Our Play Therapists
Cindy LaChance-Lindberg, MA LMFT RPT (Plymouth)
Julie Christianson, MSW LICSW (Plymouth)
Rachel Landgraf-Kusilek, MA LPCC (Andover)
Brad Branham, MA LMFT (Andover)
Andrea Patten, MSW LICSW (Blaine)
Leah Faiad, MS (Andover, St. Paul)
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy provides a therapeutic counseling setting where spontaneous, experiential, creative activity provides a forum during sessions to promote self expression, change and healing. The clients are usually children; however, adolescents and adults can, and do, benefit from play therapy as well. People of all ages express themselves both verbally and non-verbally. In play therapy, the client selects toys (and in some modalities animals) for self reflections and exploration of personal growth issues. Through play, the client represents and processes their own unique inner world and the dissonance with the larger world. Therapeutic play includes, but is not limited to, activities such as drawing, using puppets, and dramatic or fantasy activities. The play therapist facilitates this experience by creating a safe and accepting environment for the client.
Who would benefit from play therapy?
Play therapy is helpful for children in a wide range of situations. For example, children and adolescents who are coping with parental conflict, divorce, or who have witnessed domestic violence, can benefit from play therapy. Also, children who have experienced loss, such as illness or death of a loved one, or who have been traumatized by abuse, disasters or serious accidents may also find play therapy helpful. In play therapy, a child’s anxiety about a traumatic event can be reduced, feelings are expressed, trust in self and others increases, and a sense of competence is enhanced. Adults benefit by using a non-verbal form of expression, adding fun and spontaneity and previous stages of development to their sessions.