If you’ve found your way to this website, then, most likely, you have a child who is struggling, and I grieve with you in that. I know how hard it can be to feel like you don’t know where else to turn. You love your child dearly, but you may feel overwhelmed with his emotional outbursts or behavior challenges. You might feel like you’re not connecting with your child and don’t know how to bring that connection back. Your child may have experienced a significant loss or traumatic event, and you’re trying your best to help her feel joy again. Or, you might have a child who is behind in school or having trouble making friends, and the school staff hasn’t been able to help.
Life as a child can be so difficult, and you, as the parent or guardian, can often feel lost in knowing how to help your child navigate those challenges. I want you to know that you’re not alone, and there is help available. I’m a child therapist with years of experience in working with children and families. I understand the difficulties that children often face, and I understand how challenging it can be to be a parent. I want to help you and your child thrive again. Please reach out for a free 15 minute phone consultation to see if I might be a good fit for your child. I look forward to talking with you!
Help your child manage stress and challenges.Play Therapy
Return to your authentic way of parenting - find your style and connect with your child again.Coaching
Gain a greater understanding of yourself and who you are as a counselor.Supervision
Play therapy offers the child a chance to express emotion through her innate form of communication: play. In the playroom, the child creates plays scenarios in which his experience of the world is re-created for the therapist to witness and support. The child works through stages of play in order to find, practice, and master new ways to respond to tough situations. The child uses the toys and the therapist to fully express her worldview as well as practice new ways of being in that world. The play therapist supports the child in fully exploring all the emotions he has in response to his environment. Furthermore, the therapist is present to support the child in identifying new ways to respond to stress and to practice these new skills. Synergetic Play Therapy™ focuses specifically on the lowest regions of the brain, allowing children to re-pattern their stress response.
The first step is to call me for a free 15 minute consultation, and we will decide together if this seems like a good fit. Then, you will come in (without your child) for a 50 minute intake session where we will discuss the needs of your child and develop a plan together. I will also explain more about my services and how I might be able to help your child.
Payment is due in full at the end of each session. I accept cash, check, or major credit card/HSA card. For your convenience, I am able to securely keep your card on file to bill you automatically after each session. Most people choose this option.
Most children are ready to begin this process on their own with the therapist, but some children might be anxious about separating from their parent and may want their parent with them for all or part of the first session. I let the child lead this process. You can communicate to your child that they are in a safe space with a trusted adult, and they are going to be able to play in a way that will allow them to feel better. Typically, the goal is to help a child move through their anxiety and develop their self-confidence and trust to be able to work independently without the parent in the session. However, depending on your child’s age, development, and needs, I may suggest working with you and your child together at some point in the process so that you can learn and practice regulation and bonding activities together.
The entire session is 50 minutes long. I will meet with your child for about 40 minutes, and then check-in with you for 10 minutes to discuss your concerns and the progress that your child is making.
I do not take insurance at this time, but I can provide a SuperBill for you to submit to your insurance provider. This is a summary of the services that were provided to you that can be submitted by you to your insurance for reimbursement.
Currently, I have availability on Fridays between 2 and 6 pm.
If you miss a session without canceling, or cancel with less than 24-hour notice, my policy is to collect the full fee for your session (unless we agree that you were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control).
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Colorado, I am not allowed to prescribe medication. This can only be done through a psychiatrist. But, I can work closely with your child’s psychiatrist if both of you believe that medication is necessary. However, I have seen play therapy decrease a child’s symptoms without the use of medication and often encourage parents to try play therapy before resorting to medication.
The initial parent meeting is a comprehensive 50 minute long meeting between the parent(s) and the therapist. You will complete some of the necessary paperwork ahead of time in order for us to have ample time to discuss your concerns, struggles, and past relevant history; to set goals; and to answer any remaining questions. This will be the framework from which we will move forward together in order to best support your child’s process.
This is a hard question to answer when I haven’t met your child, yet. But, on average, it takes about 15-20 sessions of play therapy for a child to meet the goals and feel more empowered, self-confident, and secure in handling ongoing life challenges. There are many factors which can increase or reduce the needed length of therapy. Consistent weekly participation and active client/parent engagement tend to support the therapy process and reduce the length of overall therapy. Factors that may prolong the process include life stressors that are ongoing, the length of time a challenge(s) has been present, newly separated or divorced parents, sensory sensitivities, adoption or foster care, witness to abuse of others, or experiencing abuse and/or neglect. We can talk more about this in the intake after we have discussed the needs of your child. The more committed you are to the process, the quicker you will see results that are lasting and sustainable!
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. - Mother Theresa
I realize that seeking a therapist for your child is a difficult process, and I feel honored that you’re considering working with me. I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who specializes in working with children who are struggling with grief, anger and aggression, anxiety, depression, identity issues, and symptoms related to trauma. I believe that all children are strong and resilient and often just need to learn a few skills to bring them back to themselves and learn how to thrive again. I view all of my clients from a strengths-based perspective and love to find the brilliance in every child who comes into my playroom. Being a play therapist brings such joy to my life, and I’m grateful for all of the children who end up teaching and challenging me as we grow together.
I have always loved working with children, and my career path began as an elementary school teacher, teaching for seven years both internationally and in the United States. Many of the students in my classrooms were struggling with significant challenges, whether it be a learning disability, an empty stomach, a chaotic or violent home life, a need to be perfect all the time, or a loss in the family. I realized then that I longed to relieve the emotional pain of these children instead of simply focusing on their educational needs. So, I decided to return to school to learn how to provide therapy to children. It’s been a wonderful journey, and I’m so grateful to be able to provide hope and healing to the children that come across my path.
