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Rank #56 in Social Sciences category

Education
How To
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Social Sciences

Play Therapy Community

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #56 in Social Sciences category

Education
How To
Science
Social Sciences
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This podcast was created to help parents around the world with the “biggies” of family life. Play Therapy Community will present a fresh, insightful episode once a week, usually on Thursday mornings.On this podcast, we will cover topics such as picky eaters, struggles in school, behavioral issues, grief and loss, and so much more. We’ll also delve into specific diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. Difficult topics, such as parenting through separation/divorce, depression, anxiety struggles, relationship struggles, and such will be explored as well.As the host of Play Therapy Community, I feel honored that you are joining us on this journey for knowledge to truly help our children in a way that honors their mind, body, and soul. My name is Jackie Flynn, and I’m a Licensed Psychotherapist, Registered Play Therapist, Education Specialist, Adolescent Life Coach and a Parent Educator.

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This podcast was created to help parents around the world with the “biggies” of family life. Play Therapy Community will present a fresh, insightful episode once a week, usually on Thursday mornings.On this podcast, we will cover topics such as picky eaters, struggles in school, behavioral issues, grief and loss, and so much more. We’ll also delve into specific diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. Difficult topics, such as parenting through separation/divorce, depression, anxiety struggles, relationship struggles, and such will be explored as well.As the host of Play Therapy Community, I feel honored that you are joining us on this journey for knowledge to truly help our children in a way that honors their mind, body, and soul. My name is Jackie Flynn, and I’m a Licensed Psychotherapist, Registered Play Therapist, Education Specialist, Adolescent Life Coach and a Parent Educator.

iTunes Ratings

50 Ratings
Average Ratings
38
5
5
0
2

Jen Taylor Play Therapy

By Jen Taylor Play Therapy - May 15 2017
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One of my newest recommendations for new (and old) play therapists to learn about play therapy. After just a few minutes listening to Jackie it is obvious what a caring person she is.

Alert for Parents

By Mainlandzebra - Mar 03 2016
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Excellent idea. Parents should listen to this sensible podcast.

iTunes Ratings

50 Ratings
Average Ratings
38
5
5
0
2

Jen Taylor Play Therapy

By Jen Taylor Play Therapy - May 15 2017
Read more
One of my newest recommendations for new (and old) play therapists to learn about play therapy. After just a few minutes listening to Jackie it is obvious what a caring person she is.

Alert for Parents

By Mainlandzebra - Mar 03 2016
Read more
Excellent idea. Parents should listen to this sensible podcast.

Listen to:

Cover image of Play Therapy Community

Play Therapy Community

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

This podcast was created to help parents around the world with the “biggies” of family life. Play Therapy Community will present a fresh, insightful episode once a week, usually on Thursday mornings.On this podcast, we will cover topics such as picky eaters, struggles in school, behavioral issues, grief and loss, and so much more. We’ll also delve into specific diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. Difficult topics, such as parenting through separation/divorce, depression, anxiety struggles, relationship struggles, and such will be explored as well.As the host of Play Therapy Community, I feel honored that you are joining us on this journey for knowledge to truly help our children in a way that honors their mind, body, and soul. My name is Jackie Flynn, and I’m a Licensed Psychotherapist, Registered Play Therapist, Education Specialist, Adolescent Life Coach and a Parent Educator.

24: Teaching Kids with ADHD & Autism Spectrum Disorder Calm Their Chaos through Mindfulness with Robert Cox, M.A., PLPC, NCC

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In This Episode:  

Robert Cox specializes in the treatment of Trauma and Autism Spectrum Disorder and uses mindfulness extensively in his practice.  He lectures nationally on autism and works as a consultant for children’s psychiatric hospitals in the development of Autism treatment programs.  Recently, he has become the lead consultant for the creation of a special needs school for autism in Cameroon, Africa.  He also provides consultation service for parents.  His expertise is valued all around the world.

Mindfulness is really paying attention to one specific thing.  It is about being quiet long enough to create a space between the limbic region and the forebrain.

Taste can be used in mindfulness activities. This works great with kids that may not be able to understand some of the more complex tasks.  It’s important to involve all of the senses.  It’s really about teaching them to pay attention to one thing at time.

Mindfulness with kids with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder can help with focus, calm and clarity.

Robert uses mindfulness in his practice with almost all of his clients with trauma, addictions, social isolation/bullying, Autism, ADHD, and much more.  It can have a powerful impact!

Mindfulness can really have a great effect with students in the school system.

“Pain is a guaranteed part of life, but suffering doesn’t have to be.” Robert Cox

Mindfulness can help parents regulate themselves so they aren’t bouncing off of their child’s emotional state.

Robert uses Gummies, Oranges, M&Ms and such to teach help kids experience mindfulness.  It’s important to find something that is really attractive to the child so it really holds their attention.

It’s important to practice mindfulness with your kids, because they will respond to it when they need it instinctively.   It will become a learned behavior and become a functional tool.

We know from research that it “rewires” the brain, thickens the part of the brain that enables better access to greater processing abilities.

Mindfulness can help people with Reactive Attachment Disorder, RAD, because it retrains the brain.

Oxytocin is referred to as the “Hug Drug” in reference to social relations.  It helps people connect and feel love and strengthens relationships.

It’s important for parents to practice mindfulness themselves.  Teach your kids to pay attention with all of their senses.  When kids see their parents using mindfulness they are more likely to use it themselves.

The biggest challenge that people usually come up is when people try to stop the thoughts.  But, the trick is to just let the thoughts release through the breath without forcing the thoughts to stop.

Robert tells us about a technique called “Becoming the Observer” that can help people avoid the suffering.

Jun 09 2016

45mins

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04: Parenting a Child with ADHD with Penny Williams

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Parenting in the Rain, Episode 3

In This Episode:

  • Penny Williams is a parent of a child with ADHD and the author of several books.
  • For her most recent book, Insider’s Guide to ADHD, Penny provides clarity regarding what it is like to be a child with ADHD.
  • She surveyed and spoke with adults about what it is like to be a child growing up with ADHD.
  • Knowledge is power.  As adults that care about children with ADHD, we need to learn everything we can about it to best understand and help our children.  
  • Stepping back from the situation and looking at the child’s perception in a difficult situation is a helpful approach to get an accurate picture of what is happening for them.
  • Being present with our children can make such a huge difference.  
  • Communicating effectively is one of the things that children with developmental delays struggle with.
  • Remaining calm with our children allows us to keep a focus on helping them self-regulate their emotions during emotionally stressful times.
  • When parents and teachers are calm, it is easier to help children focus on the task at hand.
  • Emotionally detaching when children say things out of anger such as “I hate you”, “You’re the worst mom/dad in the world!” etc. can help deescalate difficult situations.
  • Some children with ADHD that need sensory stimulation have their problematic behavior  reinforced when adults respond with an argument.  Remaining in a calm manner is the key to helping calm the situation down.
  • The more that we can remain calm with our child, the shorter the emotional outbursts will be.
  • It is so important to keep structure in a child’s schedule, especially when parenting a child with ADHD.  Predictable schedules can give the child a sense of security. Posting a calendar for the family schedule and upcoming events/activities can be really helpful.
  • Doing what works best for your family is important.  A one size fits all approach to parenting a child with ADHD isn’t practical.
  • Verbiage is important.  Refraining from expressions such as “my ADHD child” can help you and your child focus more on the child and not their diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder.  “See your child first, not their ADHD.”  ADHD is just one facet of them.
  • Focusing on the strengths of our children and not their weaknesses can really help the parent and child feel a higher sense of positivity.  Sometimes children can feel inundated their weaknesses.  A focus on their strengths can send them down a healthier path.
  • A main goal is to help our children with independence.  Letting them do and/or learn how to do for themselves is so helpful for them long-term.
  • Self-esteem is often an issue with children with ADHD.  Often people with ADHD feels like they can’t do anything right, so focusing on the strengths can really help them to see the positive and build a higher sense of self-efficacy.

Resources
(Some of These Resources Are Affiliate Links)

https://www.pinterest.com/pennywauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/PennyWilliamsAuthor

https://twitter.com/BeingPenny

http://parentingadhdandautism.com/

“Create Routines” Morning Checklist – http://www.jackieflynnconsulting.com/adhdhelp  or TEXT adhdhelp to 44222  

Jan 21 2016

27mins

Play

63: Adlerian Play Therapy with Dalena Dillman Taylor, PhD, LPC, RPT

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Dr. Taylor is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida.  

She’s also the Center for Play Therapy Training and Research Director, as well as the Play Therapy Certificate coordinator.  

She earned her graduate degrees from the University of North Texas. 

She learned from many of the leaders in the Play Therapy world.  

Dr. Taylor is trained in Adlerian Play Therapy developed in the early 1990’s by Terry Kottman, Ph.D., Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, NCC, LMHC

Adlerian’s belief is that people’s behavior is purposeful and goal-directed.  Their early childhood experiences influence their behavior, as well as how they view themselves, others and their world. 

4 Phases of Adlerian Play Therapy

(1) Relationship Building – This phase of the therapy is non-directive and supports safety in the play room.  By creating a shared power, the client can really feel like a significant person in their world.  This phase supports building trust within the child. 

(2) Investigating the Lifestyle – In this phase, the therapist becomes more directive in their work.  A focus is placed on how they view themselves, others, and the world.  There are a lot of things to take into consideration for the client, especially information on their personality, how do they feel like they matter in the world.  

(3) Gaining Insight – At this point in the therapeutic process, the therapist has a really good idea how the child is viewing themselves, others and world. The treatment plan is developed after phase 2, once the therapist has a good idea of who the child is and how they view the world.

(4) Reorientation –In this phase, the therapist teaches the children skillsets through role play, family work, and more.  One of the goals is to directly support their ability to generalize the skills in different settings to support their self-efficacy.

The therapist looks for signs that the child is ready to move into  each phase. 

It’s important to truly understand the child’s lifestyle.

These 3 things are across each of the categories in the lifestyle: 

  • Goals for Change
  • Strategies
  • Progress

Parent consultation is an important component of Adlerian Play therapy.  Half of the session is spent with the child and ½ of the session is spent with the parent or every other session with parent then with child is scheduled.  

During the therapy, the parent is also following the 4 phases. During the parent consultation, how the parent is viewing the world is explored since it greatly influences their parenting approach. 

During the parent consultation, the parent learns many of the same skills as the child, so that they can respond to the child in a different way that is supportive of the treatment plan for the child. 

Dr. Taylor highly recommends reading Partners in Play by Terry Kottman 3rd Edtion.

Crucial C’s of Adlerian Play Therapy 

  • Courage 
  • Connect
  • Capable 
  • Count

It’s important for each therapist to choose a theory that aligns with how you also view the world to foster authenticity of delivery of services. 

The relationship is the most critical element of the therapy.  

http://education.ucf.edu/playtherapy/

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ucf-center-for-play-therapy-research-and-training-first-annual-play-therapy-conference-partners-in-registration-26582158953

https://playtherapycommunity.simplero.com/page/73863-free-download-tips-for-supporting-grieving-children

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Nov 09 2017

36mins

Play

15: Parenting a Child with ADHD and Autism

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In This Episode:

  • In this episode, Penny Williams tells us what her journey of parenting a child with ADHD and Autism has been like for her and her family.
  • She shares some helpful strategies such as validating her child’s feelings during times of upset, remaining calm during stressful situations such as meltdowns and tantrums, communicating with the school, and much more.
  • She recommends that parents advocate for their child’s needs and educate themselves as much as possible.  Knowledge and understanding is key.
  • She refers to her son as “Ricochet” to respect his privacy.  His soccer coach gave him that nickname at his first day of practice at 4 years old.
  • At first she didn’t realize that his behavior was out of the ordinary.  Feedback from peers and teachers helped her to realize that something was going on and there was a need to seek more information from a specialist.  She eventually sought out an appointment with a Developmental Specialist, which took a while to get an appointment.  During that time she researched to try to find answers on her own. 
  • Penny thought that since he was able to focus on things that he loved, that focus wasn’t really an issue. 
  • She shared what her family’s lives were like before the diagnosis with school struggles, the search for answers and strategies, and the emotional impact of it all.
  • She felt overwhelmed and in search of information to “fix” it after she received the diagnosis.  But, then she realized that she couldn’t “fix” it. She searched out knowledge to help with strategies and techniques.  She wrote 3 books so far to help other parents learn from her experience.   It was really a mindset shift for her and her family.  It took her about 2 years to come into acceptance that it couldn’t be “fixed”, but it can be helped and their family could feel joy and peace together.
  • Penny talks about the reality of the struggle – “an on the bathroom floor” type of struggle.  It can be difficult and leave parents feeling inadequate, frustrated, and in emotional distress.  She tells us that suppressing feelings does not make anything better. 
  • She mentions the metaphor of the flight attendant instructing parents to put the oxygen mask on themselves first before they do their children, so that they can be there for their kids.  It’s important to validate your own feelings as a parent as well as well as realize that self-care is so important.  Skipping on self-care can intensify the struggle. 
  • She tells us about the “Happy Mamas” Conference coming up in May.
  • In her books, she provides specific strategies to parents to help de-escalate situations, communicate effectively for school, understanding the difference between developmental and chronological age, and much more.  
  • ADHD will never go away, but you can improve the situation.
  • At first she thought was only Sensory Processing Disorder, SPD, and a Specific Learning Disability, SLD, which does have, but when she went to a Developmental Specialist, she also learned that he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD and eventually learned about Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, too.
  • After the diagnosis, she felt guilty for grieving.  She compared her situation to people struggling with other diagnosis that seemed worse.  Now she knows that each person experiences the struggle and it’s important to engage in self-love and care during that time.  
  • It’s important to validate your child’s feelings instead of trying to teach in that moment of emotional overwhelm or shame them through comments such as “you’re acting like a baby”.  This can leave children feeling defective and we don’t want that for our kiddos as it can have a long-term negative impact.
  • She has a free training coming up at the “Parenting ADHD & Autism Academy” http://parentingadhdandautism.com/CompleteParentingADHDCourse/  Space is limited, so it’s important to sign-up soon to reserve your spot.
  • Penny will be offering parent coaching and online courses later on this year.
  • Penny Williams is the award-winning author of three books on parenting kids with ADHD, Boy Without Instructions, What to Expect When Parenting Children with ADHD, and The Insider’s Guide to ADHD. She is a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine, Healthline, and other parenting and special needs publications. 
  • Penny has been in the ADHD trenches for nearly 8 years now, and often describes herself as a “veteran” parent of a child with ADHD. She had to learn the hard way how to successfully parent a child with ADHD, since there were no guidebooks at the time. It's now her mission to shorten that prolonged learning curve -- and the pain and struggles that come with it -- for other parents on a similar parenting journey.

