My name is Arletta and I have been living in New Zealand since 2011. Originally from the Netherlands, I had a career for 15 years as a social worker in residential settings, foster care, crisis intervention programs for families and Video Home Training.
I became an Integrative Child Therapist in 2003 and had a busy private practice in the Netherlands for eight years, working with children from 3 up to 20 years and their parents and caregivers. During this time I was also a part time trainer/coach for students becoming child counsellers and also worked for primary schools as a counsellor. I was part of a professional network of specialists working with children who had attachment problems. In 2018 I completed a Masters in Autism Studies at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. I specialized in anxiety, emotion regulation, social skills and overall best practice in supporting youth with ASD.
Strengthening parents and improving positive interaction between parents and children has always been one of my main goals. I strongly believe in a family approach. Even if the problems of a child are specific to the child, he or she needs the support of parents to deal with this and parents might need new strategies. I believe that every child and adolescent deserves their own counselling process, based on what fits them, instead of fitting the person into a modality. I want to be as open and creative as possible to make this happen.
Integrative Therapy is a complex term. It is about working on aspects of a person that he or she is either unaware of, are not resolved yet, or is distanced from. The aim is to bring that back as part of the person again (integrate). In other words, the solution for dealing with problems lies within the child/young person and counselling is all about helping to find this.
As well as my private practice, I am contracted as a Family Consultant at the Children's Autism Foundation in Auckland. Working with families on outreach visits, organising workshops on autism related topics (e.g. strategies for behaviours, dealing with anxiety, friendship skills) and co-facilitating social and friendship skills courses for children and adolescents with high functioning autism and Asperger’s (mild ASD).
You may have noticed some elephants here and there. They symbolise strong family connections, seen in the shared care and protection of all the young elephants within a family.
Another association with the elephant is the suggestion that they never forget. People sometimes act under the illusion that children will not remember events that happened early in their life, and for that reason cannot suffer any consequences.