Entries by Lacey Ryan, LMFT, RPT-S

Why is There a Sandbox in Your Office?

It is International Play Therapy Week!  As a practice who provides play therapy for many of our clients, I thought it would be helpful to illustrate one of the interventions we regularly use in our offices with child, teen, and even some adult clients.

In most of our offices, we have a sand tray.  In play therapy, sand trays are used most often with a collection of small figures.  These small figures range from animals, humans, buildings, landscape, and other day to day items, which are all used within the sand tray.  Without geeking out and getting too far into Play Therapy Theory on you, I’ll just summarize that there are many ways a therapist who provides play therapy can utilize sand and miniature figures.  In both Sandtray Therapy and Sand Play Therapy, therapists provide access to a sand tray and miniatures to allow the client to create scenes in the tray.  Sometimes, depending on the client and the focus of the session, the scene completion is the intervention itself.  Other times, the scene may turn into an evolving story which is played through while the Therapist observes or even participates if the client invites them to do so.  Sometimes clients explain their sandtrays and other times they do not.  Use of sandtrays in therapy can be a powerful intervention for people at various ages. Learn More… Learn More...

Telling Your Children You’re Divorcing: 5 Things to Consider

When couples decide to end a relationship and it leads to the breakup of a family with children, the amount of information to process can be somewhat overwhelming. While the separation may be what’s best for everyone involved, how the information is shared with children will be a memory they hold forever.  How this family change is shared can impact the trajectory of the entire transition for each child. This process should be handled with tender care and with an emphasis on how you, the parents, will provide physical, mental, and emotional safety for each child.  Here’s a simple list to guide you through a very challenging decision making process which can help you share this news with your children in the most honest and gentle way possible. Learn More… Learn More...

The Secret to Co-Parenting Success: Shifting from a Personal Relationship to a Parental Relationship

As a Therapist who has spent over a decade working with families and children, I’ve had the great privilege of sharing the various journeys of many, many clients. Some journeys (especially at the end of my work with clients) take a positive turn; I cherish the moments when I see clients thriving and no longer needing therapy for the time being.  Most people, however, begin their work with me at the start of a challenging journey, such as a journey of separation and divorce. Since I specialize in working with children, teens, and parents, the caregivers typically reach out to me after they’ve made decisions to end their relationship. They are oftentimes seeking out support for the purposes of best caring for their children through the transition. Sometimes they need support in developing c0-parenting skills, and sometimes they need support in how to tell their children about the divorce (and most times, both).  If you need help in planning how to tell your children you are separating, this article may be helpful, here. Learn More… Learn More...

Teaching Our Child the Gift of Independent Play

My partner and I have two children, who are four years apart in age. As anxious and loving new parents, we participated in our oldest child’s play as much as we could, and as early as we could. From infancy, we joined our oldest on the floor to show interest in his world, communicate with him in the language he speaks (play), and demonstrate his importance and value to us.  As a Registered Play Therapist, I teach parents daily about the importance of child’s play and how children learn, problem solve, communicate, express, and work through their feelings, all through play. I also educate families about how much love and significance a child feels when parents join in the activities that bring joy to the child; it builds connection!  And as we know, when children are more connected, they are generally more cooperative. So much good comes from playing with your children! Learn More… Learn More...

Merry & Bright or Chaotic & Stressful: Preparing for the Holidays

Families across the country are preparing for the upcoming holiday break. This time of year, while full of joy and love, can also be a time of chaos and stress for many people. There is a change in routine and schedule, new experiences, new stimuli and lots of changes in general.

Consider your holiday break last year. Was it stressful? Would you like this year to be more on the Merry & Bright side instead of the Chaotic & Stressful side? We are here to help! Creative Family Counseling has two upcoming, time limited services available, which can help your winter break go peacefully this year! Learn More… Learn More...

3 Ways to Support Your Children as You Proceed with Separation or Divorce

The decision to separate or divorce a partner is often times a laborious and heart-wrenching process. If the partnership includes children, the decision causes ripples of reactions which impact all family members. Depending on the age of the children in your family, there may be differing needs which should be considered on an individual basis. However, there are some things you can do as a parent moving through separation or divorce which will help your children, no matter their age. Learn More… Learn More...

6 Ways to Help Your Children Transition Back-to-School

The Back-to-School-Struggle

The transition back to school can be a challenge for both children and parents alike. With the start of a new school year, comes many new adjustments – new classroom, new teacher, new peers, maybe even a new school altogether. During the school day, children continue to experience new transitions between classes and tasks all throughout their day. It’s definitely a transition-overload. For parents, additional school-year responsibilities can increase the overall stress level in the home with the return of hurried mornings for getting everyone to where they need to be on time. Learn More… Learn More...

Therapist Spotlight: Tiffany Keith Offers Insight to the Burned-Out-Momma

Recently, Tiffany Keith, Marriage and Family Therapy Associate at the Creative Family Counseling Lyndon Practice, was featured in an article by Tonilyn Hornung on the website Mother Untitled. Hornung and Keith discuss the history of motherhood and professionalism and how past expectations for mothers in the home may need to be re-evaluated and discussed within a healthy partnership in the article titled “How to Clear the Outdated Stereotypes Cluttering Your Home.” You can hear what Tiffany had to say in the full article, here! Learn More… Learn More...

Louisville Based Practice Expands Animal Assisted Therapies to Include Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Creative Family Counseling, a child and family counseling practice with locations in Lyndon and Prospect, has long been known to offer Animal-Assisted Therapies.  Founder and CEO Lacey Ryan, LMFT and her dog Lola have offered this service as a certified pet therapy team since the practice opened its doors in 2016.  Lola’s gentle and powerful work has inspired other clinicians on the Creative Family Counseling team to train and certify their own pets for this work. The practice now has four therapy dogs between the two locations, offering the beautiful and healing service that only animals can offer.   Learn More… Learn More...

A Life of Service: Lola’s Retirement From Animal-Assisted Therapy

While in graduate school earning my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, I spent a semester working as a student counseling intern at a psychiatric hospital.  Also at that hospital worked a Therapy Dog named Brinkley who offered a sweet and calming presence to the patients with whom he worked. Brinkley was the first Therapy Dog I’d met. While I had known of working Service Dogs, I had never met a Therapy Dog and was excited to learn about the difference between the two and something called Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT). Learn More… Learn More...