Apr 07 2016

47mins

Play

61: The Art of Setting Up Your Play Therapy Room with Pam Dyson MA, LPC-S, RPT-S

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Pam Dyson, MA, LPC-S, RPT-S, is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, child development expert and parenting coach.  In addition to her private practice www.pamdyson.com  in Plano, Texas she provides consultation and supervision services and facilitates play therapy workshops at conferences throughout the US. She is the recipient of the Association for Play Therapy 2013 Key Award for Professional Education and Training and is currently serving a three-year term on the APT Board of Directors. Pam is the founder and director of the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training. www.dfwplaytherapy.com

In this episode, Pam shares with us how she put together her office space.  

After a few times of moving her office, she has tweaked her set up until she created it just like she wants it.

Pam selected her toys and materials strategically, based on influence from Garry Landreth’s work.  She referenced his book, Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship .

She has toys from each category: Expressive, Aggressive, & Nurturing.  This helps her to determine what toys she has it in her play room.  

Each toy that she has was selected based on its therapeutic value.  How it can help the child express and release their emotions should be considered.  

It’s important to have real-life toys, expressive materials, blocks, playdough, and more.  Here’s a link to a recommended toy list:   http://cpt.unt.edu/about-play-therapy/recommended-toy-list

Pam’s space is an organized and calming space.

Pam has 2 plain looking dollhouses in her space.  Having 2 doll houses can help children play out what it is like transitioning between 2 homes. 

“We can’t always change what’s going on around them, in their world, in their environment.  But, we can help them improve the way they feel about themselves.” Pam Dyson

Naming the child’s emotion is helpful for the child to process situations in their life. 

Playing activates the right hemisphere of the brain while naming the emotion activates the left.  This supports integration of the 2 hemispheres, which allows the child to fully process.

Pam couldn’t imagine doing the work that she does without play because integrating both sides of the brain is so important.  

In Pam’s space, there's a little table that she uses with her clients for many different purposes.  

Pam intentionally puts everything in the same place, so that her clients know where things are located.  Since they use the toys like we use words, it’s important for them to be able to find their words easily.  

It’s important that there’s a sense of order in the playroom, so it feels like a safe, predictable experience for them. 

Pam makes the distinction between Sandtray and Sandplay therapy.  She uses Sandtray therapy in a separate room to use with older clients either individually with their parents.   

Having 2 separate rooms, Play Therapy Room for younger clients and a Sandtray Room for older clients, Pam can best help both ages.  And it helps lesson clean-up time as well.  

Pam allots 15 minutes for clean-up time before the next client.  She doesn’t feel too rushed in between clients.  She starts each session on top of the hour.

She has an observation window in the play room to facilitate Child Parent Relationship Therapy.  She also uses it to train other therapists how to work with the child.  It has recording capacity for training purposes and self-evaluation as well.  She always obtains written permission before recording. She records for clinical trainings mostly. 

Pam is the director the DFW Center for Play Therapy.  She offers 2 workshops a month for people interested in learning how to do Play Therapy.  She’s an approved provider for the Association for Play Therapy.  Her trainings offer continuing education credits.  She really enjoys it.

Play Therapy can be used across the lifespan.  It looks a bit different but can be used with any age.

Merchandise is available at Pam’s trainings.  Her trainees can buy toys and miniatures and begin to implement what they learned right away. 

Her workshops are experiential in nature to support that integration of the brain for the therapists as well.

To tour Pam’s space, visit www.pamdyson.com

Pam meets with the parents before she meets with the child.  Based on the information from that session, she makes a recommendation on how to best work with the child.  She has a parent consultation room that is comfortable and cozy, which she also uses for family therapy sometimes.  

Pam keeps a bowl of fidget toys in the room to help ground and relax her clients and their parents.  

Pam is a doodler!  It helps keeps her focused while on the phone, at conferences, etc.

Pam models playing with the child for the parent.  She stresses the importance of leaving the phone and other electronics in the other room while playing with their child so they can be more present. Weekly playtimes can be so valuable. 

It’s really important to involve the parent in the therapeutic process as much as possible.

Pam shares lots of free videos on her social media sites. 

Play Therapy Community www.playtherapycommunity.com

Tour Pam’s Office  www.pamdyson.com

Trainings - www.dfwplaytherapy.com

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/pamdyson/

Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/user/PamDysonPlayTherapy

Oct 26 2017

26mins

Play

Episode 60: Understanding Infant Toddler Mental Health with Billie Jo Clausen, MA, Early Childhood Specialist / Infant Toddler Mental Health Specialist

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In this episode Billie Jo covers the following:

  • Description of what Infant Mental Health is and what professional support in this area involves.
  • A discussion on the impact that ages 0-3 has on a child’s development – emotional, physical, cognitive, etc.
  • Clarification of who could benefit from Infant Toddler Mental Health Support
  • Tips for therapists working with children and families.

https://www.zerotothree.org/early-learning/infant-and-early-childhood-mental-health

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Jun 29 2017

37mins

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45: Cultivating Competence, Confidence, & a Sense of Purpose in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Dr. Temple Grandin

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I’m really excited about this episode with Dr. Temple Grandin!  

She’s so inspirational to me and many around the world. 

She has written so many books on Autism!  

In this episode, she talks about what it was like growing up for her with Autism, what helps and what doesn’t.  She also provides some great tips for parents, teachers, and therapists to help raise kids that have a sense of purpose and a strong work ethic that can go on to thrive in emotionally, socially, and occupationally.

I first heard of Dr. Grandin from a friend of mine, Stephanie Sanders.  She is the Speech Therapist and the author of the FILTER Approach that I had on the podcast way back in episode 28.  If you haven’t listened to that episode, please do.  It’s a good one!  I love Stephanie and her work.  Her book is fantastic.  It provides a step by step curriculum to help children with social communication skills.  I worked with her when I was a school counselor and had the opportunity to really see her work help some of the same kids I was working with... it’s amazing.  

Also, one more thing before we jump into my conversation with Dr. Grandin.  My colleague, Robert Cox, has a podcast and a book coming out soon that I am super, crazy excited about.  It’s called Listening to Autism.  He was also a guest on my podcast back in Episode 24 – “Teaching Kids with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder to Calm Their Chaos through Mindfulness.”  On his podcast “Listening to Autism” he brings in research, lots of information from professionals.  He draws on his 24 years of experience of working with people with Autism as well as explores effective treatment approaches to really help.  One thing that I love about his work is that he looks at helping through the lens of trauma, to really help.  He also has a book in the final stages at the time of this recording “The Life Recovery Method”.  You can find Robert at www.liferecoveryconsulting.com

Okay, so here are the highlights of my conversation with Dr. Temple Grandin.

It’s important to get a child that is non-verbal into speech therapy as soon as possible.  

There’s 3 types of minds -  photo-visual thinking, pattern thinker, and the person that thinks in words.

It’s important to “stretch” kids to expose them to things that help them grow.

Build on children’s strengths - art, hands-on, etc...

Giving kids a chance to develop a strong work ethic and develop working skills is so important.

Dr. Grandin expresses gratitude to the people such as her teachers, her mother, and others that helped shape her work ethic and push her.

She is very concerned about video game “addictions”.  

It’s important to limit their video game addiction with ASD, by weaning them away from it and replacing it with hands-on work opportunities and activities that the child is interested in. 

Dr. Grandin describes “teachable” moments as being really helpful.  

She mentions that understanding sensory issues is really important.  

When she was growing up, adults would “correct” kids when they were doing something incorrectly such as “only the clerks are allowed behind the counter” when she went behind the counter.

It’s important to give kids a refuge away from teasing in groups with people that have a “Shared Interests”.

Exposure in high school is important – it’s a window of opportunity to get kids involved and exposed to other things than video games.

Dr. Grandin says that it is never too late to make changes.

She discusses her own experiences with medication to help her take the edge of anxiety.

She mentions a connection with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the images in video games.

Join our FB Group Parenting in the Rain Community and like our page!  

For Therapists – Join Play Therapy Community ™ with Jackie to learn more... Launching Soon!

http://liferecoveryconsulting.com/

Below Are Some Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

Jackie’s Favorite Labryinths (Discounted Price)

Weighted Blankets by Mosaic

Jan 12 2017

45mins

Play

23: Practical Understanding of Sensory Processing Disorder

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Parenting in the Rain, Episode 23

Practical Understanding of Sensory Processing Disorder

In This Episode:  

  • Lindsey Biel, MA, OTR/L, a pediatric occupational therapist in private practice, lives in New York City.
  • She describes an Occupational Therapist as a person that works with people in many areas to optimize the function of daily life skills.
  • Sensory Processing is how we transform bits of information that we get through our senses into meaningful messages in the world around us and what to do with them.
  • Sensory Processing Disorder is when there are differences in how a person’s wiring works, as well as the person is experience the world in a different way. They may experience out of proportion reactions to everyday sensory experiences.
  • Sensory challenges are seen more often in people with the following: Autism Spectrum Disorder, children born and adopted internationally from orphanages, premature babies (especially the youngest and the smallest), Down syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, ADHD, exposure to drugs and alcohol in utero, mood disorders and many others.
  • Connect the dots between behaviors and the underlying sensory issues.
  • Lindsey uses the phrase “Sensory Smarts” to describe tools and strategies to help people overcome sensory challenges.
  • When working one on one with a person, Lindsey always starts with an assessment.
  • For many people, getting a lot of deep pressure can provide the sensory input that can help them feel where their  body is on the planet.
  • Parents and therapists try to determine “how much do I push them to build tolerance and how much do I protect?”.   It’s best to do both.
  • Sometimes sounds such as the vacuum cleaner, hairdryer, cafeteria can be overwhelming to people with auditory challenges.
  • Ultimately, parents are the expert on their children.
  • Parents and teachers are an important part of empowering kids to overcome some of their sensory issues.
  • Lindsey talks about a “Sensory Diet” as a carefully and personally designed activity plan to help people feel good on a physical level and have their sensory needs met.  It helps attain balance of “not too wired, not too tired”.
  • The deep pressure work can be very helpful “organizing” kids.
  • “Toe walking” can be a result of impaired body awareness, neurological body awareness, or sensory hypersensitivity in the foot.  Interventions help by teaching them to get more comfortable with their feet and sensory input to desensitize.   If left untreated mobility issues and orthotics issues could occur.  It’s recommended to see if toe walking is a sign of something going on neurologically.
  • Lindsey provides some practical strategies to help with changing the environment – light, sound, and feelings of postural safety, oral stimulation, visuals and more...
  • School based Occupational Therapists are limited to educational related support.   Occupational therapists working outside the schools in agencies, private practice, and homes can provide a wide array of services.
  • There are online resources for parents that can be really helpful to find support.  Links to Lindsey’s facebook communities and her website are below.

 

Resources

https://www.sensorysmarts.com/

http://www.comfykid.com/Pipsqueaks.htm

http://www.smartknitkids.com/

Lindsey Describes Sensory Processing Disorder in a Video

Article on Supporting Sensory Processing Issues written by Lindsey Biel

Jun 02 2016

38mins

Play

12: Cutting to Cope - Understanding the Emotional Desperation Behind Self-Harm

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Cutting to Cope: Understanding the Emotional Desperation behind Self-Harm

In This Episode:

  • Self-harm can be used as a desperate attempt to relieve some physiological and psychological tension.
  • Self-injurious behaviors include: cutting, carving, scratching, branding, marking, burning, scraping, biting, bruising, hitting, and other ways of hurting oneself. 
  • Self-harming behaviors can increase the risk of suicide because of the emotional problems that trigger self-harming behaviors, but it doesn’t meant that the person is suicidal.  Seek professional help is you or your child is engaging in self harming behavior.
  • Self-harm is more common with teens, than any other age group in the life span.  It has become an “epidemic” in some populations.
  • Finding out that your child is harming themselves can feel frightening, mysterious, and confusing.
  • Self-injury is sometimes used as a desperate attempt to diminish tough emotions, to achieve proof of “alive-ness”, or relieve emotional pain.  
  • Sometimes, when kids hear that someone in their peer group “cuts”, they may see self-injurious behavior as a choice for them as well.  
  • It’s important to put healthy coping skills in place. Mindfulness techniques can be really helpful.
  • Self-harm creates a distorted relationship with one’s own body, as the person inflicting the harm, is also the person being harmed.
  • It’s important to identify what’s going on for the client and address any underlying issues that are triggering the self-harming behaviors.
  • As parents, we need to remember what feels stressful is for our child / teen may not seem stressful for us.  Using empathy is so important.  Empathy is a wonderful and beneficial skill for parents to have.  It not only gives us insight, but connects us with our kids in a way that they know that we understand.  
  • Empathy can strengthen parent/child relationships.
  • It’s so important to seek out professional help if you notice signs of self-harm with your child/adolescent. 
  • Some teens that self-injure are often attempting to deal with overwhelming stress and difficult emotions such as loneliness, hopelessness, anger, isolation, and persistent thoughts.  Self-injury is really a maladaptive coping tool. 
  • The effects of self-injury can feel absolutely devastating. Unfortunately, self-injury can become somewhat addictive in nature.  Sometimes teens go back to “cutting” to relieve emotional pain when the emotional disturbance feels heavy again if healthy coping skills aren’t integrated into their life. Addressing the tough emotions can decrease the desperate, determined search for relief from the emotional pain.
  • Providing an emotionally safe environment for children to learn and experience healthier, more effective coping skills to use when the difficult emotions overwhelm is important.
  • Keeping teens safe and emotionally stable is at the core of support, but it really goes far beyond that – to help them feel PEACE, JOY, and HOPE in their life again is important.
  • If you or someone that you love self-injures, there is HOPE.  This can feel scary for everyone involved.  Support is vital. I know first-hand that support can help. Therapy may help.

Mar 17 2016

19mins

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28: Social Skill Training for Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder that Really Helps

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In This Episode:  

We’ll hear Stephanie Sanders explain the realm of Speech and Language services for children in the school setting.  She mentions that the group setting is most common with her work.

She also tells us that it differs from the home setting, where she would work with the child one on one.  

