A family’s journey together is like a canoe ride along a river of time.

The river presents various conditions as time flows on. A family must negotiate a calm stretch of water differently than a swift current. Various skills are needed for the entire journey and they are constantly revolving and shifting. The family must make adjustments to prevent tipping over and splashing into the treacherous waters. Furthermore, each family member has the potential to compromise the stability of the canoe. If a family member suddenly stands, everyone must shift to keep things stable. It’s about keeping the balance.

Darby's Approach

Make a Real Connection

My clients often come to me initially with a narrowly defined problem. My approach is to look beyond the presenting problem to make a real connection with the children and families I work with. True understanding comes from taking a broader perspective. Through a variety of techniques, I can help children and families express what is troubling them when they haven’t mastered the language or awareness to express their thoughts and feelings verbally. By illuminating my clients’ strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, I am able to have a profound impact.

Children and adolescents are often presented as “the sole problem”, but through careful questioning and observation I work to integrate the parents’ role. By connecting with clients and instilling confidence, a positive relationship forms that provides a corrective emotional experience. This is necessary for healing and establishes a framework to teach on-going problem solving skills. It is rewarding to watch children and parents realize they have the capacity within themselves to effect positive change. Strong connected relationships between children and parents bring the families back into balance.

Darby's Techniques

Express What's Inside

A large variety of techniques are used to encourage communication of thoughts and feelings. The practice of coloring your heart is helpful to get all family members to express what's inside, an essential starting point.

Professional Endorsement

Darby provides the utmost professional care to support healthy family relationships to benefit both the individual and the whole family. Her expertise in family systems directly benefits the individuals’ and a family’s total physical and mental health. Individuals learn communication strategies and cognitive tools to better connect with themselves. In doing so, Darby remains instrumental in helping individuals gain confidence, focus, and skills applicable to relationships beyond the family unit to achieve personal and career goals. Her keen intellect and diverse counseling experiences expertly assist family members navigate seemingly challenging circumstances. Darby's post-graduate trainings at The Ackerman Institute, Harvard Medical School, Yale Child Study Center, NYU Silver School of Social Work, and Columbia University, also have equipped her with current research-driven best practices to facilitate clients’ action-oriented, productive decision-making. Her empathic listening creates a motivating atmosphere, and families thrive under her guidance.

Mahi S. Galvin, PhDLanguage, Literacy, and Learning Consultant