You’re frustrated and overwhelmed, and you desperately need help… and now you are looking to take your child to a therapist
Did you know there’s an option that is faster, less expensive, and more effective than taking your child to a therapist?
It’s called In-Home Play Therapy. It’s a thoroughly researched, amazingly effective ALTERNATIVE to taking your kid to a therapist.
It takes a little bit to explain, so I’ve created a video series that starts with “the problem”, explains why Play Therapy is “the solution”, and then specifically how the In-Home Play Therapy program will work for your family to get you the help that you need.
Enter your name and email into the form and you’ll be sent to the first video immediately.
In-Home Play Therapy, explained in 50 words!
Now let’s unpack that 50 word explanation
First, we have to look at what therapy looks like for an adult, and then we will contrast how therapy for a child is MUCH DIFFERENT!
Adults are mostly rational, and we process our problems and issues using our brain. Therapy typically looks like sitting with a professional therapist and “talking” through issues.
We can all visualize the scenario of a person “sitting on a couch,” talking to a therapist or psychologist, right?
In contrast, children ARE NOT rational! They do not start developing abstract reasoning skills until about 12-13 years old.
Because children are not rational, the practice of “sitting them on a couch” does NOT WORK!
Can you imagine a therapist asking your child “how they feel” about a particular problem in their life? I can’t either!
Therapy for a child looks much different than therapy for an adult.
Whereas adults talk through their issues, children PLAY through their issues, problems, and the things that are troubling them.
Now, the “Psychology stuff” – the boring, but MOST ESSENTIAL thing to understand!
The type of Play Therapy that we practice is based in “Rogerian Therapy” (Carl Rogers, 1902-1987) which fundamentally stands on the belief that people know (instinctively) what needs to be addressed within themselves. Therefore, the therapist’s role is simply to create the environment in which the client brings about positive change in their own life.
This is also referred to as “Person-centered” and “Non-directive” because instead of the therapist telling the client what they should do or think about their issues, the therapist creates the environment for the client to search their own feelings and rational thought, and make their own decision, creating positive changes in their life.
So without getting into a debate on what type of psychology is better than another, I’d like to just think about this for a second. When a person comes to their own conclusions and makes their own decisions about how to make positive changes in their life, don’t you think that probably results in deeper, more sustainable positive change? Rather than simply having a therapist tell you what to do, or what to think?
I think so. I believe that when a person has “buy-in” into their own solutions for their life, they are far more likely to make the positive changes. I also believe they are more likely to sustain those changes over a longer period of time, which leads to long-term positive impact in their life!
Back to Play Therapy
The specific type of Play Therapy that we practice at The Kid Counselor Center is “child-centered, non-directive” Play Therapy.
We believe that children instinctively know their issues, and the therapist simply creates the environment (gives them the time, tools, and opportunity) where they will work towards their own healing.
Just like adults who “buy-in” to their own positive change, children will experience deeper, more sustainable healing in their lives, if they are given the time, tools, and opportunity that they need to create the positive change as well.
Child-centered, non-directive Play Therapy can be thought of as a “long-game” strategy for the mental health well-being of children. We do not go for the “quick fix.” We work towards long-term change that carries itself far into adulthood.
We believe that happy kids become happy adults!
There are other types of therapy for children… and again, I don’t want to argue about which is better… I simply believe that child-centered, non-directive Play Therapy is what most children need to heal, for all the reasons stated above.
I hope you can see the logic and “rightness” of this type of therapy for children.
Now let’s talk about what a Play Therapy session might look like for a child.
When a child is brought in for therapy, the therapist usually asks the parent not to even mention that the child is going to “therapy” or to deal with their issues or behavior.
The therapist tells the parent to tell the child they are going to PLAY for an hour. That’s it!
Then when the therapist closes the play room door, they say, “You can play with all the toys, in most of the ways that you like” and that’s how it starts! The child begins playing. And oh my… do they play!
Remember, the child INSTINCTIVELY knows why they are there. There is no need to even address “why they come” to the child. They just start playing through their issues.
A real-world story that perfectly describes play sessions and the work that takes place in the play room:
So this is a bit of an extreme example, but it best describes how kids work on their issues through play.
I once had a young boy as a client that was abused by a family member.
Week after week, the boy would choose the biggest, meanest, scariest looking toy on the shelf. And then the boy would choose the smallest, meekest toy. The “bad” guy would beat up the small guy over and over.
This same play scenario repeated itself for almost 10 weeks! He played out the same “story” every week.
Until one day, the boy also grabbed a super hero, and that hero swooped in and beat up the bad guy!
The next week, the police came and arrested the bad guy.
This is the big change in the play story that we, as therapists, look for. The boy began “re-writing” his story!
We can’t change the past. Sometimes we can’t even take the child out of the environment that is causing them problems.
What we can do is help them build coping skills to deal with their past and their environment.
Children do this by playing.
It does not require a therapist to tell them what to do or how to think. They instinctively know what they need to do, and we give them the time, tools, and opportunity to make the change.
This is the “Magic” of Play Therapy!
Now let’s bring this “home” (pun intended…)
YOU can “do” Play Therapy with your own child!
Remember, the “therapist” simply creates the environment, giving the child the time, tools, and opportunity to encourage the healing process.
Let’s re-visit the 50-word explanation of In-Home Play Therapy.