She created a curriculum that she developed over the course of 4 years while working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

She was initially inspired by her younger brother and her students.

She tells us about some of the common struggles that kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders experience and how she addresses it with the students that she works with.

She emphasizes the importance of communication with parents while working with children.

She discusses the struggles that some of the kids that have with non-literal language, picking up social cues and such.

She usually works with kids in groups of 5 or less.  The group setting allows for social issues to come up.

Stephanie wrote a book to present a curriculum to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The FILTER Approach:  Social Communication Skills for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The acronym “FILTER” breaks down as the following: F - Facial clues, I – Inappropriate, L – Listen, T – Target, E - End and Start Conversations, and R - Repair

She has witnessed students putting the concepts into action, both in the therapy room and in real time.

She has a PRE & POST mini assessment (a 10 question questionnaire) to assess their level of retention.

In her work, she has seen children retain the information and put it into action.

The FILTER Approach is a user friendly curriculum that professionals and kids can really connect with and benefit from.

When the children get positive feedback it can support self-esteem growth and foster positive feelings of self-worth.

She emphasize the importance of identifying the needs and implementing the curriculum at an early age in a developmentally appropriate manner.

The FILTER Approach incorporates some social scenes to give the kids insight from an experience level.

Stephanie creates an emotionally safe and trusting environment for the children to open up about their social awkwardness and struggles.  

Stephanie is very clear and transparent with the children to let them know that she communicates with parents.

Collaboration with parents, teachers, therapists, school counselors and other people helping the child is ideal.

She talks about the metaphor of the filter and how she describes how it applies to this concept.

She also teaches kids how their brain works to give them a deeper understanding of how the concept applies in terms of brain function.

She tells students how using a filter can help them with relationships, with a job, and many other areas of their lives.

Stephanie stresses the importance to listening to the kids without jumping right in to teach them or fix the problem.  This can be really helpful for kids, especially kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The information presented in this curriculum helps children not only at this time in their lives, but it helps lifelong.

Stephanie provides some AMAZING tips for parents and for professionals helping kids out.  

It’s so important to consider the perspective of the child.  You can read more about this in her blog post for ASHA (A link to her blog post is not available at this time. Expected date of availability is anticipated for the early August timeframe.)

Stephanie gets silly sometimes with parents and kids in her work.  She has an awesome Donald Duck and Scooby Doo voice.

Stephanie really prayed throughout the 4 years of creating the curriculum for my students to connect with the concepts that she presented and just before submitting The FILTER Approach to Plural Publishing that it might benefit any students/clients exposed to the curriculum.

She continues to pray for the previously mentioned individuals and for any therapists, counselors, teachers, or parents choosing to implement this curriculum with their students/clients.

You can read the full show notes at www.parentingintherain.com

Jul 08 2016

1hr 6mins

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22: All About Child Parent Relationship Therapy

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Dalena Dillman Taylor, PhD, LPC, RPT, is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida, past president of the North Texas Association for Play Therapy (2013–2014), and the play therapy certificate coordinator at UCF. Dr. Dillman Taylor graduated from the University of North Texas with doctorate of philosophy in counseling, with a specialty in play therapy in 2013. Dr. Dillman Taylor is a trained Adlerian play therapist and focuses her research on the effectiveness of Adlerian play therapy with children and adolescents who demonstrate disruptive behaviors or academic difficulties in the classroom and at home.

In This Episode:  

  • Child Parent Relationship Therapy, also known as CPRT, was developed as an adaptation of the Gurney’s Filial Model.
  • Garry Landreth adapted this model to be delivered in 10 weeks.
  • This type of therapy teaches parents Child Centered Play Therapy skills in an experiential way.
  • It strengthens the relationship between children and their parents and/or caregivers.
  • This program helps parents step back and look at the child’ holistically while remaining focused on the relationship.
  • CPRT sessions are designed for groups, so that parents can connect and realize that they are not alone while learning from each other.  The group sessions are usually 2 hours per week, and after the 3rd week each parent and child (usually only one child at a time) have a special play session at home for 30 minutes to practice the skills.
  • Each group session is designed intentionally to help them feel successful and proud of what they are learning, so only one main skill is focused on.
  • The child centered play therapy skills are different from regular play time.  They focus on allowing the child to lead in the play without teaching or disciplining, but rather deeply connecting on a meaningful way that can boost children’s self-confidence, self-esteem, feelings of self-efficacy, and so much more.
  • The “Be With” attitudes are an important component of CPRT.  I’M HERE, I HEAR YOU, I CARE, and I UNDERSTAND.”  This is not to be confused with always agreeing with the child or being permissive, but rather embraces a strong element of presence without judgement – positive or negative.
  • Dr. Dillman Taylor mentions Dr. Dan Siegel’s brain research with children.  His work is so valuable when understanding what helps kids self-regulate their behavior and emotions.
  • Dr. Dillman Taylor mentions Dr. Risë VanFleet as a great resource of how this approach can be adapted to work with individuals and couples.
  • The CPRT manual is set up in a way that is convenient and packed full of knowledge and extras such as appointment cards, door hangers, assessments and much more.
  • It’s important for parents to communicate to the child that the special CPRT playtime is important and valued.
  • This type of therapy incorporates role play so that parents really get good practice with the use of some of the skills before they use it with their children.
  • Dr. Dillman Taylor’s favorite rules of thumbs from the CPRT model are the following: (These are directly from the CPRT Manual)

Be a thermostat, not a thermometer! Learn to RESPOND (reflect) rather than REACT. The child’s feelings are not your feelings and needn’t escalate with him/her.”

What’s most important may not be what you do, but what you do after what you did! We are certain to make mistakes, but we can recover. It is how we handle our mistakes that make the difference. “  

  • Knowing how the brain works as it relates to behavior is so helpful.  Dr. Dan Siegel has a wonderful “handy” model of the brain that can support this understanding with adults and children.
  • Dr. Dillman Taylor has  a CPRT Training coming up in JUNE 8-10th.  It is a great training!  If you are a therapist living in or near Orlando, or if you are traveling from afar, this training is so worth your time.  It is one of the most valuable trainings that I have ever had the pleasure of attending.  I highly recommend it.   Click Here to Register

 

Resources

Mindfulness, Brain Hand Model by Dr. Dan Siegel’s Video

CPRT Training in June 2016 with Dr. Taylor

http://education.ucf.edu/playtherapy/events.cfm

Center for Play Therapy in Denton Texas

May 26 2016

30mins

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31: Recognizing and Healing From Emotional Abuse

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In This Episode:  

Today we’re talking about emotional abuse.  Through my work, I help clients heal from this and move past the wounds that it can leave.  It can be a trauma.   Unfortunately, emotional abuse can take a huge toll on one’s self-confidence and self-esteem levels.   Being in an emotionally abusive relationship can have people questioning their life choices and own self-worth.

Today’s show is focused on helping parents recognize the signs of this problematic area of emotional abuse and choose better, healthier ways of interacting with each other (whether together or separated) and their children.  

Now, let’s talk about what emotional abuse actually is... Emotional abuse is different from physical abuse which is really marked by explosive outbursts and physical harm. Emotional abuse can be more deceptive and subtle.  While it doesn’t leave physical marks, it can sure leave emotional scars that go deep.  In some cases, many people aren’t even aware that it is happening.  You can’t see it like a bruise or a cut, but you can feel it.  And, others around can feel it too.  It can really rock people’s world.  For parents, it can lead to divorce, separation, physical violence and much more.  For kids... it seems like they have the most difficult situation of all.  They can’t just divorce or leave.  They are stuck.  They may choose to cut off the relationship at first opportunity though.  But, often families in these situations, just notice that their quality of life is poor at best and they often feel the painful stings of the cut downs, humiliations, control, and such.  

It really involves a regular pattern of verbal attack, threatening, humiliation (social or within the family, or both), control, bullying, threats, inducing fear, and perpetual criticism. Also, more subtle tactics like intimidation, control attempts, humiliation, shaming and manipulation. They may accuse their target of being “overly sensitive” to avert the reality of their abusive remarks.  In these cases, respect, empathy and compassion are either low or non-existent.  Many times the abuser will share personal information in a chastening way in an attempt to degrade and demean their target.  Often there’s teasing, put downs and a disregard for their targets accomplishments, hopes and dreams.

The purpose of emotional abuse is to control and overpower the other person.  The abuser may not even realize that they are doing it. It most often is the result of their own painful experience from childhood wounds and insecurities that come with that.  Emotionally healthy people treat others with respect, kindness, and compassion.  Often, in emotionally abusive situations, the abuser may have been abused themselves leaving them with a feeling of “this is normal” or “this is acceptable”.  They may even feel like a victim themselves, giving them the illusion of justification for their actions.  In fact, they may deny their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted and accuse their target of being the cause of their behavior.

 For parents, they often look back on how they were raised and use that as a blueprint on how to raise their own children -“this is how I was raised and I turned out fine.”  When in reality they didn’t turn out fine or they wouldn’t be acting the way they do.  They may feel angry, hurt, fearful and powerless themselves, so their instinct is to gain control over someone else that they can feel dominant over.   Therapy can help.  

It’s important to know that emotional abuse can occur in any relationship — between parent and child, in friendships, families, and marital relationships. 

This can happen slowly in relationships.  The long term effects can be huge.  In  kids, it can affect their life choices and put them more at risk for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and in some cases even post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD.  It really taxes on the feelings of self worth, especially if they were verbally abused as a child.  Also, if a child witnesses emotional abuse of a parent, their perception of what a healthy relationship is and what it isn’t can be skewed from reality.    

Today, Laura Reagan is on the podcast to share a bit of her professional experience with helping people heal from emotional abuse.  Laura is a colluegue in the podcast world.  I love podcasts!  She’s the host of therapy chat podcast and she is also a licensed clinical social worker in Baltimore with a private psychotherapy practice.  I love learning from her.  She specializes in trauma.  In this episode, you’ll here her talk about her work.  She has a free e-book, Parenting after Trauma, for you as well.  www.jackieflynnconsulting.com/parentingaftertrauma

Subscribe to “Parenting in the Rain” podcast on iTunes, if you haven’t already.   Also, join us in our FB Community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

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Jul 30 2016

58mins

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53: Sandtray Therapy and the Brain with Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT

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Episode 53 – Sandtray Therapy and the Brain

Expert Guest: Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT is the Founder and Director of the Southern Sandtray Institute located in Jonesboro, AR. She has a hybrid program to credential therapists as a Registered Integrative Sandtray Therapist (RIST).  In addition to the formal credentialing program, Amy also offers online sandtray training through The Sandtray Suite. To find out more and grab your free Sandtray technique, simply go to www.sandtraysuite.com/ssi

In this episode, Amy Flaherty LPE-I, RPT covers the following:

  • What is Sandtray Therapy?
  • She describes the relation between neuroscience and Sandtray therapy.
  • She shares few examples of that she’s seen throughout her work.
  • She shares her most used miniatures?  And, where are some common area she finds miniatures for her collection

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Apr 14 2017

16mins

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30: Knowing the Difference Between a Tantrum & Meltdown and How to Respond to Both

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Episode 30, Knowing the Difference Between a Tantrum and a Meltdown and How to Respond to Both

In This Episode:  

Tantrums

A tantrum and a meltdown are different.  It’s important to differentiate between the two as it helps guide a helpful response by the parent.  Knowing that tantrums are a result of the child trying to get something and meltdowns are a reaction to sensory overstimulation.

A tantrum is based in an attempt for the person (usually a child, but not always!) to get something they want.  

It is behavioral based and some suggest that impulsivity can play a key role in their occurrence.

A child may have a tantrum if he wants a toy at the story, but is told no.  The tantrum is in an effort (may be conscious or unconscious) to get the toy.  

It doesn’t need to be based in a desire to attain tangible things though.  A child can also feel intense emotions that lead to a tantrum over issues such as attention, activities, and such.

It usually involves yelling, crying, kicking and screaming, which may look a lot like a meltdown to the untrained eye.

The child usually can control a tantrum, but may have limitations due to emotional flooding.

Tantrums are apt to stop when gets what he / she either gets what he / she wants or if he /she realizes that the tantrum is ineffective unlikely to produce the desired effect.

Characteristics of a Meltdown

A meltdown is a reaction to feeling overwhelmed, usually due to sensory overload (too much sensory information at once to process).

It looks a lot like a tantrum, with the exception of some body signals such as holding ears, not stopping for communication, etc.

The commotion of a supermarket may trigger a sensory meltdown.

The brain goes into overload and fight, flight or freeze response seems to set in.

For some, it can be a response to having a lot of things going on internally at one time, such as stress, worry, etc.

It’s important to mention that a tantrum lead to a meltdown due to the intensity.

Be sure to check out episode 23 on Sensory Processing Disorder to learn more. http://jackieflynnconsulting.com/23-practical-understanding-of-sensory-processing-disorder/

A child will often stop a tantrum if she attains what she wants such as a candy bar, toy, activity, attention, etc. Or if she’s rewarded for using a more desirable behavior such as using her words to ask, being kind or whatever fits the situation.  It’s important to resist the urge to give the child what she wants as reinforcement, as it will cause more and more tantrums in the future.  It’s a great teachable opportunity to teach your child that outbursts aren’t the way to get things she wants in life.  These lessons will serve her well through the years.

Now a meltdown is different.  A meltdown isn’t likely to stop when a child gets what she wants. In fact, it may just be a matter of changing the sensory input that the child is receiving.  This happens a lot with kids with Sensory processing disorder.  Once the child leaves the overstimulating environment, she may start to feel calmer.

So how can you handle tantrums and meltdowns differently?

For tantrums, it’s important to recognize acknowledge what your child wants without giving in as reinforcement. Make it clear that you understand what she’s after. “I realize that you’d like a candy bar.  Now isn’t a time that we eat candy though.  You can have an apple or another snack when we get in the car though.” Then help her see there’s a more appropriate behavior that will work. “When you choose to speak calmly and respectfully, you may share with me what you choose.”

To de-escalate a meltdown, help your child find a safe, quiet place to calm. “We’re going to go out to the car now.  It’s quiet there and I can turn on the air conditioning so that we are both cool and comfortable.” Resist the urge to lecture or talk too much though, as that can be over stimulating in and of itself though.

It’s super helpful to identify and name the emotion that your child is feeling.  It builds their emotional literacy and also helps them to have language to express something that is happening in the body, as well as helping their brain to self-regulate the intensity of the emotion.

