What do you specialize in?
I specialize in Play Therapy with children, adolescents and adults with a sub-specialty of sandplay/sandtray therapy which is a Jungian based therapeutic intervention.
What do you think is important about your role as a therapist?
Most important is genuine positive regard for the client and where the client is at in the process. Helping the client see their strengths and what they can accomplish by trusting themselves to release or unblock what is in the way of those strengths is an important component to the therapeutic process.
How do you help people, in your opinion?
I help people to see their ability to change their situation for the better and share tools to manage better in the midst of a chaotic situation that they live in. In these days of “helicopter parents” many of the children I work with cannot change their parents job situation that requires many parents to be at their job 14-16 hours a day which leaves little time for interaction with their children.
What is something that you wish people knew about your specialty, or about therapy in general?
I wish people knew and understood that just because the name of the modality is “Play Therapy” it doesn’t mean all we do is “play” without therapy occurring. Every Play Therapy Intervention that I utilize with clients has a clinical therapeutic reason behind it. What I want parents to know is that their relationship with their child is critical to development and, at times, they may need to change and grow as parents to assist the client in achieving their goals in treatment.
I also wish society was more aware regarding how much courage and strength it takes to work through the challenges and pain of the counseling process. It takes great emotional strength and courage to face the challenges in our lives, to make the changes necessary to increase our emotional health.
Name an influential person or experience in your life.
I have had many influential persons in my life. My parents were definitely very influential in my development as a Licensed Clinical Counselor. I have had many life experiences that have influenced me as a therapist. Many of my clients have been influential in my growth as a professional and I consider it an honor and a privilege to witness their courage and growth towards mental health. Also I have a great mentor in Cindy Wallis, LISW-S, Director of Programming & Clinical Operations at Community Counseling Services in Bucyrus, Ohio. She has greatly influenced my professionalism and genuine positive regard for clients that I work with.