Benefits of DIR Floor Time for developmental disorders

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Benefits of DIR Floor Time for developmental disorders

DIR floor time is a developmental relational approach that was created by Dr. Stanley Greenspan to woo a child into a reciprocal, social, emotional relationship. I like to think of floor time as a great date. Now, what do you want on a great date? Most people are going to answer that they want to be with someone who gives them lots of fun, should be wonderful ambience. They want to be with somebody who absolutely understands them. If you do that, if you find somebody who meets all that criteria, what happen's is you're in an emotionally validating relationship. And don't you want to stay with that person forever? Now, DIR floor time works because we follow the lead of a child. What that means is we work where a child is at developmentally; we don't worry so much about chronological age. And then through your relationship with the child, parents, clinicians, they're taught to match that child's level of interest and then support underlying neurological differences that could be causing that developmental lag. Consequently, that child feels completely validated and they don't want to leave the relationship. You are the best play date ever. And when children don't want to leave a relationship, that's called developmental progress and that's how kids get better.

Watch Esther Hess, PhD's video on Benefits of DIR Floor Time for developmental disorders...


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Esther Hess, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist

Dr. Esther Hess is a developmental psychologist. She specializes in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children with developmental delays, regulatory disorders and language impairment, specifically autism, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified.  In addition, she treats various psychological ailments including, affective disorders, selective mutism, school phobias, attention deficit disorder, non-verbal learning disorders and difficulties as related to childhood response to parental divorce. Her expertise is in the utilization and application of a developmentally based psychotherapy (the DIR model) as devised by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. This model, conceptualized as Floor Time, takes into consideration the various underlying elements that may be impeding the child including where he/she is at developmentally, various biological constraints, and the relationship between the child and the parent. 

In addition to working with the impacted person, Dr. Hess interfaces with the entire family and coordinates the efforts of the various members of team specialists who assist in boosting the impacted individual’s developmental lag.  She is currently one of Dr. Greenspan’s Senior Clinicians on the West Coast, certified in  D.I.R./Floor Time and has trained parents, interventionists and clinicians both nationally and internationally in the developmental/relational method known as Floor Time.  Dr. Hess is the executive director of a multidisciplinary treatment facility in West Los Angeles, Center for the Developing Mind.

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