It’s important to know the difference between tantrums and meltdowns, as your response is a key factor in getting through it and attaining calm again.

Happy parenting!!  ☺

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Jul 22 2016

24mins

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47: Understanding How Art Helps Children with Confidence, Calm, and Connection

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As a Play Therapist, I love using art with my clients!

 Art engages more of the brain in the healing process. 

But what about home? Is it important to have our materials and home? They can get messy look a little bit cluttered, be expensive sometimes, and take some time to delve into. 

Is it worth it?

The answer is yes! Art helps children in so many ways.Art projects can definitely help with confidence. Especially, if children are struggling in other areas. When children make something that they feel good about, that makes him feel proud of themselves, they perceive themselves as competent and capable of performing work that is really good. This self-perception often generalizes into other areas of their life. On surface level, one might think what’s sure they can paint a tree on a canvas, but that doesn’t mean that they can rock at math. And, to some extent that is correct. But, if gives them the confidence to try things that are very difficult and helps them to feel capable, they may have the courage to do math problems, they previously would’ve just shut down on…or whatever it is that the struggles with. Art projects can also help children with emotional self-regulation.  Artwork helps a right and the left hemisphere of the brain to synchronize which engages a calming effect. Many times, in session I will have my clients use the right in their left-hand at the same time which can enhance this effect. We do activities such as double mirror doodle, or art in the sand tray by moving both hands, design figures with the clay with both hands, and other things that just engage both hands, etc. I also love mandalas! mandalas or circle designs can either be symmetrical or any random design. I use these in individual, group and family sessions. There’s so many varieties think that you can do with Art.Art projects can also help with connection on many different levels. Engaging in creativity can help us connect with our inner self as well, as express what’s going on to others that can be so connecting. It can be so very healing. 

A picture is definitely worth I thousand words… and then some. I love using art therapy with blended families and adoptive families as it can truly that can strengthen the family system.  Art surpasses the limitation of words for sure!Sometimes, families will have an art cabinet or an art shelf where they random art supplies. For my families that I work with that do this, many of the kids comment how doing art work is one of their favorite things to do as a family. Sometimes in our family sessions where we’ll do a family coat of armor and have them identify their family strengths, or I’ll have them created habitat of a an animal in the future including all of the things that he needs to survive. They can be fun, telling of their situation, and also very healing and connecting, especially in high conflict situations.

 When parents ask me what they need to buy for their ourselves, I usually put it back on them. What do you think YOU might need for your shelf?   Because something that I recommend make totally be a turn off to them! For example I absolutely love, love, love, love, love, LOVE  glitter. But, a bottle of glitter around a 5-year-old can send some people into tizzy.  Gathering supplies for an art supply is an individual process for sure. You can find many low cost items at the local department store, but many things in nature are very useful as well. I love to bring in palm fronds for my clients to paint on and Angel and I have painted about a gazillion of them over years. We love using stick and leaves too. We live in Florida, so many times people around the neighborhood well trim the palm tree and put the palm fronds on the side of the road. Then, when we are walking our dog Max full pick up a really good friend.

 Remember too, art in this context is expressive, so isn’t confined to paint, paper, colored pencils etc. Art can be building a sand castle at the beach, it could be writing a plan together, it could be singing a song and expressing it with a dance, etc.

 As a play therapist, I love using the sand tray.  If you haven’t heard the episode 44 with Tammy van Hollander yet, it is so worth listening to. Putting little figurines, a.k.a. miniatures in the sand, can be very healing and extremely connecting. Also, I love to use rocks! All kinds of rocks I like to paint on rocks write on rocks use the rocks in the sand tray, incorporate rocks and are in mindfulness altogether… The possibilities are absolutely limitless

 In the show notes I have provided several links to art sites that can give you inspiration.

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Mar 16 2017

24mins

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35: How to Respond to an "I Hate You" Comment from Your Child

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In This Episode:  

The words “I Hate You” can cut deep, especially when they are from your child.

When emotions get heated all kinds of comments can surface.

Let’s begin with an understanding of how the brain works.

I love Dr. Seigal’s Handy Model of the Brain.  His simple explanation of how the brain functions can give us a better understanding of how an “I Hate You” can slip out.  The good news is, that there are things that you can do to help.   Knowledge is a big part of it.

When we get upset our Pre Frontal Cortex goes off line as Dr Siegel puts it.  That basically means that our decision making gets high-jacked by our emotions in our limbic system.  In other words, the child is really upset.  Well, that’s probably something that you new already, right?  

When children, really people in general are extremely upset and their pre-frontal cortex is offline, or as Dr. Siegel puts it “Flipped their Lid” then they say and do things that are purely based in raw emotion, not having been filtered through their “Is this a good idea” filter.  

They may say or do things that they don’t mean or is not in their best interest.  I’m a marriage counselor and can’t help but relate to how couples become “flooded” which is just another way of saying that they “flip their lids” and do and say things they often don’t mean and regret in many instances.

Okay, so here’s how to remedy this.  First, watch the short little video to Dr. Siegel’s handy model of the brain.  You can find it on you tube by just putting ‘handy model of the brain” and I’ll also have a link to it in the show notes.  

Then,  when your child is upset or angry always focus on a de-escalation goal.  Empathy is a biggie in helping kids calm down and preserving and strengthening your relationship through it all.  Reflect their feeling in a way that sounds and looks like you care.  “I can see you feel really angry at me right now.”  Have your body language match your words, so the child can get the message that you care.  

Also, be the thermostat, not the thermometer.  Don’t get hot as your child gets hot, cool it down as your child gets hot. In other words, don’t get upset with the child, speak in a calm, loving voice to set the emotional temperature in the room.  Remember, this isn’t a magic wand approach so I will take time, patience, and lots of love to remain calm, but it’s key.  The effort is so very worth it.  

Another biggie is to avoid teaching in these moments.  If your child’s thinking part of their brain is not functioning fully, then your words are not only being received, but they are likely to esculate the upset and remember the goal is deescuation.  The processing of what’s alright and what’s not alright does need to happen, but only after your child is in a calmer state.  This is an important piece too.  My work is highly influenced by my training and experience in Child Parent Relationship Therapy created by  Sue Bratton ,Garry Landreth, Theresa Kellam ,  and Sandra R. Blackard  .  I keep their manual within arms reach of me at my private practice.  It’s one of my favorite resources.  Over the years, I’ve learned many approaches and Child Parent Relationship Therapy is by far the very best.  If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to listen to the episode on Child Parent Relationship Therapy with Dr. Dalena Dillman Taylor from University of Central Florida.  Click Here to Listen to Episode 22 on Child Parent Relationship Therapy

To help your child calm down, you need to be in a calm state.  This is often much easier said than done in the early stages of this process.   It’s really helpful to learn and use calming techniques with your child when times are good.  During an angry episode, is not the time to learn calming skills.   I like deep belly breaths, bunny sniffs, butterfly hugs, double doodling with both hands, and there’s some higher level ones such as pendulating and visualization that can be really effective.

The most important thing is to not take it personally.  See it as an opportunity to help our child develop emotionally.  If it does strike a nerve in a big way, do a check in with yourself to assess whether or not it is touching on a sore spot, if it hits a nerve from past pains or hurtful situations of the past.  If yes, I may be beneficial to do some therapy work on a personal level.  Heal yourself, so that you don’t pass that pain on to your child.

Here’s a short clip of my daughter , Angel, doing a role play of what this may sound like.

If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at jackie@jackieflynnconsulting.com or at my private practice at jackie@counselinginbrevard.com

Sep 19 2016

27mins

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42: When a Child is Shamed

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Episode 42, When a Child is Shamed

In This Episode:  

It’s important to understand what shame is and what isn’t

Shaming is when someone induces humiliation, embarrassment, and a feeling of guilt, regret, or deep sadness on another person.

Shaming is not motivating, although that is a common misconception.  Sometimes people think “if they feel really bad about what they did, then they won’t do it again.” But it doesn’t work like that.  It is in essence a trauma that can cause long term maladaptive behaviors.  Many people that struggle with addiction, relationship issues, and other tough life struggles often have shame in their past. 

My friend and podcasting colleague, Robert Cox has a really good podcast episode on this his podcast, Mindful Recovery.   GUILT AND SHAME RIDDING THE SOUL OF TOXICITY  The link http://mindfulrecoverypodcast.libsyn.com/guit-and-shame-ridding-the-soul-of-toxicity

Making mistakes is actually a healthy part of child development.  Allowing your child to make and learn from mistakes while the price tags are small is a huge gift to your child.  Life experience is the best teacher.  It’s so much more effective than lectures, put downs, shaming, or “I told you so’s”.

Empathy, clear expectations and logical choices are much more effective in helping your child grow into a self-confident, responsible, ambitious individual that enjoys life. 

Ongoing culture of shame decreases the quality of life for the entire family.

The trauma of shaming can be substantial, but if it’s an ongoing form of discipline, it can be devastating and often unbearable.  

Shame undoubtedly damages the parent child relationship.  It simply can’t be unfelt.  I just recently watched THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.  I love that movie! My daughter is a  huge John Green fan.  She’s read all of his books.  In that movie, one of the actors says “PAIN DEMANDS TO BE FELT”.  This is so very true.

It can establish a dysfunctional cycle that can lead to generations of pain and dysfunction.  If you tempted to shame your child, check in with what may be going on for you.  Was this something that you experienced as a child?  Is part of your heart hurting or could you use some healing?  I’ve seen great healing occur through therapy as well as work with one’s inner child.  It’s important to realize that blame, whether on self or others, isn’t on the healthy road to healing.  But, rather a focus on “I need to put on my own oxygen mask...” is much healthier for everyone.

Shame can cut deep.  Each person is so unique, so everyone has a different experience.  What is common though is that it hurts in a way that words can’t accurately describe. 

I really feel like part of the soul withers with shaming.  For people of all ages, it erodes feeling of self-worth and self-esteem.   

Ultimately, shame establishes a dysfunctional perception of a healthy relationship.  When children grow up they often, but not always, use their formative childhood years as a blueprint of how life “should”be.  If that “should” is maladaptive, it can be a long, hard road for them filled with heartache and pain. 

I’ve noticed that causes people to put up emotional walls to keep themselves safe.  It is ultimately a type of emotional abuse, especially if it is ongoing.   It limits our children’s vulnerability, which limits their options in life with relationships, careers, dreams and so much more.

Shame manifests itself in the body.   Shame fragments itself in the body in messy, infiltrating way that can take years of work to heal from.

Engrains negative cognitions in the brain such as i am not worthy, i can’t do anything right, i’m a jerk, i’m defective,  i’m a bad person and such

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Really does have some merit.  Fixing the effects of shaming is much more difficult than preventing it.

The quote “HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE” is a quote worth considering in this discussion of shaming.  When someone is deeply hurt, they often hurt others from their pain.  Looking at it from a child’s perspective, shaming, whether they are the target or someone that they love and identify with is, they may be tempted to transfer that pain.  Sometimes that can look like depression, anxiety, bully type behavior, aggression and much more.  

For parents that default to shaming, give yourself permission to learn a new approach.  Maya Angelou says when people know better, they do better.  This is so true.

If you are prone to shaming, it’s important to reflect on what messages you were sent as a child.  Ask yourself, “is this helping or hurting my child?”.

A more effective way is to use empathy to connect with your child. I love the ACT Limit Setting model  (Acknowledge the Feeling, Communicate the Alternative, and  Target the Alternative) that is described in Child Parent Relationship Therapy.  If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to check out episode 22  http://jackieflynnconsulting.com/22-all-about-child-parent-relationship-therapy-with-dalena-dillman-taylor/

There’s so many better ways to discipline than shaming.  I love LOVE and Logic, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, a 10 Session Model, and 123 Magic are some much better options.  I have all of these linked in the show notes. 

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to join us on Facebook in our group Parenting in the Rain Community and like our page Parenting in the Rain Podcast, Hosted by Jackie Flynn

If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at jackie@jackieflynnconsulting.com or at my private practice at jackie@counselinginbrevard.com

Below Are Some Sites, Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

My Parent Coaching Program - https://jackieflynnconsulting.simplero.com/products/52176-Parent-Coaching-Program

Labyrinths 20% off for calming, focus and connectedness.  http://www.relax4life.com/JF.html

Nov 14 2016

25mins

Play

44: Sandtray Therapy, a Deeper Level of Healing with Tammi Van Hollander LCSW |RPT

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I love Sandtray Therapy!  In my early days as a therapist, while I was working towards licensure Tammi Van Hollander was very influential on growth as a, then, aspiring Play Therapist (to be).  She has a private practice in Ardmore, PA. Her passion and enthusiasm to helping people through Play Therapy is contagious.  Since then, I have had years of experience with Sandtray, but will never, ever forget how much she taught me.  I will always feel so very grateful to her and her work Sandtray work.  This episode has been a dream of mine for a while now.  We recorded it 2x due to technical errors, but finally got it out there.   Here are some notes from our conversation on Sandtray Therapy.

  • Sandtray Therapy it quietens the entire nervous system and it helps to turn off the thinking brain.
  • It can go much deeper than talk therapy.  For children, their language is play. 
  • Little toys called toys, called “miniatures” are placed in the sand to tell stories.  It surpasses the limitation of words, which is especially helpful when they have difficulty articulating some things.  Or, may not even be able to identify what is bothering them. 
  • Fences and bridges are often used with children that have chaos in their lives to bring order to their situation and help them to compartmentalize things that feel out of control and difficult to cope with.
  • We have a conscious and unconscious mind that is often in conflict.  When we place the miniatures in the sand, we can find a resolution to the conflict.
  • Sandtray Therapy can be done with any age group for individuals, couples and families.
  • Sandtray Therapy is based in neuroscience and understanding how the brain works.
  • Healing can occur on a deep level through Sandtray Therapy.
  • Family Sandtray therapy can be really helpful to establish respect, boundaries, and connection as well as help families heal from deep rooted issues.
  • Resources can be identified and inner strength can be brought out through Sandtray Therapy.
  • From session to session, the created scenes transition and start to take on a life on their own.  
  • Tammi writes down their story to help with the processing.
  • The possibilities are seemingly endless, as each person makes their experience unique to their needs and situations.
  • Sandtray Therapy can be especially helpful for helping people with trauma.
  • Resolving ongoing arguments and relationship issues can be resolved through sandtray work by providing a safe psychological distance that increases the probability of involvement on a deeper level than talk therapy.
  • Sandtray therapy can offer a freedom that is available through that increased dialogue.
  • It is such sensory experience that can create a full body experience.
  • It can be fun and engaging way.
  • Many different types of sands can be used – kinetic, dry, wet, and many more.
  • The sand can calm people down and quieten their nervous system.
  • Problem solving can be attained in the sandtray by helping individuals and families look at issues in a new way with resources that they hadn’t realized before.
  • Once a sandtray is created, the creator leaves it there without cleaning it up.  The clean-up is done after the person has left.
  • Some clients take pictures of their sandtray scenes for reflection purposes and gaining of new insights.
  • This type of therapy can be used with parenting support as well to strengthen the family system.
  • Sandtray therapy can be used with Couples as well.  It can be really powerful.

