My name is Lara Stern, I am a child and family therapist and I run an independent therapeutic private practice in Kenilworth, Cape Town. I offer therapy to both children and adolescents, particularly specializing in working with the whole family. I also consult with various schools in Cape Town, run therapeutic groups with children and parents and provide workshops for parents and educators on variety of family-focused topics.

I have always had a passion working with children. If I look back at my childhood, school days and reports, it was always around helping others and finding ways to comfort them when they were sad and make them feel better. This was an intuition I felt I had from an early age and both my family and teachers always commented and reported on it. I have always had the need to help others and as I have developed, my awareness has grown more specifically into connecting with children and adolescents and helping their parents being more mindful of their children and their emotional needs. I feel very grateful that I was able to discover my passions and become a registered clinical social worker and family therapist in South Africa. I feel even more blessed that I was able to work and study in the United Kingdom and specialize in Integrative Art Therapies.

I have experience with a wide variety of client groups and have worked in many settings including family centres, residential homes for children and schools, both in the United Kingdom and South Africa for over 10 years. My main focus is on childhood attachments and development, behavioural difficulties and family dynamics. This includes individual work with a child, or parent, working with the parenting couple, sibling and/or family sessions. This approach is explored and experienced through Play Therapy, Integrative Arts Therapy (combination of sand tray therapy, drama therapy, art therapy, storytelling & imagination, body work) and the use of social and emotional intelligence. My therapeutic work aims to facilitate a client in becoming more resilient to their environment and enhancing their ego strength. My work also helps clients recognise how powerful their voices are and how important it is to use it. This tool will help clients expand their emotional expression and allow others to know how they are feeling in appropriate ways. It is extremely valuable to be heard and listened too within your family system in order to establish positive and healthy relationships and boundaries.

MY THERAPEUTIC PROCESS INVOLVES:

  • Developing a warm, safe and trusting professional relationship with client
  • Ensuring sessions are non-directive; allowing clients to raise issues at their own pace
  • Helping client’s recognise their feelings and internally explore their emotions
  • Maintaining a deep respect for the client’s ability to problem solve and allowing them the opportunity to do so
  • Allowing a gradual, mindful and judgment-free environment

BENEFITS FROM THERAPY:

  • Reducing depression and anxiety
  • Regulating and facilitating emotional expression including loss and bereavement, divorce, trauma
  • Promoting self-confidence and a sense of competence and motivation
  • Developing a sense of trust in self and others
  • Awareness and mindfulness of personal and social boundaries
  • Creating and enhancing healthy relationship building
  • Enhancing creativity and playfulness
  • Developing social cues and appropriate body language
  • Moderation of anger and frustration levels

My most recent working experience in Cape Town includes working for three years at Pro Ed School Cape Town as the school counsellor and social skills teacher. In addition to this, I was also running my own private practice. As of 2014, I decided to focus purely on my private practice as a child and family therapist.

For more information please feel free to contact me.