Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Where is your office located?
5950 Fairview Road, Suite 306
Charlotte, NC 28210

Located at the corner of Fairview Road and Park South Drive, the tower is directly behind Panera. The building has two lobbies: one with an entrance to the lower level facing Park South Drive, and the other on the opposite side of the building has an entrance to the 1st floor. Both allow access by elevator or stairs to the 3rd floor. Free parking is accessed from Park South Drive, with ample space in the deck.

What are your hours?
By appointment, including mornings, afternoons, and limited evening and Saturday availability.
How long are sessions?
Play Therapy: 30-45 minutes per session.
Parent Coaching: 50 minutes per session.
Do you take insurance?
I am considered out-of-network. I can give you a Super Bill for possible reimbursement from your insurance company. It will contain all needed information required.

I do recommend you call your insurance carrier to inquire if you have out-of-network coverage and, if so, how much. By not taking insurance, we can be the drivers of what type of therapy is best for you and can keep privacy intact. I can spend more time being present for my clients versus talking to the insurance company and completing tons of paperwork. I want to give you my best.

How do I set my first appointment?
Call (704) 659-6220 to set your first appointment. Our call allows us to insure our services are a good fit for your needs. You may also contact me through email at, and I will follow up.
What is your cancellation policy?
Please give at least 24 hours’ notice if you are unable to keep your appointment.

Therapy Questions

What ages do you work with?
I specialize in children ages 3 to 11 years old. I also work with parents of a variety of ages. Play therapy can be adapted for other ages, including toddlers, teens, and adults.
Do you work with adults?
As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I am trained to support a variety of populations with many different issues. Depending on the client’s specific needs, I can offer services for adults from a person-centered approach.

I offer expressive arts materials, including sandtray, for clients who choose those media for therapeutic work. If my areas of expertise are not matched to address your needs, then I will assist you in finding qualified clinicians.

I also offer Parent Coaching to both individuals, couples, and groups, which is primarily focused on skill development rather than individual therapy. Currently, couples counseling is outside my area of expertise

Do you work with teens?
Currently, I consider the needs of most teens outside my areas of expertise.
Do you work with grandparents?
If the child’s parents/legal guardians choose to sign a consent to release information to the child’s grandparents, then I can include grandparents as it benefits the child. However, unless grandparents have been awarded legal guardianship, I require written consent for treatment from the child’s parents.

If grandparents would like coaching, I will work on a case-by-case basis to determine whether my area of expertise is the best fit for your needs.

Can you help with my custody case?
It depends. If you would like me to provide play therapy and/or parent coaching while you are in the process of finalizing custody agreements, then the answer is “yes,” with written consent from both parents.

However, if you would like my help in building your custody case, then I’m afraid I would be very limited in how I could assist you. I am not qualified to assess what custody arrangement is in the best interest of your child.

At your request, I can provide a summary statement of session dates, including the person I observed accompanying the child to those sessions.

What do you do in sessions with clients?
For play therapy, I work to build a therapeutic relationship, in part by following the child’s lead. Child-centered play therapy places deep trust in the child to take the session at the pace and in the direction he or she needs it to go. I, as the therapist, respond in ways that convey respect, acceptance, care, and understanding. My goal is for the child to have a genuine experience of my acceptance and understanding.

Parent coaching also involves building a therapeutic relationship. However, it focuses on practical skills, so I am in a teacher role sometimes. The skills I teach parents are the same ones I use as a play therapist (and as a parent).

Can parents come to the playroom with their children?
“It depends” is the answer here, too. Most kids, even those that struggle with transition or anxiety, are so curious about the playroom that they won’t have any trouble.

However, sometimes kids need extra reassurance. Knowing that Mom or Dad will be just outside the playroom may be all that’s needed. Play therapy is designed for the child-client to interact with the therapist.