For Therapists – Join Play Therapy Community ™ with Jackie to learn more... Launching Soon!

Dec 08 2016

25mins

Play

17: Surpassing the Limitation of Words with Play Therapy with Pam Dyson

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In This Episode:  

Pam Dyson tells us all about Play Therapy.  

Play therapy is different than a child just playing.  

Play therapy may look and feel differently with different therapists.  Some therapists allow the child to lead the play in some situations and other situations may be a bit more directive by the therapists.  

The relationship between the therapist and the child is key in regards to meeting the treatment goals.

Pam customizes her approach for each child and each family to ensure that she meets their specific needs.

Pam Dyson trains therapist in Play Therapy techniques through their work.  She is a strong believer in ongoing training for therapist to stay abreast of new approaches.

Play therapy can help with all kinds of behavioral and emotional challenges that a child may have such as grief and lost from a death, divorce, adoption, anxiety, depression, traumas, life changes, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning Disabilities, and so much more.

Its important parents to work closely with the therapist to maximize the effect for the child.

Play therapy can be used to diagnose and treat children with problematic issues. 

The benefits of Play Therapy is seemingly limitless.  It nurtures responsibility, understanding, self-esteem, and so much more.

Play therapy is a method of therapy that has been proven to reduce and/or resolve a variety of problems in children and families.

It is designed for children between the ages of 3-9 years old, while my Art Therapy Studio is designed for ages 12+.  

Play therapists work closely with parents to develop an effective treatment plan that works towards a happier and healthier life.

Sometimes Play Therapy is offered in the home, school, and other places.  It is not limited to the therapist’s office.   

The toys in a play therapy room are chose carefully to ensure that children can fully express themselves.  Some of the toys are aggressive, nurturing and expressive in nature.

EMDR integrates extremely well with Play Therapy. Problematic issues such as phobias, nightmares, bed-wetting, fear, anger, acting out/aggression, and more…, can be treated successfully with this integrated therapeutic approach. For children and adolescents, sand tray therapy, art therapy, hand tapping, and a “hand held buzzer” (to create the bi-lateral stimulation effect) can be during an EMDR therapy session. This is one of my(Jackie) treatments of choice, as I have seen so many people heal much more quickly than other means.

Be sure to check out the future episode with Dr. Dalena Taylor on Child Parent Relationship Therapy, also known as CPRT and Filial therapy.

Also, a previous guest on Parenting in the Rain podcast, Tammi Van Hollander, will be on the show soon to tell us all about and expressive arts type of therapy, Sand Tray Therapy.

Following is a link to my private play therapy practice  www.counselinginbrevard.com click on “Tour”.

How to know when your child needs therapy?  If there is changes in the child’s behavior, especially after a change or a trauma in the child’s life therapy may be beneficial for the child.  Changes such as a move, a death in the family or a pet, trauma at school or home, and many more issues can cause a shift in the behavior and/or cause a change in their ability to focus.

How do you know when it’s time to finish therapy?  When the child’s behaviors  improve, the reasons why they came in improve, or the child seems to be enjoying a better quality of life at home, school and life it could be a good time to phase out of therapy.

Sometimes children return back to therapy after it’s complete if the behaviors resurface or another issue arises.

The relationship between the child and the therapist is so important in the healing process. 

To find a play therapist in your area you can do a search for a play therapist on the internet, but specifically the Association for Play Therapy, APT, has some great resources and can give you information on Play Therapists in your area.

Be sure to check out future episodes of the podcast.  A free training will be coming up next week to help parents through parent through divorce.  

You can read the full show notes at www.parentingintherain.com

Apr 21 2016

34mins

Play

13: Nurturing Emotionally Healthy Kids through Play with Debra Wessleman, MS, LIMHP

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Parenting in the Rain, Episode 13

Nurturing Emotionally Healthy Kids through Play with Debra Wessleman, MS, LIMHP

In This Episode:

Debra Wesselmann, the author of Integrative Parenting: Strategies for Raising Children Affected by Attachment Trauma, gives us 6 tips to help nurture our children’s emotional health through play.


  1. Stay Attuned By Staying Present – Put away the electronics and truly connect with your child through play.

  2. Stay Attuned By Letting Your Child Take The Lead – Let your child choose what and how to play.  This helps support your child’s feelings of self-worth and self-efficacy.  It also strengthens relationships.

  3. Be Aware That Your Child’s Play Activities May Not Match His Or Her Chronological Age – Meet your child where he is at.  Resist the urge to influence him to play with games and toys that you consider to be appropriate for his age.  For example, an adolescent may like to play with dolls and that is okay.

  4. Keep It Fun By Finding Ways To Play That You Both Enjoy – It’s important that  you are able to play with the child and enjoy playing too.  Have materials and activities available to choose from that you like.  It enhances the experience.

  5. Playtime Is Not Teaching Time – It’s tempting sometimes to double up playtime as teaching time.  Teaching during this time can diminish some of the benefits from free play.  Resist the urge to make statements such as “how many blocks are there”, “what color is the barn”, and such.  Just simply enjoy the play for what it is, that’s where the beauty of its benefits can flourish.

  6. If You Observe Your Child Reenacting Traumatic Experiences In Play, Communicate With Your Team – If your child has a therapeutic team be sure to share observations that relate to playing out any trauma with them.  They can help him process through it in a healthy supported way.

Mar 24 2016

46mins

Play

69: Synergetic Play Therapy with Lisa Dion

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Lisa Dion is the creator of Synergetic Play Therapy and is the founder and director of the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado

She is experienced in many settings to include private practice, schools, social services, foster care agencies, and orphanages. 

Synergetic Play Therapy’s name was influenced by Lisa’s love for the brain and understanding what happens in the nervous system.  

The collaboration between the child and the therapist, and on a deeper level between the mind, breath, body is an important support in the therapeutic process.  Through this realization, she was drawn to the word “synergy” since it is the idea that when 2 parts come together, the effect is so much greater than what they are individually.   Collaboration within the therapist, child and between them both is cultivated.

Through Lisa’s work, before she created Synergetic Play Therapy, she felt like something was missing.  She had a personal experience with her daughter that gave her an intuitive felt sense of the importance of bringing in the nervous system getting into the somatics.  Becoming an external regulator can take it to a deeper level of healing.  Accessing the brainstem allows for work involving the level of attunement such as what’s present between a caregiver and an infant. 

Lisa’s students say that it feels like a way of being rather than a model.  Her students report transforming through the process and it spills over into their other relationships.

Synergetic Play Therapy is not a list of fun techniques or activities to do with the child, but rather it is a “way of being”.

One of her students said, “Synergetic Play Therapy gives birth to the authentic self within the child and the therapist.”

Lisa urges her students to study as many philosophies and models of play therapy as possible to maximize their abilities. 

Implicit memories bring a feeling and a felt sense that was placed in the early years.  Often before the age 3, the implicit memories provide the structures in the brain. 

When Lisa’s daughter was born, she was emotionally dysregulated. While Lisa was pregnant with her, they both experienced a car crash. When she was born, Lisa was on a journey to help her rewire her nervous system.  She had her first play therapy experience at 9 months old where she played out shock of what she felt when the car accident happened. 

The exchange happening between the therapist and the child is such a vital part of therapy.

Synergetic play therapy teaches the therapist what to do with their personal experience of what the child is feeling and experiencing through the play.  

When parents are dysregulated, they need to regulate before they tend to their child.

The therapist does a lot of breathing, and modeling for the child.  

The mirror neuron system allows the child to borrow the therapist’s regulatory system.  Therapist use themselves to support the child through their healing.  The therapist is intentionally authentic and may rock, say things, and do things that the child needs right in the moment.

Lisa tells a story of a child that had many generalized fears that learned regulatory techniques such as holding her heart and stomach while she did that during his expressions of the fearful scenerios.  In session 3, he reported that he knew what to do when he got scared.  He was able to borrow her nervous system, watch how she handled the situations, and internalized a way of taking care of himself during these types of situations. Through that process, his nervous system got rewired organically and experientially. 

This process also helps keep the therapist well during the process.

Synergetic Play Therapy also offers a certification option as well. 

Lisa has a new book coming out in Spring of 2018, “Aggression in Play Therapy: A Neurobiological Approach for Integrating Intensity” from Norton Publishers. 

Lessons from the Playroom bi-weekly Podcast https://playtherapycolorado.com/podcasts/

Hour Live Webinar – 1 x a month https://playtherapycolorado.com/webinar/

Community Membership https://learn.playtherapycolorado.com/product/membership-site/

Play Therapy Institute of Colorado’s Website: https://playtherapycolorado.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Jan 11 2018

36mins

Play

68: The Language of Adoption with Jill Aller, EdS

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  • Jill Aller is an adoption consultant for A Step Ahead Adoption Services and is an adoptive mom of two children, ages 6 and 4. 
  • Jill has a B.A. in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Teaching and an Ed.S. degree in Counseling. She adopted her two children through the help of A Step Ahead adoption services and had such a great experience with them that she went to work for them four years ago. Both children have very open adoptions, where they are still in touch with their biological families. Jill has lived all over the U.S. but is now happily settled in Florida with her extended family. Jill is passionate about helping others navigate their adoption journeys in a mindful, balanced way.
  • The language that we use helps shape the way we think about adoption.
  • The feeling that the language reflects becomes our children’s inner voice.
  • “She gave up the baby for adoption” sounds like a rejection.  “She placed the baby for adoption” or she made an adoption plan” is a much better way to phrase it.  This sounds helpful and intentional.  It feels loving and nurturing.
  • Jill talks to her children in an active voice about adoption with phrases such as “we adopted then” to put the focus on her putting the effort into making them a part of her family.
  • More positive phrases include “birth family, tummy mommy, first family” instead of “the real mom”.  It evolves as they get over.  
  • Since all of the people connected by adoption are connected by love.  It is a pain entered into willingly connected by love.
  • Others my say things such as “she’s so lucky to have you” out of good intention, but it can be construed as the biological family not being good.  It’s important to be mindful of the message that is conveyed and make sure it is focused more on the love shared. Statements such as “it’s so great to see you as a family” is ideal.  
  • It’s important to honor the birth family with your words. 
  • Being mindful of the language used to communicate about adoption is important for children and adults. 
  • It’s important to allow the adoptee to voice their feelings.  Asking open ended questions can be so helpful.  
  • Many of the baby boomers are just finding out they are adopted.  This environment harbors pain and shame. Talking about it openly can be really supportive. 
  • There’s a continuum between closed and open adoption.  Closed adoption is where the parents may not know anymore than their names.  A semi-open is where they communicate through a 3rd party. An open adoption, often best for the mental health of the child and the birth family, is when theirs open connection. It’s important to note that open adoption isn’t always best for all families 
  • Child Connect is a site that links families together.
  • When therapists work with adoptees, its important to allow space for grief and loss.
  • Adoption triad – birth family, adopted family, and the child.
  • Jill recommends the book 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Know by Sherrie Eldridge.
  • Family therapy can be really beneficial to help the entire family.
  • Support groups can be incredibly helpful.
  • Online support, consulting, and other connections can be really helpful. 
  • Connecting through groups can provide support and healing that can be found elsewhere.
  • Jill recommends “The Family Book” by Todd Parr . It’s about adoption, but not soley about adoption. 
  • Another book that she recommends is “It’s Okay to be Different” also by Todd Parr.
  • Jill really likes the “Adoptive Families” magazine. https://www.adoptivefamilies.com
  • The Center for Adoption Support Education, CASE, is a great education resource.  http://adoptionsupport.org
  • Adoption Counsel is a great resource at https://www.adoptioncouncil.orgA Step Ahead Adoption is a nationwide agency that helps people build their family in a healthy way.. There’s a focus on helping the birth family.  http://astepaheadadoption.com
  • There’s many great children’s books such as “A Mother for Choco”, “Tell Me a Real Adoption Storyadop”, “ABC: Adoption and Me”, and the “Tummy Mummy”. 
  • https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/
  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/
  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/
  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/
  • https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/
  • www.counselinginbrevard.com
  • www.playtherapycommunity.com
  • www.parentingintherain.com
  • www.jackieflynnconsulting.com
  • https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Jan 04 2018

43mins

Play

67: Jackie’s 15 Favorite Quotes with Jackie Flynn EdS, LMHC, RPT

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  1. “In between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  ~ Viktor Frankl

  1. "Nobody can bring you peace but yourself."  ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

  1. "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." ~  Mother Teresa

  1. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." ~ Lao-Tzu

  1. "By changing nothing, nothing will change."  ~  Tony Robbins

  1. "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."  ~  Plato

  1. "Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow."  -  Mary Anne Radmocher

  1. “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  - Maya Angelou
  1. When parents offer their children empathy and help them to cope with negative feelings like anger, sadness, and fear, parents build bridges of loyalty and affection.” - Gottman

  1. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou

  1. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

  1. “Every person must choose how much truth he can stand.” - Irvin Yalom, PhD.
  1. “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
  2. Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.”-  Brene Brown 
  3. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Dec 07 2017

31mins

Play

66: Group Therapy with Children and Teens with Katie May MS, NCC, LPC, DBTC

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Katie May is the “Group Guru”.

She works exclusively with teenagers in a teen support center in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.  

Groups energize Katie. She says that groups can’ save th’e world.  

In groups, people feel less alone in their struggles and they start to heal in ways that individual therapy can’t provide. 

Her groups are focused on the ideas of connection.

She told us about a group that she runs that looks at being nonjudgmental for teens.  She talked about using rocks to illustrate the judgements that they have for themselves.  She has them decorate the rocks to describe the judgements and toss them away as a concrete expression of getting rid of their judgements.  The teens put the rocks in a bag, weigh them and then toss them away into the water. This helps with processing of letting go of the judgements.  

