I love the magical power of play! Child-centered play therapy is my passion. It is effective, it is natural and it is fun. There is nothing more professionally rewarding to me than providing a safe and predictable space where children can explore their feelings through play. I truly believe children possess an inner strength to achieve wellness. Play allows them to draw on their inner resources and work on what they deem important.
My role, as the play therapist, is to build a trusting relationship and provide an environment where a child feels safe to play out his or her concerns. My therapeutic message to a child is always…’’I am here, I hear you, I understand and I care.” Children want to be heard but sometimes they don’t have the vocabulary to express their feelings and play gives them that opportunity. My experience has been that play therapy can be beneficial to a child who is encountering difficulties related to anger, anxiety, ADHD, autism, attachment disorder, abuse, abandonment, death, divorce, blended families, self-esteem, body image, difficulty adjusting to moving, starting school or the birth of a sibling.
Parents, guardians and/or care-takers, I believe, are the most influential factors in a child’s life. You can provide a source of stability, like no other, for your children. I strive to constantly communicate and gather information with the primary care-giver on the goal of therapy, weekly progress outside of therapy, and other concerns that arise. Our relationship is very important in helping your child.
We will have periodic consultation sessions in which I may offer techniques that are helpful for your child's developmental stage and the behavioral challenges you are encountering, effective discipline methods, support and guidance in gaining confidence in parenting, or just a time where we can have a brag session on your incredible kid! I want to work alongside of you to bring your child to a place of peace.
I have been involved in the counseling field in various capacities during my career. My experiences include having been a school counselor at Sudduth Elementary in Starkville, MS, and working with children, parents, teachers, and the school system for 14 years. I have also taught graduate courses in counseling, as an adjunct professor, from 2003 to 2010 at Mississippi State University. In addition to offering play therapy in a school setting, I have also provided services through local agencies to foster children and children affected by trauma.
My education includes a Ph.D. in guidance and counseling from the University of Florida and an additional Specialist in Education in the field of school counseling from Mississippi State University. I earned my credentials as a Licensed Professional Counselor in 2003 and as a Registered Play Therapist in 2007. My training and supervision for play therapy were completed at the University of Mississippi under the internationally renowned experts in the field, Dr. Marilyn Snow and Dr. Franc Hudspeth. My specialty is working with children ages 3-10 by means of child-centered play therapy.