Kelly Ann Riley MFT

PLAY THERAPY
Why Play in Therapy?
What is Play Therapy?
How Does Play Therapy Work?
How Will Play Therapy Benefit A Child?
How Long Does Play Therapy Take?

PARENTING

CO-PARENTING
What is a Co-Parenting Specialist?
What does a Co-parenting Specialist do?
Who will benefit from working with a Co-parenting Specialist?

INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING

RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING


PLAY THERAPY

Why Play in Therapy?

Play therapy is a structured approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002; O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983). Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings (Gil, 1991). In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language (Landreth, 2002). Through play, therapists may help children learn more adaptive behaviors when there are emotional or social skills deficits (Pedro-Carroll & Reddy, 2005).

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What Is Play Therapy?

Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002). Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development.

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How Does Play Therapy Work?

Often, children have used up their own problem solving tools, and they misbehave, may act out at home, with friends, and at school (Landreth, 2002). Play therapy allows trained mental health practitioners who specialize in play therapy, to assess and understand children's play. Further, play therapy is utilized to help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems (Moustakas, 1997; Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). By confronting problems in the clinical Play Therapy setting, children find healthier solutions. Play therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns (Kaugars & Russ, 2001)

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How Will Play Therapy Benefit A Child?

Play therapy is implemented as a treatment of choice in mental health, school, agency, developmental, hospital, residential, and recreational settings, with clients of all ages (Carmichael, 2006; Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including: children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters (Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). Play therapy helps children:

  • Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.
  • Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
  • Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
  • Learn to experience and express emotion.
  • Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
  • Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
  • Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.

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How Long Does Play Therapy Take?

Each play therapy session varies in length but usually last about 30 to 50 minutes. Sessions are usually held weekly. Research suggests that it takes an average of 20 play therapy sessions to resolve the problems of the typical child referred for treatment. Of course, some children may improve much faster while more serious or ongoing problems may take longer to resolve (Landreth, 2002; Carmichael, 2006).

Adapted from the Association for Play Therapy website. (www.a4pt.org)

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PARENTING

I am a certified instructor of “Redirecting Children's Behavior” which is influenced by the work of Rudolf Dreikurs, MD., author of the highly acclaimed book "Children: The Challenge". The course was developed by Kathryn Kvols, author of the book "Redirecting Children's Behavior".  This program focuses on reducing stressful tensions in the home and increasing responsibility, initiative, self-control, cooperation and good decision making skills in your child.

Similarly, Developing Capable Young People developed by Stephan Glenn, Ph.D., focuses on teaching children to be responsible and self-reliant—not through outer-directed concerns, such as fear and intimidation, but through inner-directed behavior, such as feeling accountable for one's commitments. The parenting program focuses on how to instill character-building values and traits in your child that last a lifetime.

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CO-PARENTING

What is a Co-parenting Specialist?

Co-parenting specialists are trained, licensed mental health professionals who help parents support the well being of their children who are being raised in duel households.  We are educators and therapists who understand the challenges of rearing children in two households and work with the parents to minimize disruptions. Our work focuses specifically on the co-parenting relationship of the former partners and on the parent-child relationship. 

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What does a Co-parenting Specialist do?

  • Improves communication between parents
  • Facilitates parenting agreements
  • Facilitates resolution of disputes
  • Fosters acceptance of differences between parents
  • Assists parents in creating and maintaining an acceptable co-parenting plan
  • Helps parents to adjust the parenting plan to best meet the developmental needs of the child
  • Facilitates healthy relationships within the family

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Who will benefit from working with a Co-parenting Specialist?

  • Parents who are in the process of establishing duel households
  • Parents who need to adjust the parenting plan to meet the developmental needs of their children
  • Parents who wish to establish a more harmonious co-parenting relationship
  • Parents who have concerns about their children’s adjustment to the parenting plan

From Co-parenting Specialists (www.coparentingspecialistssandiego.com)

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INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

I have experience working with children, adolescents and adults in the following areas:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress management
  • Anger Management
  • Work related issues
  • Co-dependence
  • Parenting
  • Military issues
  • Life transition
  • Self Improvement
  • Interpersonal issues

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RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING

Couples have issues and problems that arise when communication breaks down. This break down in communication leads to misunderstandings which may result in anger, hurt, anxiety, depression, guilt, and feelings of hopelessness. My work with couples helps in uncovering and understanding patterns that prevent them from attaining their relationship goals.  Together we will work on making changes to help resolve these problems.

Some of the potential benefits of couples counseling include:

  • Developing healthy communication skills
  • Developing conflict resolution skills
  • Increase relationship intimacy
  • Identify and break down negative patterns of interaction
  • Clarify and support individual and relationship goals
  • Strengthen mutual respect within the relationship
  • Addressing differences in parenting style and/or blended family issues

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