Sometimes her groups do a “compliment circle” to express and receive kindness from others. Her pre and post assessment of their state of happiness improves after the kindness circle occurs.  

Katie prefers clear names for groups, rather than clever names.  This helps to make the process for the parents and caregivers looking for support for their child finding the groups simple and understanding .

Many times, teens can present with resistance towards therapy. 

Katie runs a skills group for teens.  The connection that they have with each other is really important.

She offers Dialectical Behavioral Therapy that she infuses in many of her groups. She provides experiential activities to help them actually know what works for them and how it feels. 

Pros

Group therapy helps clients feel understood and connected to a positive support system.  When people can connect with their peers to feel less alone.  Social support is so very important and can be a positive experience.

Cons Group therapy isn’t the best setting for deeper individual work that may involve trauma.  Also, it can be challenging to balance time between the group members.   Another con is that the group members’ personalities don’t always mesh. 

It’s so important to build trust and let the relationships form before diving into tough stuff.  It’s important to put yourself into the group member’s shoes.

http://www.becomeagroupguru.com

https://playtherapycommunity.simplero.com/page/73863-free-download-tips-for-supporting-grieving-children

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Nov 30 2017

19mins

Play

65: Gottman’s Sound Relationship House with Jackie Flynn, Trained in Level 3 Gottman Method Couples Therapy

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Build Love Maps

Knowing each other’s world is so vital to the health of a relationship.  It’s important to make exploration of each other’s world an ongoing effort.  This can help strengthen the relationship and help each person in the relationship to feel felt and cared about.

Share Fondness and Admiration

Fondness and admiration is noticing what’s going right and what’s good rather than putting a focus on the negative.  If couples are in “Negative Sentiment Override” as Gottman calls them.

Turn Towards

Turning towards your partner, both literally and figuratively is important as it sends a message that “you matter”, “I care”, “you’re important to me”.  Gottman uses the metaphor of a RELATIONSHIP BANK ACCOUNT to illustrate the need for 5 times as many positives to every one negative in a relationship.  Turning towards and accepting “bids for connection”, such as holding hands, inviting on an outing, snuggling, etc. is important to build the relationship bank account up so that when there are negatives, it doesn’t go into a negative balance. 

The Positive Perspective

The positive perspective focuses on friendships.  When couples engage in a strong friendship, then they can weather the storms better.  They have a stronger tolerance for difficult circumstances.

Manage Conflict

Sixty nine percent of the conflict in a relationship is perpetual, which means it doesn’t have a clear resolution.  Often couples need to move towards compromising on issues.  It’s important that couples learn how to use soft startup and avoid the 4 patterns of communications that can eat away at a relationship: Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, Stonewalling.  Gottman refers to these as the 4 Horsemen.

Make Life Dreams Come True

Having fun, adventures and dreams together, as well as honoring each other’s dreams is so vital towards the health of a relationship. Couples that laugh and have fun together often have a much healthier relationship.

Create Shared Meaning

Together, couples build a shared culture that incorporates what each of them knew to be true in their formative years, as well as new things that they do together in their own relationship and their own family.  Also, what legacy they want to leave in the world together is explored.

Trust and Commitment

Trust & Commitment are the walls of the sound relationship house.  If these walls are weakened in any way, the entire house could be at risk from falling.  Through repair work, couples can repair ruptures and move towards healed trust and commitment that can weather the storms of a relationship.  

https://playtherapycommunity.simplero.com/page/73863-free-download-tips-for-supporting-grieving-children

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Nov 23 2017

32mins

Play

64: Brief, Low Cost, Minimal Prep Play Therapy Techniques with Jackie Flynn EdS, LMHC, RPT

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Double Mirror Doodle

  • Using a large piece of paper and 2 crayons, have the student doodle a mirror image design. This helps with grounding, focus, and clarity through bilateral integration of both hemispheres of the brain. 
    • Materials
      • Large Paper 
      • 2 crayons

What Happened Next

  • Using a large piece of paper and something to write with, have the student sequentially tell the story of what happened from beginning to the end.  This narrative supports "top-down" processing of the event. 
    • Materials
      • Large Paper
      • Pen, Pencil, or Crayons

Tumbling Blocks Conversation Prompts

  • Using a Jenga (or generic version) game, the child and the counselor will pull a block and respond to the prompt on the block.  This can be used for a variety of topics to include coping skills, social situations, icebreaker, friendship skills, etc. 

Pick-Up Straws

  • Using straws, students will pick up a straw and respond to a prompt coordinated with the color-coded prompts on a list of prompts in variety of areas.
    • Materials
      • Package of Straws with a Variety of Colors

Career Charades 

  • In this activity, the child(re) will act out a carreer while the others guess.  It can be an ice breaker or connecting activity as well for groups.  
    • Slips of paper with careers or modified prompts to direct the child on what to act out in charades style.

Career Creation 

Through clay creations, the child or teen will mold the dough or clay to form a symbolic representation of the career.  For example, they may create a toothbrush for a dentist.  This can be modified to fit the topic of the area in need of supporting, such as emotional literacy and expression, family system support, and much more. 

Social / Emotional/Friendship Thumballs

  • In this activity, the ball is tossed to each player.   The person catching the ball will respond to the word, statement, response closest to the player’s right thumb.  Write words, statements, responses on the ball with a permanent marker.  Themes could be “Ice Breaker”, “Social Situations”, “Emotional Literacy”, etc…
    • Materials
      • Large Air Filled Ball
      • Black Permanent Marker

Fishing for Solutions

  • In this activity, each child “fishes” for a statement or a question.  Once the child “catches’ a fish, he/she responds to the group. 
    • Materials
      • Foam Sheets (variety of colors)
      • Permanent Black Marker 
      • Small Round Magnets
      • ½ “ x 2’ Dowel Rod 
      • 1’ of Twine
      • Large Metal Bucket
      • Large Blue Cloth 
      • (Cut foam pieces in the shape of a fish.  Glue a round magnet on the fish shape for the eye.  Create a fishing pole by tying and gluing the twine to the end of the string.  At the end of the string, glue a round magnet.)

Mandalas

  • In this activity, each person creates a design in the circle.  This art therapy directive can differ based on goals for the activity (team building, expression, calming, etc…).  After completion, a group discussion can be initiated to explore the process and any feelings that surface…
    • Materials
      • Large Sheet of Paper 
      • Round Object for Circle Shape to Trace on the Paper 
      • Crayons, Markers, and/or Paint

Bibliotherapy

Therapeutic Books with Activities to Address Various Issues

  • “Have You Filled Your Bucket Today” (Relationships)  In this activity, the child(ren) will write down positive, helpful statements to others on the slips of paper, then place in others’ “bucket” to symbolize kind acts.
    • Bucket(s)
    • Small Slips of Paper
    • Writing Instruments
  • “Invisible String” (Grief and Loss) In this activity, the child will illustrate pictorially the people that they feel connected as in the metaphor of the invisible string that is represented with clear glue.
    • Paper
    • Glue
    • Crayons
  • “Personal Space Camp” (Social Appropriateness)  In this activity, the child learns about the appropriate amount of space to allow for peers and others in their familiarity with the visual aid  of a hula hoop. The child is to be directed to notice the distance as it is an appropriate for personal space.
  • Hula Hoop

Positive Belief "I am..." Activity

In this activity, the child “ranks” each statement depending on feelings of accuracy.  Statements can be adapted to individual / group.  The final rank of statements could then be discussed for self-awareness and a starting point for self-image concerns

  • Materials
    • Printed sheet with the following statements, cut into strips.
      • I am CONFIDENT
      • I am INTELLIGENT
      • I am CREATIVE
      • I am HUMOROUS
      • I am KIND
      • I am CONFIDENT
      • I am GOOD
      • I am CAPABLE

Self-Talk Thought Bubble

  • This activity is most effective when it is frontloaded with psychoeducation to teach the child about self-talk and how it impacts various situations such as test anxiety, social situations, etc....  To create the dialogue bubble, cut the poster board in the desired shape with a head shaped hole in the middle.  Instruct the child to write some positive and negative self-talk statements on the board.  Each statement can be used as a participatory discussion starter to strengthen the child’s understanding of the importance of using positive self-talk to better situations.
    • Materials
      • Large Posterboard
      • Sharpie Marker
      • Scissors

Nov 16 2017

27mins

Play

63: Adlerian Play Therapy with Dalena Dillman Taylor, PhD, LPC, RPT

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Dr. Taylor is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida.  

She’s also the Center for Play Therapy Training and Research Director, as well as the Play Therapy Certificate coordinator.  

She earned her graduate degrees from the University of North Texas. 

She learned from many of the leaders in the Play Therapy world.  

Dr. Taylor is trained in Adlerian Play Therapy developed in the early 1990’s by Terry Kottman, Ph.D., Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, NCC, LMHC

Adlerian’s belief is that people’s behavior is purposeful and goal-directed.  Their early childhood experiences influence their behavior, as well as how they view themselves, others and their world. 

4 Phases of Adlerian Play Therapy

(1) Relationship Building – This phase of the therapy is non-directive and supports safety in the play room.  By creating a shared power, the client can really feel like a significant person in their world.  This phase supports building trust within the child. 

(2) Investigating the Lifestyle – In this phase, the therapist becomes more directive in their work.  A focus is placed on how they view themselves, others, and the world.  There are a lot of things to take into consideration for the client, especially information on their personality, how do they feel like they matter in the world.  

(3) Gaining Insight – At this point in the therapeutic process, the therapist has a really good idea how the child is viewing themselves, others and world. The treatment plan is developed after phase 2, once the therapist has a good idea of who the child is and how they view the world.

(4) Reorientation –In this phase, the therapist teaches the children skillsets through role play, family work, and more.  One of the goals is to directly support their ability to generalize the skills in different settings to support their self-efficacy.

The therapist looks for signs that the child is ready to move into  each phase. 

It’s important to truly understand the child’s lifestyle.

These 3 things are across each of the categories in the lifestyle: 

  • Goals for Change
  • Strategies
  • Progress

Parent consultation is an important component of Adlerian Play therapy.  Half of the session is spent with the child and ½ of the session is spent with the parent or every other session with parent then with child is scheduled.  

During the therapy, the parent is also following the 4 phases. During the parent consultation, how the parent is viewing the world is explored since it greatly influences their parenting approach. 

During the parent consultation, the parent learns many of the same skills as the child, so that they can respond to the child in a different way that is supportive of the treatment plan for the child. 

Dr. Taylor highly recommends reading Partners in Play by Terry Kottman 3rd Edtion.

Crucial C’s of Adlerian Play Therapy 

  • Courage 
  • Connect
  • Capable 
  • Count

It’s important for each therapist to choose a theory that aligns with how you also view the world to foster authenticity of delivery of services. 

The relationship is the most critical element of the therapy.  

http://education.ucf.edu/playtherapy/

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ucf-center-for-play-therapy-research-and-training-first-annual-play-therapy-conference-partners-in-registration-26582158953

https://playtherapycommunity.simplero.com/page/73863-free-download-tips-for-supporting-grieving-children

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Nov 09 2017

36mins

Play

62: Understanding the Role of a School Counselor with Stacy Van Horn, PhD

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Dr. Stacy Van Horn is currently a full-time faculty member and School Counseling Coordinator at the University of Central Florida in the Counselor Education and School Psychology Program within the Department of Child, Family and Community Sciences. She teaches graduate students at both the masters and doctoral level primarily in the areas of career development, counseling with children and adolescents, ethical and legal issues in professional school counseling, and coordination of comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs. She also supervises practicum students in the Community Counseling and Research Clinic (CCRC) on campus and school counseling interns throughout Central Florida schools.   Prior to her position as a Counselor Educator, Dr. Van Horn worked as a professional school counselor for over nine years in Orange County Public Schools working with diverse students, teachers, and families in Central Florida.  Dr. Van Horn has experience in creating and coordinating comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs at both the elementary and middle school level.  In addition, she has experience collaborating with exceptional education school personnel on developing strategies and counseling approaches for exceptional education students.  Her current research interests include training and supervision of professional school counselors, counseling interventions with diverse children and adolescents, and the role of professional school counselors in providing effective career development in schools.  Dr. Van Horn has presented at national, regional, state, and local counseling conferences, including American Counseling Association, Association for Specialists

Prior to her position as a Counselor Educator, Dr. Van Horn worked as a professional school counselor for over nine years in Orange County Public Schools working with diverse students, teachers, and families in Central Florida.  Dr. Van Horn has experience in creating and coordinating comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs at both the elementary and middle school level.  In addition, she has experience collaborating with exceptional education school personnel on developing strategies and counseling approaches for exceptional education students.  Her current research interests include training and supervision of professional school counselors, counseling interventions with diverse children and adolescents, and the role of professional school counselors in providing effective career development in schools.  Dr. Van Horn has presented at national, regional, state, and local counseling conferences, including American Counseling Association, Association for Specialists for Group Work, American School Counseling Association, the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Florida Counseling Association, the Florida School Counselor Association, and invited presenter at the Florida Association for Gifted Children.  

School Counselors have a unique role within the school setting. A school counselor works as a vital part of a team and stakeholders. 

