embracing both the wins and the losses is how we internalize growth and notice long term change.
With a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Madisen Siegel is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT 114566). Not only does she have training in sensorimotor psychotherapy but, as a former preschool teacher and camp director, she also has a longtime passion for working with children and adolescents. With nearly a decade of childhood development experience under her belt, she has a comprehensive range of hands-on experience that has given her the necessary tools to effectively support children, adolescents, adults, and families in need of therapeutic services.