Where is your office located?
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?
How long are sessions?
Parent Coaching: 50 minutes per session.
Do you take insurance?
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?
What is your cancellation policy?
What ages do you work with?
Do you work with adults?
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?
Do you work with grandparents?
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?
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?
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?
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?
What is your professional training and experience?
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?
When kids have behavior problems, do you think it’s the parent’s fault?
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.
Where did you get the toys in the playroom?
What’s your favorite toy?
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?
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?
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