Play Therapy involves the use of play to communicate with children and to help children learn to solve problems and change their negative behaviors. Children naturally engage in play to create meaning and organize their experiences. This allows children to distance themselves from difficult feelings and memories through symbolic expression, using the toys as the medium to disclose these feelings. The therapeutic playroom becomes a sacred place to process and explore painful fears, anxieties and inadequacies.
Play Therapy is recommended for children ages 2-12 experiencing a variety of symptoms including:
- Life transitions such as a move, divorce, blended family,
- Anxiety, generalized fear
- Social skills/boundaries
- Aggressive behaviors
- Medical trauma
- Situational trauma
- Attachment concerns
- Nightmares/bed wetting
- Adoption support
- Strengthening family relationships
- Bullying/struggling peer relationships
- Challenges with academic motivation/success
- Low self esteem
Therapy for Adolescents
I especially love working with teen girls to help them develop self understanding, self-advocacy and lead happier more fulfilling lives. I am especially helpful in working with teen girls that have low self esteem, trauma/abuse history, difficulties in relationships and are willing to or like to use art and creativity to express themselves. See therapy for teens for more information.
An important part of my work is to provide support for parents, and interventions to implement at home to create long standing healthy family relationships. Typically, I meet with parents every fourth session. This is an opportunity to connect with parents, give suggestions, hear concerns and devise goals. See Parent Support page for more information.
Family Play Therapy
Families can become ingrained in roles and patterns that are hard to change. In family play therapy instead of asking the child to come up to the parent’s level to talk it out, the parent’s move down to the child’s level to play it out. Through play, families can try on new roles experientially and thus allow for an unconscious shift and change to occur. See Family Play Therapy for more information.
Child Parent Relationship Therapy
At times, Child Parent Relationship Therapy will be recommended. This is form of therapy in which the therapist teaches the parent to conduct Play Therapy sessions with their child. This is particularly helpful for those children that struggle with attachments and has been found remarkably helpful in enhancing parent-child relationships.
School Consultation Services
At times your child may be struggling in school and may benefit from specialized school supports. With a signed release of information, I am able to communicate with schools to advocate for your child’s social, emotional and behavioral needs, and help to review or create behavior intervention plans and individualized education plans.
Supervision and Consultation For Therapists
I am a WA Department of Health Approved Supervisor. I provide play therapy and depth-oriented clinical supervision for associate therapists working towards licensure. I also provide consultation for licensed therapists that are wanting to build clinical skills in Play Therapy. See the Overview of Supervision Page for more information.