Looking for a counselor or play therapist, can be a tiresome process! There are many logistical factors to take into consideration including: rates, office location, hours of operation, & counselor specialties. On top of that there are the personal factors such as counseling style, the counselor's personality, and ultimately whether you and your child feel comfortable with that individual whom you both will be interacting with on a weekly basis.
It is hard to tell from a picture and a website whether someone is the right fit for you or your child. Scheduling that initial phone consultation provides you with a great introduction to the counselor, their process for working with you or your child, and whether they can provide the best services to meet the needs of you or your child.
To assist you in deciding whether I am a good fit for you and/or your child I have provided you with some more information about me:
Q. Where did you go to school?
A. I completed my master's degree (Master of Social Work) at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY and my bachelor's degree (B.S. Psychology) at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I will be starting my PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in child and adolescent therapy through Northcentral University in the Fall (2019).
Q. Why did you decide to focus your career on children, teens, and families?
A. Working with children has always been a passion of mine!
In middle school I was the assistant soccer coach for my younger brother's soccer team. In high school I became the head soccer coach for a youth 5-7 soccer team. Every summer in undergraduate school I was a therapeutic support staff member for a summer camp for children with developmental disabilities.
While in graduate school I decided to concentrate my career ambitions on work with youth and families. I wanted to help parents feel confident in their ability to connect with and support their child. I wanted to help children see their true potential and overcome those monsters that have been holding them back.
Q. What are three qualities that you believe helps you in your work with youth?
A. I am not the type of counselor who sits behind a desk and writes on a note pad all session. Children--and adults for the matter--want an active and engaged counselor in their corner. They want someone who can get on the floor or get their hands full of paint. My laidback nature, active presence in the therapy room, and sense humor are strengths that I have found help both children and parents feel comfortable.
Q. What is one interesting fact about yourself?
A. I am an avid collector of crazy socks! Stripes, polka-dots, colors and pictures galore!
Q. What do you do outside of counseling?
A. I am a big foodie! I make it a mission to try at least one new restaurant a month. Other than eating I enjoy travelling, creating collages, and cooking.
Q. What is something that parents should know prior to scheduling an appointment with you?
A. Counseling and play therapy are collaborative processes. Growth in your child will be difficult if you and I are not working together to support them in meeting their goals. I routinely incorporate parents into both counseling and play therapy services.
During counseling/play therapy services I provide weekly parent check-in sheets for you to fill out while I am with your child. I also schedule monthly parent consultation sessions so that we may have time together--without your child present--to discuss growth, concerns, and ways we can help your child continue to grow in-between sessions.
Q. Do you do anything other than private practice?
A. Outside of private practice I serve as the Associate Program Director at an outpatient mental health clinic located in the South Bronx. I also facilitate monthly group supervision for mental health providers and interns.
Q. What type of training have you received outside of your master's program?
A. I have completed training and supervision in multiple modalities of play therapy including: Theraplay®, Child-Centered Play Therapy, Autplay® Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy, and Sandtray Play Therapy. I am a Certified Foundational Theraplay® Practitioner, and a Certified Autplay® Therapy Provider. I am a Registered Play Therapist through the U.S. accrediting body for Play Therapy--the Association for Play Therapy
Outside of play therapy I have received extensive training in child development, attachment, neurodevelopmental disorders, and executive functioning difficulties. I am an ADHD Certified Clinical Services Professional and Registered Circle of Security® Parenting Facilitator.
Q. How can I schedule an initial Phone Consultation to learn more about you and the services you provide?
A. If you would like to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation you can do so by clicking on the Request Your Free Phone Consultation button located throughout the website. You can also contact me via telephone at (609) 401-2983 to schedule your free 20-minute phone consultation. If I am unavailable by phone please leave a voicemail with your name and contact number. I strive to return all calls on the same day.
I look forward to learning more about how I can best help you and your child!