  • Primarily, School Counselors work within 3 primary domains: Academic Development, Career Development, and Social/Emotional Development. 
    • Elementary counselors may teach more classroom guidance lessons, identify students in need of more support in regards to specialized programs, connecting with parents through parent conferences, and more…  
    • Middle school counselors may facilitate more small groups, put greater focus on peer interaction, help students with communication skills, and engage in more career exploration with students.  
    • High school counselors tend to provide more 1 on 1 counseling, coordinate bigger school events and assemblies, conduct credit checks, advise students on credit requirements and class selection, prepare students for college with college readiness activities, coordinate / conduct testing, and focus on students’ transition into college.  School counselors are so vital at every level!
  • It’s really important for others to know the role of a School Counselor to maximize the benefits of this important role. This is sometimes a big challenge in the field as this is predefined.  Students from University of Central Florida (UCF) are prepared to articulate the role to others.
  • School counselors can interact with students in several ways to include, but not limited to one on one, small group, classroom guidance, assemblies, etc... 
  • Counseling provided by a school counselor is much different than therapy in a clinical setting.  School counselors often experientially provide students with coping skills to help with managing anger, healthy friendships, solid study skills, mindfulness techniques, and much more. 
  • School Counselors often conduct career days, Red Ribbon Week activities, award assemblies, extra-curricular activities, etc…
  • It’s helpful for School Counselors to observe students in different environments.
  • It’s so important to be visible as a School Counselor to the parents, administrators… and most importantly the students. 
  • School counselors can also provide trainings to teachers.  Dr. Van Horn polled teachers to see what areas they would like to learn more about.  She remembers a training that she offered while she was in the role of a School Counselor on “How to Have a Strength-Based Meeting”.   In this training, her team role played to take the learning to a deeper learning to an experiential level. 
  • School counselors often conduct several meetings throughout the years, IEP, 504s, behavior support, etc.  
  • It can be really helpful for school counselors to connect with child therapists in their area.
  • Advantages of Being a School Counselor - School counselors have so much impact on students over weeks, over the school year, and over the course of several years.  School counseling is a unique profession, as rarely are 2 days the same. It’s so helpful to work together as a team with all of the stakeholders such as parents, teachers, administrators, etc. Unlike therapists, a school counselor has the advantage of seeing the child throughout the day in a variety of settings.  Often School Counselors are the first line of support to students. School Counselors may have request slips that the students can submit to request support that doesn’t require consent from parents, session fees, or many of the other limitations that may prevent a student from obtaining help when needed. Dr. Van Horn speaks of “Cluster Groups” within the school to discuss creative ideas, opportunities and such. 
  • Disadvantages of Being a School Counselor -  Often school counselors are faced with limited time, limited resources, limited student connection time, lunch duty, etc.  School counselors often wear many different hats: testing coordinator, scheduling, lunch duty personnel, car loop support, credit checks, child study meetings, and so much more.  All of these roles can create confusion on the role of a school counselor and can take them away from services that utilizing their specialized skills to help students in the best way.   
  • Sometimes School Counselors face a lack of support.
  • School Counselors benefit from placing a focus on how they can take care of their own personal emotional and physical wellness as they can be pulled in so many directions that ca be emotionally draining.  It’s important to establish boundaries to keep emotionally healthy. 
  • School counselors benefit from knowing great therapists in the community so that they have good referrals to provide to their students in need.  Sometimes School Counselors co-present with therapists in their community to their parents and their staff, as well as to create trainings and workshops. 
  • Relationships between school counselors and child and family therapists in the community are so beneficial.
  • When crises happen in schools, relationships within helpers in the communities can make such a huge difference. 
  • Dr. Van Horn talks about when she realized that she couldn’t have her “to do” list checked at the end of the day.  She normalized the feeling of overwhelm with so many tasks in a limited amount of time. 
  • Play therapy techniques can be used by school counselors in a low-cost way that can be implemented in efficient ways. 
  • What does a "typical" day in the life of school counselor look like?  School counselors really don’t have a “typical” day. Each day can look so different. 

Learn More about Dr. Van Horn at UCF http://education.ucf.edu/faculty_detail.cfm?id=591

Association for School Counselors, ASCA https://www.schoolcounselor.org

Jackie’s Play Therapy Community www.playtherapycommunity.com

Jackie’s Private Practice www.counselinginbrevard.com

Jackie’s Consulting Support www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

Nov 02 2017

36mins

Play

61: The Art of Setting Up Your Play Therapy Room with Pam Dyson MA, LPC-S, RPT-S

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Pam Dyson, MA, LPC-S, RPT-S, is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, child development expert and parenting coach.  In addition to her private practice www.pamdyson.com  in Plano, Texas she provides consultation and supervision services and facilitates play therapy workshops at conferences throughout the US. She is the recipient of the Association for Play Therapy 2013 Key Award for Professional Education and Training and is currently serving a three-year term on the APT Board of Directors. Pam is the founder and director of the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training. www.dfwplaytherapy.com

In this episode, Pam shares with us how she put together her office space.  

After a few times of moving her office, she has tweaked her set up until she created it just like she wants it.

Pam selected her toys and materials strategically, based on influence from Garry Landreth’s work.  She referenced his book, Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship .

She has toys from each category: Expressive, Aggressive, & Nurturing.  This helps her to determine what toys she has it in her play room.  

Each toy that she has was selected based on its therapeutic value.  How it can help the child express and release their emotions should be considered.  

It’s important to have real-life toys, expressive materials, blocks, playdough, and more.  Here’s a link to a recommended toy list:   http://cpt.unt.edu/about-play-therapy/recommended-toy-list

Pam’s space is an organized and calming space.

Pam has 2 plain looking dollhouses in her space.  Having 2 doll houses can help children play out what it is like transitioning between 2 homes. 

“We can’t always change what’s going on around them, in their world, in their environment.  But, we can help them improve the way they feel about themselves.” Pam Dyson

Naming the child’s emotion is helpful for the child to process situations in their life. 

Playing activates the right hemisphere of the brain while naming the emotion activates the left.  This supports integration of the 2 hemispheres, which allows the child to fully process.

Pam couldn’t imagine doing the work that she does without play because integrating both sides of the brain is so important.  

In Pam’s space, there's a little table that she uses with her clients for many different purposes.  

Pam intentionally puts everything in the same place, so that her clients know where things are located.  Since they use the toys like we use words, it’s important for them to be able to find their words easily.  

It’s important that there’s a sense of order in the playroom, so it feels like a safe, predictable experience for them. 

Pam makes the distinction between Sandtray and Sandplay therapy.  She uses Sandtray therapy in a separate room to use with older clients either individually with their parents.   

Having 2 separate rooms, Play Therapy Room for younger clients and a Sandtray Room for older clients, Pam can best help both ages.  And it helps lesson clean-up time as well.  

Pam allots 15 minutes for clean-up time before the next client.  She doesn’t feel too rushed in between clients.  She starts each session on top of the hour.

She has an observation window in the play room to facilitate Child Parent Relationship Therapy.  She also uses it to train other therapists how to work with the child.  It has recording capacity for training purposes and self-evaluation as well.  She always obtains written permission before recording. She records for clinical trainings mostly. 

Pam is the director the DFW Center for Play Therapy.  She offers 2 workshops a month for people interested in learning how to do Play Therapy.  She’s an approved provider for the Association for Play Therapy.  Her trainings offer continuing education credits.  She really enjoys it.

Play Therapy can be used across the lifespan.  It looks a bit different but can be used with any age.

Merchandise is available at Pam’s trainings.  Her trainees can buy toys and miniatures and begin to implement what they learned right away. 

Her workshops are experiential in nature to support that integration of the brain for the therapists as well.

To tour Pam’s space, visit www.pamdyson.com

Pam meets with the parents before she meets with the child.  Based on the information from that session, she makes a recommendation on how to best work with the child.  She has a parent consultation room that is comfortable and cozy, which she also uses for family therapy sometimes.  

Pam keeps a bowl of fidget toys in the room to help ground and relax her clients and their parents.  

Pam is a doodler!  It helps keeps her focused while on the phone, at conferences, etc.

Pam models playing with the child for the parent.  She stresses the importance of leaving the phone and other electronics in the other room while playing with their child so they can be more present. Weekly playtimes can be so valuable. 

It’s really important to involve the parent in the therapeutic process as much as possible.

Pam shares lots of free videos on her social media sites. 

Play Therapy Community www.playtherapycommunity.com

Tour Pam’s Office  www.pamdyson.com

Trainings - www.dfwplaytherapy.com

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/pamdyson/

Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/user/PamDysonPlayTherapy

Oct 26 2017

26mins

Play

Episode 60: Understanding Infant Toddler Mental Health with Billie Jo Clausen, MA, Early Childhood Specialist / Infant Toddler Mental Health Specialist

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In this episode Billie Jo covers the following:

  • Description of what Infant Mental Health is and what professional support in this area involves.
  • A discussion on the impact that ages 0-3 has on a child’s development – emotional, physical, cognitive, etc.
  • Clarification of who could benefit from Infant Toddler Mental Health Support
  • Tips for therapists working with children and families.

https://www.zerotothree.org/early-learning/infant-and-early-childhood-mental-health

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Jun 29 2017

37mins

Play

59: Dr. Edmunds – All About Creating a Therapeutic Board Game

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Ellis Edmunds is a licensed psychologist in Oakland, CA.  He has a private practice working with teens and adults struggling with anxiety.  He is passionate about Mindfulness practices and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  He also loves to play games of all kind and has created a therapeutic board game called The Mindful Bus that can be used with groups or in a one on one setting.  He believes games can provide a fun, safe, and interactive experience for therapeutic work to take place.

In this episode Dr. Edmunds covers the following:

-How he got the idea for the board game by working with teens and adults.  -The process of getting the game created: prototypes, testing it, art work.  -How Acceptance and Commitment Therapy inspired the idea for the game.  -How to get started on your own product or game.

http://www.boardgamesmaker.com

http://drellisedmunds.com

http://www.themindfulbus.com/

http://facebook.com/drellisedmunds

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Jun 22 2017

19mins

Play

58: Maternal Mental Health with Dr. Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D., Host of Mom & Mind Podcast

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In this episode Dr. Kat covers the following:

  • Understanding what Maternal Mental Health is and where to find trained professionals to help.
  • Where to get training for professionals working with mothers in the mental health field.
  • Understanding postpartum depression, anxiety, and much more.
  • Reducing the shame of maternal mental health struggles through support, education, and sharing stories.
  • Her podcast, Mom & Mind is a wonderful free resource for parents, professionals, and anyone that could use information and knowledge in this area.

Dr. Kat’s Amazing Podcast http://www.momandmind.com

Mom and Mind Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Jun 15 2017

28mins

Play

57: How Family Meetings Can Help with Mercedes Saudi, LCSW

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Expert Guest: Mercedes Samudio, LCSW Mercedes Samudio, LCSW is a parent coach, speaker, and author who helps parents and children communicate with each other, manage emotional trauma, navigate social media and technology together, and develop healthy parent-child relationships. Over the course of her career, she has worked with adoptive families, foster families, teen parents, parents navigating the child protective services system, and children living with mental illness. Mercedes started the #EndParentShaming movement as well as coined the term Shame-Proof Parenting – using both to bring awareness to ending parent shame. Mercedes is a leading parenting expert and has an amazing following on social media that allows her to reach the hearts of thousands of parents who feel heard and seen on their parenting journey. She has been featured on The Huffington Post, US News and Report, Woman’s Day, LA Parent Magazine, CBS LA, and Kids In The House. Mercedes seeks to empower parents to believe that they are already great guides for raising healthy and happy children. You can read more about her parenting expertise at http://shameproofparenting.com.

In this episode, Mercedes covers the following:

  • How family meetings can help strengthen relationships. 
  • Important things to consider when having family meetings. 
  • How to respond to sibling rivalry and the benefits. 
  • The importance of listening to children and allowing them to participate in family discussions and problem-solving.

Mercedes’ Book – Shame Proof Parenting 

Mercedes’ Website 

https://www.facebook.com/ShameProofParenting/

www.playtherapycommunity.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolcounselors/

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

Jun 08 2017

27mins

Play

56: Understanding Suicide Pacts and Social Media

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My guest today is Dr. Jonathan Singer, Ph. D., LCSW, who is an expert in the area of suicide. He is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Loyola University in Chicago and the founder and host of The Social Work podcast. He co-authored the book, Suicide in Schools. This episode focuses on suicide pacts and the social media component and is the second piece of a two-part series.

  • The language we use around suicide is important. Instead of “suicide threat,” the less-threatening terminology is “suicide disclosure.” Dr. Singer shares how he helped in a suicide pact scenario years ago, before the onset of social media. His story would be very different in today’s world that’s overrun with social media platforms. 
  • Peers can help and even intervene in a crisis situation. In today’s world saturated with social media, teens will often be the first to hear of suicide pacts. Their awareness is crucial, so they know how to help and what to do. Dr. Singer explains how to be a friend to someone who is at risk for suicide and, specifically, how to address an online suicide pact.
  • What if someone feels that they are betraying a friend? Well, “It’s better to have a friend alive and mad, than dead.” There are intense affective conversation techniques that can help keep a friend around: “Your reason for living may not be in your life yet.”
  • Talking about it is so important! Dr. Singer explains that research has shown that asking kids about suicide does not increase risk, but can actually buffer the risk. Contrary to what some people think, bringing up the conversation will NOT make them suicidal.  What does increase the risk is watching a graphic show about a bleak world without hope, as in the recent Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why.

Resources:

www.playtherapycommunity.com

Find Jackie and the Play Therapy Community on Facebook: Look for Play Therapy Community or Jackie Flynn Play Therapy Community.

Find Jackie on Twitter @jackieflynnrpt

Suicide in Schools by Dr. Jonathan Singer

Social Work Podcast

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May 09 2017

32mins

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55: Suicide Assessments & Interventions

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My guest today is Dr. Jonathan Singer, Ph. D., LCSW, who is an expert in the area of suicide. He is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Loyola University in Chicago and the founder and host of The Social Work podcast. He co-authored the book, Suicide in Schools. This episode focuses on suicide assessments and interventions and is the first of a two-part series.

  • Therapists can do much at various levels to assess risk. The most important action is to screen for suicide risk at each intake assessment, whether it’s suspected or not. Often, aggression and other behavioral disturbances can be evidence of suicide risk, so ASK the questions!
  • What can parents do? Dr. Singer says that parents of any child at risk should talk to the school counselor about a referral. “Don’t start looking for someone when the need arises.” Therapists should also connect with school counselors and let them know who you are and what you do.
  • Dr. Singer explains Attachment-Based Family Therapy, which is emotion-focused and addresses the fundamental issue of why kids don’t see their parents as a resource for help. “Why does the child feel like it’s a better choice to die rather than talk to and open up to their parents?” Repairing the “attachment rupture” makes it easier than to talk about everything. Kids need their parents to be a safe place!
  • Within ABFT, parents must understand the difference between condoning and validating by giving care and acceptance with words and actions. Use the phrase, “tell me more” to encourage kids to share. With this, they gain confidence to start problem-solving on their own---and this is what we want them to do!
  • Another important aspect of ABFT is the service coordination between therapist and counselor. The amazing work in your office is not going to be beneficial if the adults in the kid’s life are not on the same page!

