I first earned my independent licensure in Missouri in 2007, and my PLPC prior in 2005. I became a Registered Play Therapist in 2008, I am now a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. I have extensive experience working with children and adults, as well as in counseling individuals, families and groups. In addition to private practice, I have worked with clients in agency, community, outpatient, in-patient, school, and home settings. I also speak Spanish and have worked with Spanish speakers since the inception of my career in 1999.
Currently I am the only therapist in Missouri certified with Sandplay Therapists of America, in 2017 I earned the credential of Registered Sandplay Practitioner, after extensive training and completing my own therapeutic process in the sand. I have been on the Diversity Committee with STA since 2018 and I remain active in my own ongoing education, consultation, and progress in working towards submitting research papers to earn my next level credential.
What is your training as a supervisor?
While practicing in Ohio supervisors are required to take 24 formal hours of training in supervision, and for my RPT-S I had to take an additional six, in all I have 30 hours of supervision training. This is not required in Missouri.
My own experiences as a supervisee have impacted my desire to provide good supervision. I had a wonderfully supportive supervisor who was also an art therapist, but my first supervisor was clinically absent and unethical (prompting me to leave that agency right away). I believe I adhere to a very high level of ethical compliance and my approach is informed by my own experiences, which were both good and bad.
What is your theoretical orientation and why is that important?
My main theoretical orientation is Jungian, although admittedly I often use an eclectic mix. However; at the core, I believe deeply in the teachings of Carl Jung, who himself did not want his theories to remain in isolation. Jung wanted others to pick up the baton and move his work forward. My clinical work is strongly informed by his approach, including how I analyze dreams in session, as well as sand trays.
When working in play therapy, I work mainly through the lens of Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT). I do not presume to be the expert with a child (or an adult), I don't enter sessions to instruct and do worksheets. I will sometimes decide to teach a specific skill should the client warrant it. Ultimately I believe that the child knows far more about their life than I do, I work to enter their world and learn from them. Children will always take us where they need to go if we follow their lead, but we must enter their world. I don't believe in expecting a child to enter my adult world of talk therapy, that wouldn't be developmentally appropriate.
Sandplay varies somewhat from CCPT. Although it is non-directive, like CCPT, it is carried through in a very different manner. Trays are viewed through the Jungian lens of symbolism, psyche, and the unconscious. The core of my current expressive work is sandplay. I also incorporate other expressive modalities, especially art in my therapy. At my core I am an artist, from both personal art work and training I understand the power of art to heal and soothe, as well as to explore the shadow and other archetypal energies at a deeper, non-verbal level.
Without a foundation, a house would collapse or deteriorate over time. I view our theoretical anchor as similar to this. We need a place to start from, and a solid grounding for the work we do. We have to make sense of the world and theory is the starting point for this.
What do you think is important for those seeking supervision to know about your approach?
I am a firm believer that we can only take our clients as far as we have come ourselves. I believe therapists benefit from their own therapy. Healer, heal thyself. I will encourage you to do your own work. If you feel you don't really have much to work on, then I would emphasize this even more. Client work will ultimately stir stuff within our selves, we need to be certain we are able to separate this out and have a trusted provider to turn to during such moments, which are inevitable. Supervision is not therapy.
Although the content of a session is incredibly important you can expect me to go deeper and also explore process, the larger part of what is occurring in a session.
Come to supervision prepared, the field is complex, we should always have questions and curiosities for supervision, especially for pre-licensed professionals.
Be open to learn and try new suggestions.
If you are a PLPC your hours will count towards your state of Missouri license, but they will also count towards your supervision hours for a credential as a Registered Play Therapist. Essentially you will get two for the price of one.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. Finding the right fit between you and a supervisor is an incredibly important decision. Please don't feel embarrassed to ask any questions, supervision is about growth and learning. If I don't have an answer to your question, we can seek out the answer together.