On a related note, I’d like to suggest thinking of your child’s play therapy session in the way you would think of an adult’s individual counseling session. What they do or say during the session is kind of like their own personal property – perhaps like a journal. Even if you do have access to their journal, reading it without their permission would likely jeopardize trust in the relationship.

So, although it might be hard, I encourage you to wait for your child to initiate any conversation about their session

Do you give homework between sessions?
Not really. I have books in my waiting area, and some are for adults that are more on the “self-help” side. I may reference one or another of them, and you may find these titles, as well as others, useful to you. I’ll leave that up to you.
What is your professional training and experience?
I earned my master’s degree from UNC-Charlotte in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Concentration in Play Therapy.

My clinical training included over 300 hours of supervised play therapy services for children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old. In addition to completing the requirements of full licensure as a professional counselor (LPC), I am pursuing the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credential through the Association for Play Therapists (APT).

I am a board-certified professional counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).

What modalities do you use with clients?
I am trained in Child-Centered Play Therapy and Child-Parent Relationship Therapy. I use a person-centered approach, focusing on the formation of a genuine therapeutic relationship as the agent of change.
When kids have behavior problems, do you think it’s the parent’s fault?
Answering this question with a “yes” or “no” would not get at how complex relationships and behaviors are.

Adults – parents included – are often mystified by kids’ behavior, but even though we may not understand it, there is some sort of message in it. Kids communicate through behavior, often instead of using words. All behavior has meaning. I also believe that parents’ behaviors have meaning, too.

I want to add that blame and shame are not helpful when trying to understand other people, especially parents.

In my 16+ years as a parent, I have recognized my need to both release myself from fears of being judged by others and to also take responsibility for my own words and behavior toward my kids. Both have been some of the most painful and difficult insights I have come by.

Fun Questions

Where did you get the toys in the playroom?
Lots of places. Most of them are from Target, Amazon, Lakeshore Learning, Dollar Tree, and Craig’s List. A lot are considered common toys, but they are chosen because they allow for open-ended play. A few are specialty toys from stores, like, that sell toys for therapeutic settings.
What’s your favorite toy?
I really don’t want to bias my clients toward a toy. That’s why you will often hear me say, “In here, you can decide.” But I will share that two of my personal favorites are the dollhouse and the bop bag
What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?

Regardless of the season, I love the peppermint mocha. And I say “yes” to whipped cream.

What did you do before you became a a counselor with a specialty in play therapy?
It’s kind of complicated.

I majored in Chemistry at NC State several years ago. I really didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but as I finished my degree I decided to apply to medical school.

I worked as a Chemist while also running the gauntlet of medical school applications. Eventually I earned acceptance at UNC-School of Medicine. I knew even at that point that I was drawn toward work with kids, so I explored pediatrics as well as psychiatry, including 3rd-year clerkships in Charlotte at Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health (then called CMC-Billingsley). I loved developmental pediatrics, but I also wanted to focus on behavior and emotions. What I deeply desired was to study human development. Pathology didn’t feel as important as the study of human development and all its complexities, intricacies, and peculiarities. I didn’t understand yet that the field of counseling was exactly that.

After my daughter was born, I began to re-examine my life and decided to leave medical school. Over the next eight years, my husband and I added three more kids to our family. I continued as a full-time Mom for several years, while also investigating how I could re-establish my professional life outside of medicine.

With several false starts, I found my “tribe” in the Play Therapy program at UNC-Charlotte with professors Phyllis Post and Kristie Opiola. This field combines so many of my favorite subjects, including child development, mental health, and play.

I love that counseling brings the perspective of well-being and human development to the field of mental health. I am so happy now, after spending many years not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up, to have a way of working with kids that is developmentally responsive and effective.

What books do you recommend?
What books do you recommend?

For parents and others who are working to understand a young child’s emotional world:
The Emotional Life of the Toddler by Alicia Lieberman

For one perspective about play therapy:
Dibs by Virginia Axline

For parents and other adults who recognize their need for self-care:
Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
The Gifts of Imperfection and others by Brene ́ Brown