Play therapy uses a child's primary language of play to work through whatever may be in the way of the child experiencing the world in a fulfilling and adaptive way. Because children operate in the present moment, play becomes an outlet for them to process whatever is on their minds or hurting their hearts in real time. This allows for growth and transformation to unfold in a way that supports resiliency, personal responsibility, self awareness, and social connection.
Play therapy can assist children in working through
- Challenging transitions such as a change of home, school, or parent work schedule
- Adapting to changes in family composition, such as the birth of siblings or a change in parental figures
- Behavior problems at home, school, or childcare facility
- Social isolation and withdrawal
- Social conflict with peers
- Sadness and grief over losses in life
- Experiences of trauma or distress, such as an illness, injury, or sudden change in family life
- Opposition to authority and defiant behaviors
In addition to Play Therapy, I also work with parents and offer support in managing their child's behavior by meeting every 4th session without the child present to discuss current challenges and needs.
Benefits of Play Therapy
The course of treatment depends on the child and situation, but most families notice lasting improvements after 9-12 months of treatment in the following areas
- Child develops a more positive self-concept
- Child assumes greater self-responsiblity
- Child becomes more self-directing
- Child becomes more self-accepting
- Child becomes more self-reliant
- Child engages in self-determined decision making
- Child experiences a feeling of control
- Child becomes sensitive to the process of coping
- Child develops an internal source of evaluation
- Child becomes more trusting of himself
When children internalize the above list of qualities, problematic behaviors often melt away because they develop ways to meet their needs in an adaptive, pro-social way. Since so much of a child's life is directed by adults, the value of a child learning to listen and trust themselves cannot be understated. It is my belief that such self awareness is the foundation for becoming a healthy, successful adult and may lessen future mental vulnerabilities to stress and hardship.
I am currently an LMHCA, meaning I am still working on accruing my hours to be fully licensed in Washing State and work under close supervision with 2 well qualified therapists (their credentials and experience will be shared on the phone or at our first in person session). Because of this, I am not able to accept or bill insurance.
Instead, I offer a limited number of adjusted rate slots of $60 and $80/hour to mental health clients. Your rate will be set at our first in person session and will be revisited every 6 months to assure it remains a feasible amount for you. If all adjusted rate slots are full, the fee is $100/50 min.
Please contact me today to set up a free 20 minute in person or phone consultation to to find out if my services would be a good fit for you.
More About my Clinical Experience
I enjoy working with individuals from all ages and backgrounds and specialize in treating anxiety, depression, PTSD, and attachment issues. I have a bachelor's degree in Social Work from Indiana University, Bloomington, where I spent 4 years working in the field of domestic violence and in educational settings. Upon moving to Seattle in 2005, I emerged myself in the field of developmental disabilities for 8 years, teaching vocational skills and supporting youth and families with the transition from school to work, post high school graduation. Additionally, I have been a caregiver for children, ages birth to 12, for over 25 years, placing me in a variety of homes and settings prior to my career change to mental health. As an intern and new graduate from Bastyr, I worked intensively for two years in people's homes as a Child and Family Therapist to help stabilize crisis situations, build communication skills, and increase caregiver understanding of child development and attachment needs. This wide variety of work experience gives me a unique perspective on how to support children, teens, adults, and parents in their various roles and life stages.
*Landreth, G. L. (2012). Play therapy: The art of relationship, third edition. New York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.