Comprehensive and Collaborative Therapeutic Services
for Children, Teens, Adults, and Families
Human beings of all ages are found to be at their happiest and to be able to deploy their talents to best advantage when they are confident that, standing behind them, there are one or more trusted persons who will come to their aid should difficulties arise.
- John Bowlby
Welcome to the website for Christopher Chiochios, licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and board certified art therapist (ATR-BC). I provide a wide range of counseling and therapeutic services to best meet your current needs.
I have worked extensively with children and teens, parents, and families over the past 20+ years, and in private practice now for over 10 years. I have treated a variety of needs, concerns, issues, and struggles. Pertinent areas of expertise include Art Therapy, Play Therapy, attachment and relationship concerns, family discord, aggression, anxiety, depression, emotional regulation challenges, impulsivity and attentional difficulties, social relatedness or isolation, behavioral, social, emotional, academic, and other school-related difficulties, and the impact and treatment of trauma and abuse.
Life presents a multitude of challenges and opportunities for us to wrestle with, embrace, resolve, and overcome. This is an inherent part of living. As we make progress and move forward, achieve, we also find new challenges and roadblocks. Yet, for some (children and teens and their families, as well as adults) these are not always easily dealt with, mastered, or overcome. The course of life, of developing and growing, of the many transitions that take place from birth to starting school, moving into adolescence and on to adulthood, to becoming parents and having children, all require us to make adjustments, master new skills, and take on new roles and responsibilities.
My hope is to help you, your child, your teen, or your family to better navigate and relate with the current struggles, issues, or hardships that are leading you to seek additional resources and support for you and your family. My experiences have led me through working with children and teens in foster care, with parents, within school systems and out in the community, and in a day treatment school program. I have assisted these children, teens, adults, and families in finding solutions to their struggles, identify new skills and strengths to better cope with their difficulties, see new perspectives and understanding of their current situations and relationships, and better ways of relating with each other, themselves, and their world.
I encourage you to explore my site further to learn about me and my background, my approach with therapy, and the services that I offer, which include therapy and counseling for children, adolescents, parents, adults, and families. Contact me to set up an initial phone conversation in order to schedule an initial meeting or inquire with specific questions or concerns you may have. I look forward to assisting you further.
“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
I have worked in the mental health field since 1997. I received my master’s degree in art therapy and marriage and family therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. I have been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC40460) since 2003. I became a registered Art Therapist (ATR) in 2001 and became board certified (ATR-BC) in 2006. Throughout the last 20+ years, I have worked primarily with children and teens, who are considered at-risk and have unique and complex needs, as well as their families, who are often multi-stressed and struggling to cope in many areas of their lives. I have provided these services in a variety of settings, including public schools, special education/day treatment programs, foster care and residential treatment programs, and in the community. I have served a wide range of backgrounds and issues, related to family, home, community, peer or school-related stressors and struggles. My work has been fueled by the deep and enriching relationships that I have developed and shared with my clients and their families. These individuals and their families often had such resilience and perseverance to create anew in spite of the many limitations and recurring struggles they have endured.
My work and approach have been enhanced by my long time experiences working and teaching art with children and teens previous to my graduate studies. These experiences are ultimately what led me to study art therapy and psychology with a focus on human development. I believe that I have a natural affinity towards connecting with children and teens, as well as adults. This has further enhanced my work and practice of therapy. I have continued to learn from the wisdom and perspective that children and teenagers possess and easily share when they feel safe and secure. I believe this has impacted the relationships that I have developed with them and thus further has benefited the work that I have done with them. The same is true with the parent and caregivers that I have worked with. I see part of my role as a translator between various family members. Helping all sides to better understand and acknowledge and communicate the different perspectives that you have and find common ground to move and grow from.
"It's good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end"
Making the decision to seek therapy either for yourself, your child, your teen, or your family is an important and meaningful one. Therapy can be a place of great opportunity and change. It can be a place where new and additional support is found, where new directions are created, where new stories can be written and new perspectives developed. It can be a place to reflect and step back from the continual flow of life. A place where you can better identify, look at, explore, and gain perspective on the relationships that you have with yourself, with family members, with others, with your struggles and successes, and with your day to day endeavors. It takes strength, compassion, love, understanding, and perseverance to start this journey. What comes out of it is often what you put into it.
Therapy can take many forms and be delivered in many ways. There are a multitude of approaches and best practices, which do have some merit. These also share the common ingredient of developing a trusting and safe relationship with a well-trained therapist, who employs current practices along with empathic understanding, curiosity, active and patient listening, and compassionate and direct feedback to support the potential for change in the therapeutic relationship.
I employ my experience and training, my knowledge and understanding and curiosity to better help and support your growth, change, and resilience with the current issues that bring you in to begin working with me. My approach can best be described as relational and balanced. I use my training and experience to guide the best course of action in our work. I utilize current and effective theoretical approaches to best target and treat the needs and issues that are presented. I use my background in art and eastern philosophy as a means to be with and better understand your perspective and life experiences. I use my creativity and training in Art Therapy and Play Therapy to assist the work that we will do together.