On a personal note, I’m originally from Texas but moved to Colorado as soon as I could! I love all that Colorado has to offer and often marvel at the beauty that surrounds me. I usually spend my free time outdoors - hiking, swimming, camping, skiing, etc. I love to be active, but there are also many days when I want to be still and enjoy sitting by a lake or reading a book by the fire. I strongly believe in the importance of practicing mindfulness and building a connection to our bodies, so yoga is also a crucial part of my weekly routine. Growth and development are deeply important to me; I’m always striving to learn and challenge myself personally and as a counselor. I love working in this field because it allows me to learn from my clients and constantly reminds me of the hope and beauty that’s present in this world.
I hold a Master of Social Work Degree with an emphasis in Family Therapy and a certification in Interpersonal Traumatic Studies from the University of Denver. I have been practicing in the counseling field for over eight years and have extensive experience in working with children and families. My formal clinical work began in Denver in 2010 with internships at Joshua Station, a transitional housing facility, and Judi's House, a grief-counseling center for children and families. I currently meet with clients in a private practice setting at Playful Paths Counseling and serve as the Counseling Coordinator at Joshua Station where I supervise interns, teach parenting classes, manage the counseling program, and counsel children who are moving from homelessness to stable living. I am a Certified Synergetic Play Therapist and Supervisor and have training in many areas including play therapy, family systems, interpersonal neurobiology, grief and loss, sand tray, yoga with children, and trauma informed care.
Play allows us a safe distance as we work on what’s close to our hearts. - Fred Rogers
Play is the natural language of children, and if viewed through the right lens, it can teach us so much about a child’s world. There are many benefits to play that have been widely accepted by a variety of organizations, such as the American Association for Pediatrics, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Association for Play Therapy. Play is instrumental for development - allowing children to develop autonomy, empathy, self-regulation, and social skills. Play relieves stress, helps us learn and connect, develops brain function, helps release intense emotions, and brings joy and energy to our lives. Even adults need to play! George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”
In play therapy, children are able to use play to express and process difficult, challenging, or traumatic experiences. Since children are often unable to explain or verbally talk about their struggles, they can use their natural language of play to show me, the therapist, how they are viewing these challenges in their lives. Through their play, children might indicate feelings of sadness, frustration, loss, anger, or fear while I respond by helping them feel seen, heard, understood, and accepted. As their play therapy process evolves, they will learn and practice healthier, more effective ways to deal with their perceived challenges. As they practice these skills, they begin to integrate new patterns of behavior and new ways of relating to themselves and others that carry over into their lives outside of the play therapy process as they continue to navigate life’s challenges.
In my work with children, I use Synergetic Play Therapy™, a research-informed model of play therapy combining the therapeutic powers of play with nervous-system regulation, interpersonal neurobiology, physics, attachment, mindfulness, and therapist authenticity. This model of play therapy helps rewire the lowest regions of the brain and supports children in finding new ways to respond to stress and challenges in their lives.
You, as the parent or guardian, know your child best, so I strive to work closely with you to create meaningful goals and monitor your child’s progress. Although every child is unique, my goals for your child might include developing healthy coping skills, regulation techniques, and healthy social interactions at home and at school. I seek to create a safe, non-judgmental, non-intrusive atmosphere for children to truly express their emotions and desires.
Like many of you, parenting is by far my boldest and most daring adventure. - Brene Brown
People often joke in saying, “My child didn’t come with a manual.” But, really, wouldn’t it be nice if your child did come with a manual?? Parenting is such a challenging endeavor, and, as a parent or guardian, you are bombarded with a variety of messages telling you the “right” way to do things. You have a million books to read, a million websites to look at, a million people who want to give you advice, and often you’re left in the confusion of it all! No wonder so many parents are struggling!
As a parenting coach, I strive to help you let go of all the noise and come back to yourself. What is your intuition telling you? I want to help you see the brilliance in your own unique parenting style. I strive to build connection between you and your child so that you can enjoy your child again and see the little things that he/she is trying to teach you. I don’t want to add more confusion and noise to your parenting world - instead, I want to provide you with some options and suggestions so that you can decide for yourself what works for you and your child. I strive to be an empathetic, non-judgmental listener and coach who walks alongside you on this parenting journey.
I use research-informed models of parenting to supplement our work and give suggestions along the way. I pull from a variety of models of parenting to move us towards a better understanding of your child and the parenting techniques that will work for you and your family.
What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly. - Carl R. Rogers
If you are a candidate for licensure and need a qualified supervisor, I can help! I have been supervising counselors in training for over three years and love to work with others who are passionate about this field. I understand the struggles that you face as you try to find your unique style and voice as a counselor. There are so many voices in our heads telling us how we “should” do things as counselors, but in my work as a supervisor, I strive to get those voices out of your head and connect you to your authentic self and way of being in the room with your clients. I strive to be a support to you as you grow and learn as a counselor.
I am a Certified Synergetic Play Therapy™ Supervisor, so I use a model of supervision that incorporates techniques and skills from Synergetic Play Therapy™. Becoming certified in Synergetic Play Therapy™ was truly transformative for me, leading me down the path of authenticity and attaching to self, and I greatly enjoy consulting and supervising others who are on the same journey!
I charge $100-$120 for a supervision session. Please reach out if you would like more information!
Playful Paths Counseling | 1777 S Harrison Street | Denver, CO 80210 | Google Map