My name is Emilie Kapono, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). I work with all ages however, I specialize in working with children through play. I combine the Solution-Focused Therapy approach with the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach to build and highlight strengths, find resources, and establish a strong support system. I focus on what is already working for my clients and work with them to build from there.
My approach to therapy is strength-based with all clients. In utilizing Solution-Focused Therapy the client will establish a goal and together we will find strengths, resources, and supports to use in working toward that goal while combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy interventions to uncover what works best for the client. Play Therapy techniques are incorporated to enhance our progress together.
I have found that my approach works well with both adults and children. I have worked with children from the ages of 4 to 17 and increased their self-esteem, autonomy, preferred behavior, and self-worth while decreasing their anxiety and depression. Adults benefit from my approach by progressing toward goals that they establish. They appreciate the collaboration between therapist and client as well as taking small steps toward their preferred future.
My communication style
Depending on the age of the client, my communication style can vary in levels of play, fun, and creativity, as well as establishing calm by listening non-judgmentally and providing comfort when needed. Being curious about all clients is a strength of mine.
My journey to mental healthcare
I became a teacher for k-12 public education and realized I focused on the social-emotional pieces of children and families rather than academics. In response, I became a school counselor but found that I was more putting band-aids on mental health issues by putting in referrals. I wanted to be on the other side of those referrals, so I went back to school and became a Marriage and Family Therapist. I love being a part of my clients' journey toward improving their mental health and watching the change in themselves, their families, their school, and their community. I am now supporting the teacher and the counselor by being an MFT.
My goals for you
My approach to setting goals with clients, no matter what their age, is through collaboration. Together, with the client leading, we talk or play about what are their hopes in us meeting and working together. Those hopes become their goals.
My first session with you
During our first session, we will be building a connection through curiosity and listening non-judgmentally. We will talk about your best hopes for your future and establish a goal you want to work towards. Throughout the session, I will be listening for strengths, resources, and learning about your support system. You will leave the session with a possible small step toward your goal. Younger clients will play to establish a connection and communicate what they hope for their future. Play will bring out strengths, find resources, and highlight their support system as well as give them a small step toward their goal.