As much as therapy can often stigmatize and label, I work to focus on the strengths, values, and skills already present, but maybe not yet apparent. Patience, acceptance, kindness, perseverance, resilience, motivation, empathy, respect, and other such necessary values and skills, are integral to my approach and therapeutic work. These values and skills will be the very ingredients necessary to mobilize change and healing for you and your
"One step can be the whole journey"
- African Proverb
This generally occurs on a weekly basis at a standing day/time. There are often exceptions to this based on schedule and availability. I offer this for children, teens, adults, parents, and/or families.
In-Home Therapy or Support is sometimes preferable or necessary based on your situation. I have experience in providing both individual and family support in clients' homes in the past. Consideration is given to circumstances, my availability, distance, travel time, etc.
This involves necessary configurations of the family as appropriate and generally occurs on a weekly basis. Generally, this occurs separately from individual work that is needed with a particular situation.
As mentioned above, In-Home Family Therapy or support is sometimes preferable and necessary based on the circumstances.
This can be a stand alone source of support or can coincide with individual therapy with a child and/or teen client and is part of the assessment and discussion at the beginning of our work. Attention is paid to what is the best course of action for your specific situation.
These are preferred and often the best course of support with children, who don't always possess or have the ability to be self reflective or verbally communicate and understand what is going on for them emotionally within themselves.
I enjoy working with and consulting with other professionals involved. I have extensive experience with consulting with school staff, teachers, school psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists, and others who may also be involved.
"Art washes away from the soul, the dust of every day life" - Pablo Picasso
Art therapy is an established treatment modality that was developed in the early 20th century. Art making has been used throughout history to make sense of the world. We are drawn to images and metaphors, to themes and stories, as a way of understanding. Art making is a human response to the things that are greater and lesser than ourselves. Art making is an inherent part of human development. Art therapy is a process by which artistic mediums are used to give form to internal thoughts, feelings, impulses, memories, or images. The creation of a symbolic representation helps to give distance to these things and can provide the opportunity to reflect, discover, and consider the meaning held by these.
Although everyone has the capacity to create and make art, we often receive, and sometimes give, conflicting messages about art. At times, these can be non-supportive or depreciating of ability or skill. Children naturally gravitate towards art and freely create. As we grow up, skill and mastery become more apparent, while judgement and awareness of others also does. It’s no wonder that many adults feel at a loss, inadequate, fearful of, or resistant to engaging in art making.
The use of art making in therapy has many benefits. Art therapy is a process and a means to discovering more about oneself and harnessing new found resources and insights. Although a product (ie. artwork) is produced, the process by which it is created is what is often more beneficial and important. This offers an avenue to identify, express, and experience internal images, states, feelings, and thoughts. Often these are difficult, if not impossible, to put into coherent, verbal language. Art can access parts of the brain that hold memories, emotional content, or trauma, which may be cut off and inaccessible depending on the age of the person or the issues at hand. Art making can be used to envision and begin creating new possibilities, opportunities, and pathways in ones life. If you have further questions regarding this modality or whether your child may benefit from it, please contact me and inquire further.
"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning. They play in order to find out more, and then they can practice what they learn in new forms of play"
- Mister Rogers
Play therapy uses the natural language and abilities of children. It is a modality that is appropriate and useful for children up to adolescence. It involves the use of metaphor and enactment. Often times, words nor language are available or accessible to describe the internal experiences, thoughts, or feelings that may be leading to the current struggles, difficulties, or challenges. I utilize play in this manner, which further helps to clarify and externalize the issue at hand or “the story” that is being played out. This can be an incredibly useful outlet and process for children and some teens to deal with traumatic experiences, difficult emotions, including anger, depression, and anxiety. Play can be a way to relate and connect these experiences at an experiential and body level, which often can have more impact and long term benefit. If you have further questions regarding this modality or whether your child may benefit from it, please contact me and inquire further.
My professional experience has also involved providing therapy to families, parents and their children and/or teens in their homes. This presents an opportunity for me to meet with you in your space, the place where you often spend much of your time.
This is the place where you might feel the more comfortable and at ease. I believe that this holds the potential for me to understand your needs and struggles and to help work out new solutions to the issue at hand.
By meeting in your home environment, I will be able to get to know you and your family and how you typically function. I will work to identify the best options available to
provide you with my services and supports. Often, the impact of these struggles and your relationship with them, become ever present and commonplace to the point where you might describe that “this is just how it is”.
I am able to utilize many of the same interventions, tools, and strategies as I would if we were meeting in my office. These include individual and family therapy, art therapy, play therapy, and other therapeutic modalities. If you have further questions regarding this modality or whether your child may benefit from it, please contact me and inquire further.