Heather Westbarn, MA, LPC, RPT is our play therapist.
So what exactly is play therapy anyway?
Just as adults have seasons in their lives of feeling overwhelmed and look for guidance and a safe place to process life, so, too, do children. Except children will typically communicate with behaviors, play or even stories as their message. Play is a tool children use to invite us into their world and allow us to see things in the way they do. Typically, play therapy tends to be most effective from ages 3-12. This type of therapy offers a safe and sacred place for healing to take place through fun and metaphor!
What can you expect in your time with Heather?
Heather hopes to spend some time during the first session with you as the parents. She will use this time to connect with you and hear what your hopes are for counseling. Heather hopes to learn about some of your struggles, whether they feel big or small, while offering you and your child the support you are needing.
Each play therapy session lasts for a total of 50 minutes. The first 35-40 minutes of most sessions will consist of your child being in therapy, using the toys and other tools in the room to be their language and communication to Heather. Your child may choose to use this time to play, to create art, or to simply talk. Either way, Heather is mindful and honors what each individual’s healing style is. Along with her education, authenticity and current training, Heather uses creativity and intuition to help navigate the process of counseling. The last 15 minutes of the session, the family will be invited into the session. During this period of time, Heather will collaborate with you and fill you in on what took place, while also hearing how the last week has been both at home and school. You will also be filled in on areas that were “talked” about in the first 35-40 minutes, and any particular insights.