Resources:

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Suicide in Schools by Dr. Jonathan Singer

Social Work Podcast

Join the Play Therapy Community Mastermind group - www.playtherapycommunity.com/mastermind

May 09 2017

36mins

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54: Eating Disorder Recovery through Group Therapy Lucy Lauer, LMHC

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Lucy Lauer, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with 26 years’ experience as a Registered Dietitian. She specializes in helping people navigate the rough waters of disordered eating to achieve a healthier life and relationship with food. She has experience with Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Nocturnal Eating Disorder, and the range of dysfunctional eating patterns that cause distress but may not have a diagnostic label.

In 35 years of practice, Lucy has treated disordered eating from both a nutritional and psychological perspective. She has presented workshops at the local, state and national level on many aspects of disordered eating for psychologists and counselors, physicians, dietitians, parents and teachers. She established and facilitated the Space Coast Eating Disorders Professional Consortium from 2009-2011, and supervises Florida Tech Psychology students in a special practicum focused on Eating Disorder treatment. 

She participates regularly in continuing education programs and has had over 60 hours of specialized training in ED treatment in the last 3 years alone. Specific topics have included ACT and other evidence-based interventions, medical complications, trauma impact, co-occurring disorders (substance abuse, self-injury, etc), assessment for appropriate level of care, body image, art and other expressive therapies, and using a team approach to treatment. She has also been invited to site visits at residential treatment centers in South Florida and Colorado. 

What are the various types of eating disorders? Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder

Since eating disorders have a direct impact on physical health as well, tell us a bit about the team approach to treatment when collaborating with Registered Nutritionists, Physicians, etc...

The gold standard of ED treatment involves a team of clinicians working together. The team consists of a mental health counselor or psychologist, Registered Dietitian (RD), primary care physician, and if needed, a psychiatrist. In an out-patient setting, it is usually the mental health clinician who coordinates care by communicating with other team members re. treatment goals, progress toward goals, and psychoeducation, as needed. The RD monitors weight, food intake and specific food-related issues and may also help set exercise goals. Medical parameters such as labs, EKGs and bone-density are ordered by the PCP and shared with other team members as markers for progress. When all team members are not under the same roof (which is usually the case), communication is done through phone calls, written assessments and updates and occasionally, face-to-face team meetings. If the client is a minor, the parents are also part of the team and are included in treatment planning, progress updates and psychoeducation so they can more effectively support their child’s recovery.

 Many people with an eating disorder have a fear of recovery.  Talk a bit about this and how a clinician can work with someone resistant about recovering from their eating disorder.

An eating disorder is experienced as a life-raft in the rough sea of uncertainty that is a normal part of life. Despite the fact that eating disorders are deadly and create enormous physical and psychological pain, they also serve important functions such as protection from intrusion, a sense of control when life feels chaotic, a way to make complex issues seem more manageable and many others. In order to help a person let go of this safety net, the clinician has to help them:  1) recognize the costs to other valued parts of their lives such as relationships, energy & concentration for other persuits; 2) Identify the functions of the ED and Develop other ways to address those. This often requires practicing acceptance of the inherent uncertainty of life, imperfection of themselves and others, and the messiness of living in a human body with all of its flaws and limitations. Sometimes, cognitive growth and recovery cannot take place until weight and nutritional balance is restored and this takes education, support, encouragement and a leap of faith on the part of the client.

 I know you facilitate a wonderful group for people with an eating disorder.  Tell us a bit about that group and how it's different from individual therapy? Our 8-week eating disorder therapy group employs a combination of mindfulness practice, self-compassion and some elements of ACT (acceptance & Commitment Therapy), which helps people identify personal values that the ED has robbed them of. There is a lot of discussion about perfectionism, fear of failure, body hatred, habitual responses to difficult emotions and practice slowing down and experimenting with alternative perspectives and behaviors. Much of the benefit from the group comes from the common experiences of the members who usually feel alien and outside of “normal” human connections. ED is a very isolating illness and it is progressive, so over the years, people feel more and more alone and ashamed of the disorder in addition to all the other things about themselves they already hate.

  Where can clinicians go for more information, trainings, certifications, etc... My favorite resources are programs presented by The Renfrew Center & the Eating Recover Center, both of which have residential treatment facilities in several US cities and do a lot of research, outreach and education. There are some very useful websites with loads of info, too. I’ve attached a list of resources we turn to on a regular basis. Our website and Facebook page also have regular posts about ED and other psychological and mental health issues. Our website is www.BeWellCounseling.net; our FB page is Beachside Counseling & Wellness on Facebook.

Recommended ED Self-help books

Cruze, Robyn & Andrus, Espra, LCSW (2013). Making Peace with Your Plate:  Eating disorder recovery. Central Recovery Press.

Kelly, Joe (2003). Dads and Daughters: How to inspire, understand, and support your daughter when she's growing up so fast. 

Lock, James, MD, PhD. & Le Grange, Daniel, PhD (2005). Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder. The Guilford Press.

Maine, Margo, & Kelly, Joe (2005). The Body Myth: Adult women and the pressure to be perfect. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 

Roth, Geneen (2010). Women, Food and God. New York: Scribner.

Tribole, E. and Resch, E. (2003). Intuitive Eating. New York:  Saint Martins Press.

Johnston, Anita (1996). Eating in the Light of the Moon: How women can transform their relationships with food through myths, metaphors and storytelling. Carlsbad, CA: Gurze Books.

Schaefer, Jenni (2004). Life Without Ed:  How one woman declared independence from her eating disorder and how you can, too. New York:  McGraw-Hill.

Siegel, M., Brisman, J., and Weinshel, M. (1995). Surviving an Eating Disorder:  Strategies for Families and Friends. New York: Saint Martins Press.

Waterhouse, D. (1997).  Like Mother, Like Daughter:  How women are influenced by their mothers’ relationship with food, and how to break the pattern.  New York:  Hyperion.

Sandoz, Emily and DuFrene, Troy (2013). Living With Your Body & Other Things You Hate:  How to let go of your struggle with body image using acceptance & commitment therapy.  Oakland, CA:  New Harbinger Books.

Eating Disorder Resources

     ANAD-National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders. www.anad.org ANAD Helpline: 630-577-1330

  • Something Fishy - Website On Eating Disorders. Referral sources. www.something-fishy.org
  • Gürze Books. Eating Disorders Publication/Education & Referral Sources. www.edcataloggue.com.  800-756-7533
  • EDReferral - Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center. www.edreferral.com
  • Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness. Information for parents & caregivers about the warning signs, dangers, and consequences of eating disorders. www.eatingdisorderinfo.org
  • ED Hope: a resource and referral site for eating disorders and addictions. www.eatingdisorderhope.com
  • Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA). Mission is to raise awareness, educate, and provide resources for its members and the general public. www.bedaonline.com
  • F,E.A.S.T. - Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders. An organization of parents and caregivers. ww•w.feast-ed.org
  • Anna Westin Foundation. Dedicated to the prevention and treatment of eating disorders & advocating for insurance coverage. www.annawestinfoundation.org.
  • Beachside Counseling & Wellness, Indialantic, FL. Individual, couple and family therapy, Group Therapy, Nutrition Counseling, Information. www.bewellcounseling.net. 321-327-3793
  • Am I Hungry? Website promoting intuitive/mindful eating and body respect. www.amihungry.com

Websites & Blogs:

  Website launched by a patient in recovery from Bulimia: www.letterstomybody.com

  Blog encouraging a non-diet approach to healthy eating: www.dietsurvivorsgroup.blogspot.com  Website/program to improve body image on college campuses: www.bQdyimageprogram.org

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Apr 27 2017

43mins

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52: Supporting Grieving Children and Families at the Dougy Center with Jana Cristofaro

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Episode 52 – Supporting Grieving Children and Families at the Dougy Center

In this episode:

Jana Cristofaro covers the following:

  • Describes the mission of The Dougy Center.
  • Tells how it was created (Dougy's story).
  • Describes who is eligible to receive services through your program and what is the process.
  • Describes what services look and feel like at the Dougy Center.
  • Provides tips that you have for therapists working with grieving children and their families.
  • Let’s us know about and/or donate to the Dougy Center.

For her Free Download:  Tips for Supporting Grieving Children click on the following:

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Apr 14 2017

21mins

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53: Sandtray Therapy and the Brain with Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT

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Episode 53 – Sandtray Therapy and the Brain

Expert Guest: Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT is the Founder and Director of the Southern Sandtray Institute located in Jonesboro, AR. She has a hybrid program to credential therapists as a Registered Integrative Sandtray Therapist (RIST).  In addition to the formal credentialing program, Amy also offers online sandtray training through The Sandtray Suite. To find out more and grab your free Sandtray technique, simply go to www.sandtraysuite.com/ssi

In this episode, Amy Flaherty LPE-I, RPT covers the following:

  • What is Sandtray Therapy?
  • She describes the relation between neuroscience and Sandtray therapy.
  • She shares few examples of that she’s seen throughout her work.
  • She shares her most used miniatures?  And, where are some common area she finds miniatures for her collection

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Apr 14 2017

16mins

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51: Introduction to Play Therapy Community Podcast and Host

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Episode 51: Introduction to Play Therapy Community Podcast and Host, Jackie Flynn EdS, LMHC, RPT

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! This episode was previously known as Parenting in the Rain Podcast.

I created this community as a space for us (Child Therapists!) to connect with other and learn together.  If you’re anything like me, you like the idea of having tons of information at your fingertips so that you can provide the best therapy possible for your clients.

I have a Private Practice in Central Florida, with a fully stocked Play Therapy Room and Expressive Arts Therapy Studio. 

I love being a private practitioner and entrepreneur, taking risks, and daring to dream BIG! And, I LOVE Play Therapy!!!  Helping people through the healing Power of Play.

In the beginning, I remember surfing the web for hours and hours trying to get ideas.

Now, we don’t have to do it alone…we have this podcast and connection to each other where we can find out about all of the other wonderful play therapy related resources that are available to us out there! I LOVE the thought of being part of a community with like-minded individuals.

In my work at my private practice, I am passionate about helping children, adolescents, parents, couples, and families through Play Therapy, EMDR, Sandtray Therapy, Gottman Method Couples Counseling, Hypnotherapy, Education Consultation, Mindfulness, and Art Therapy. 

Probably much like you, I’ve spent years and years going to school, training, conferences, reading books, listening to podcasts, networking, reading blogs, and more to be the effective and passionate therapist that I am today.

We all have so much info to share… and the thought of creating a SYNERGYSTIC community of amazingly ambitious, child therapists like you makes me so happy, I can hardly stand it!!!

Personal and professional growth is ALWAYS at the forefront of my consciousness. And, I LOVE the world of BUSINESS and THERAPY combined. The online business world is packed with so many opportunities for growth – and I LOVE it!  I love helping people in a big way, and online that is possible!  You may have listened to my podcast, Parenting in the Rain or attended some of my Webinars.

I’d love to stay in touch with you through our newsletter.  If you’d like that too, just let me know where to send it by entering your info below.  You’ll get a video of my top 3 most used miniatures as my way of welcoming you to Play Therapy Community’s newsletter.

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Apr 14 2017

12mins

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50: When Your Child Makes a Mistake

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Episode 50, When Your Child Makes a Mistake

In This Episode:  

Mistakes are part of our humanness.  They are bound to happen from time to time.  In fact, they need to happen for us to grow.  For our kids, allowing them to make mistakes can make all of the difference.

As parents, it is helpful to allow our children’s mistakes to teach them about life.  

It can be difficult, though.  Especially, if you are in a rush and you need to get out of the door for school (okay this can be tough!), you may be tempted to just tie their shoes yourself, or dress them yourself, or make the bed yourself so it’s not so messy, or stick with the food that they are comfortable with ... the list can go on and on talking about how we’re busy and we don’t want to cause a scene and how everyone benefits, if we choose leads you down a path of least resistance.  I know some of these because I’ve been there.  Parenting can be exhausting and feel defeating sometimes.  I’m not saying you need to never help your kid again.  But rather, grasp those opportunities to learn and grow from messes and mistakes when possible.  

If you are in a rut of doing everything for your child, give own self-permission to be human.   Small tweaks over the course of time can make all the difference.  With a positive attitude. .. and lots of EMPATHY.  It may sound something like this, “It must’ve been really hard to have done your project and then not have it in class.  I know how hard you worked on it.”  

Beware of the temptation for sarcasm here.  If you connect with your child in an empathic way that leaves them feeling like “my mom or my dad gets it. I’m not gonna let this happen again.” 

“When the student is ready, the teacher will teach.”  – Zig Ziglar

When children are allowed to make mistakes and learn from their experience, the cognitions (aka “thoughts”) that are embedded in their self-perception are I am capable, I am competent, I can do difficult things, It's okay to try, as well as several other helpful ways to feel.  

The only people that make mistakes are the ones that don’t try.

Some opportunities to make mistakes are to learn how to tie shoes, make lunches, forget homework, lose a friend due to behavior, and a gazillion other ways.

One of the huge benefits of making mistakes, especially for children, is that they get a chance to hone and develop their problem-solving skills.  Think of it like muscles – how will they ever get strong if you don’t use them, or, if you let them lay dormant for a while.  

Letting our children make mistakes is actually a HUGE gift to them.  This topic lends itself to the area of high expectations.  Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”  This is so true.  If we hold our kids to high expectations such as doing chores, reading a book every 2 weeks, applying for the scholarships, eating their vegetables, messing up their Science project, then we are sending the message of “I believe in you.”  And, then in turn, they have permission to believe in themselves.   

Remember, as we raise these small human beings that we refer to as our kids, we are given opportunities to help them be the best that they can be.  So rushing their homework or lunch to school that they forgot or allowing them to sit in front of the video games all weekend disconnected from family and life because they’ve had a difficult week, is not helping them at all.  It actually hinders them.

I’ve told the butterfly story before, but I’m going to mention it here too because it is so related.

I first heard this story in my Child Parent Relationship Therapy training.

So, as Mrs. Frizzle used to say in the Magic School Bus episodes... “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.”  This will allow your children to dare to dream and actually have the confidence and courage to follow their dreams.  

For Therapists – Join Play Therapy Community ™ with Jackie to learn more... Launching Soon!

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Below Are Some Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

Jackie’s Favorite Labryinths (Discounted Price)

Weighted Blankets by Mosaic

If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at jackie@jackieflynnconsulting.com or at my private practice at jackie@counselinginbrevard.com

Find a Play Therapist  Near You

Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting From Birth to Six Years

Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) Treatment Manual: A 10-Session Filial Therapy Model for Training Parents

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Apr 06 2017

26mins

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