Tag Archive for: therapy for kids

Limiting the Overwhelm of Parents: Making Therapy More Accessible to Children and Teens at School

As parents, we want our kids to be happy and healthy. Oftentimes this means running them all over town for various events and appointments – wellness visits, sick visits, tutoring, dentist appointments, lessons, sports activities, vision tests, club events…and the list goes on and on.  While their happiness and success is a priority, what happens when crises arise which add to the already over-scheduled family schedule? When our children experience mental health symptoms and concerns, this moves up quickly on the priority list of weekly commitments. Parents who are already burning up the road with mileage then try to find more time in the day to fit in one more (very important) therapy visit. Learn More...

Back to School: Time for a New Routine Chart

If your family has had a relaxed scheduled this summer, you may find that it’s time to get back into a routine to prepare for your back-to-school schedule! This afternoon my elementary-aged child and I created a new Routine Chart. Routine Charts are a positive parenting tool that can help streamline a routine or process, help your child increase their autonomy and skills and releases you of the nagging for all that has to be done! Instead of asking quick-fire questions in the morning about all their morning tasks, you can simply ask, “Have you completed your morning routine?” Learn More...

Creating a Summer Schedule for Your Family

As the school-year ends, many families embrace a slower schedule, or lack thereof. Taking a break from the busy school schedule is well-deserved, but if you’re like my family, some structure and routine to the day can keep things interesting when day in and day out at home can seem boring after a while.

A summer schedule can also help set some boundaries around use of technology, which research shows is correlated to poor academic performance and higher mental and emotional health symptoms. And at least at my house, the more screen time there is, the more outbursts we have, which tells me their brains need less of it!  If you want to include technology time in your summer schedule, you could designate a limited amount somewhere throughout the day. Learn More...

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...

A Day in the Life of a Play Therapist: Attending a Play Therapy Conference

Have you ever wondered what a day at a play therapy conference might look like? I can assure you, it’s a lot of fun! I recently attended a fun Play Therapy Conference focused on Puppets in Play Therapy and Nature Play Therapy. Here are some highlights of the conference. After checking in I found my seat with some colleagues from Creative Family Counseling and some play therapists from Hazard, Ky. We chatted a bit and then our trainer, Jaime Lynn Langely, LCSW, RPT-S, started the class with a fun challenge. She had us list all the ways we might use a small brown paper bag in play therapy. I listed 11 which was the most of all the people in attendance. I won a prize for having the most responses! My clients will definitely use these prizes. This was a great way to start the conference! Learn More...

Therapist offering counseling

A Space for Healing: The Perspective of a Play Therapist*

As a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in practice at Creative Family Counseling in Louisville, KY, I work mostly with kids, teens and their families. The pandemic has changed many aspects of what therapy looks like; I practice via telehealth with many clients, conducting sessions with them via video conferencing. I also meet with younger clients (ages 4-12) in-person at the office while we are masked because meeting via telehealth with that age group is, typically, too challenging for them to engage in in a meaningful way longterm.  Learn More...

Nugget, therapy dog at Creative Family Counseling in Louisville, KY

Nugget’s Knowledge: A Check In with Nugget the Therapy-Dog-in-Training

Creative Family Counseling is a group practice in Louisville, Kentucky that specializes in working with families that include young children and teens.  The practice offers many types of experiential and creative interventions to help young clients engage and participate in therapy in developmentally appropriate ways.  Known in town as the “practice with the dogs,” Creative Family Counseling has become somewhat known for offering Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) with Certified Therapy Dogs as one of the creative ways to engage family members of all ages.  While AAT has been limited in the last few months due to the Pandemic, the practice’s two Therapy Dogs – Lola and Archer – and one Therapy Pup in training – Nugget – continue to be a source of joy for clients, even if from a distance.  Marriage and Family Therapist Associate Leslie Cashion and her Therapy Partner, Nugget sat down for a little checkin to give us an update on Nugget’s certification training as a Therapy Dog as well as some other topics such as working from home.

Leslie: (calling from her office chair) Nugget, c’mere buddy! I know you really want to finish tearing up that new dog stuffy to spread fluff all over the office, but Lacey wants to hear about how life is going as a 1+ yr old Golden Retriever therapy dog in training.

Nugget: (bounding in from the other room, enthusiastically leaping on Leslie’s lap) LACEY! I love Lacey, she’s Lola’s mom and is always ready to pet my soft head or give me amazing treats! Learn More...