In-Home Play Therapy is a 10-week “crash course” in Play Therapy, where the parent learns how to create the therapy environment for the child, and learns the fundamental Play Therapy skills to act as the therapeutic change agent for the child, during weekly in-home play therapy sessions.
Does that explanation make more sense now?
Your child does not need someone to tell them what to do or how to think. They just need someone to create the therapy environment, and then to interact with them in a therapeutic way, using the 4 primary “skills” of Play Therapy.
The “4 Pillars” (or skills) of Play Therapy are:
- Reflecting Feelings
- Choice Giving
- Limit Setting
You can learn these 4 Pillars in 10 weeks, and have the skills and knowledge to effectively conduct play therapy sessions with your own child, in your own home!
When you use the 4 Pillars in a play session with your child, you become the “therapeutic change agent.”
That’s just a fancy way of saying that you “loosely guide” your child down the path of positive change and healing. You are like the guardrails on an 8-lane super-highway that keeps your child going in the right direction towards well-being. They are driving (sometimes swerving back-and-forth across all 8 lanes), but as the therapeutic change agent, you are keeping them on the highway.
At this point, you have a much greater understanding of what therapy looks like for a child.
It’s VERY different than adult therapy.
It is really as simple as your child PLAYING through their issues… with some structure.
So what now?
What I’d like you to do next is sign up for my FREE, 6-part video series where I do a “deep dive” to help you understand more about Play Therapy and why it’s the solution you need for your family.
Across 6 videos, I’m going to give you all of my knowledge that you need to know about Play Therapy that will help you gain the happy kids and happy family that you desire.
I’m going to send you 8 emails (the first 6 are links to the videos), and along the way you’ll have several opportunities to consider talking to a therapist/facilitator about the In-Home Play Therapy program.
After the 8th email, I will no longer bug you about this. I promise.
There is no obligation, and I’m not going to “hard sell” you on this program.
I just want you to be able to get the help you need if you are seeking it for your child. In-Home Play Therapy is one great option where you can get immediate help.
Now I’d like to tell you about the “credibility” of the In-Home Play Therapy program
The core curriculum in the In-Home Play Therapy program is the book: Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) Treatment Manual – An Evidence-Based 10-Session Filial Therapy Model, by Sue Bratton and Garry Landreth.
CPRT is a training program that was created by the top Play Therapists in the world.
Dr. Garry Landreth and Dr. Sue Bratton (considered by many to be the Godfather and Godmother of modern, child-centered Play Therapy) originally published this training in 2005.
The reason CPRT is so effective is because it addresses the root of children’s emotional and behavior dysregulation more completely and thoroughly than any other training that I’m aware of.
What sets this training apart are the facilitator led sessions, the weekly play sessions you conduct with your child, and the feedback you get from the facilitator about the play sessions.
No other program or training has this level of “completeness.”
CPRT has over 5 decades of EMPIRICAL RESEARCH proving its effectiveness.
Further, every year, armies of PhD students in the Play Therapy field conduct studies to prove, or disprove, the effectiveness of the training.
Click the following link to see the volume of research for yourself!
“I am so grateful to Dr. Hicks and the CPRT course. I am a homeschool mother of an only child (8yo) who was ready to say I’m over it and put him in public school. I initially found Dr. Hicks’ practice with the intent that I would schedule appointments for her to “fix” my son Through my sessions with Dr. Hicks and the CPRT program, I learned that I was saying the same things she was teaching but I wasn’t using the right words to “get through to him”. I learned the secret language to be able dissolve conflicts or deescalate situations. More importantly I learned that it wasn’t necessarily my son that needed to be “fixed” but our relationship and the methods that we communicate.”
“I completed the CPRT course during pandemic, meeting with Dr. Hicks virtually – I felt like she gave me every second plus some of her attention and really helped me learn the skills of play therapy. If I had a question she was prompt in responding and detailed to address my concerns. Even when I was harder on myself to see the progress or appreciate the growth, she was always quick to point those moments out and celebrate them. I can honestly say that I feel like every penny was well invested in the CPRT course and my relationship with my son. Our home is a more peaceful place to be because of Dr. Hicks and the CPRT course.”
a month ago
“I had someone I knew very well that took their son to see Brenna. And the changes in her son were quite remarkable. She has a very logical concrete approach and is able to see things that the untrained eye would never pick up on.”
“Given our particular situation I had the opportunity to do training with her or to allow my son to have one on one sessions with her. Due to after school schedule demands I decided to do the parent training with her. It was the perfect route given our situation.”
“The difference in our son is nothing short of remarkable. Not only do I feel like he was able to work through some of his behavior issues but I have become a better mom in communicating, understanding, and connecting with him in ways I have always wanted to but I didn’t seem able to before. The video taped play sessions allowed me to see where I was falling short and where I needed to make changes and also allowed me to celebrate the tremendous growth he and I had in our relationship.”
“I have read a ton of books on counseling and gone to different sessions over the years but the approach she’s taking is like nothing I’ve ever seen. I have recommended her already to a number of my friends.”
7 months ago
“If you’re reading reviews, then you’re considering play therapy for your child. And lucky for you, you’ve found the best. Dr. Hicks is professional, smart, articulate, caring, respectful, and incredibly knowledgeable.”
“After being told by several academic settings (and even professionals who never even spent time with my son!) “maybe he needs a diagnosis” or “maybe medications might help,” we knew that those weren’t the next step. Thankfully, our research led us to Dr. Hicks. Dr. Hicks is the first professional we met who wasn’t trying to “diagnosis” our son. She wanted to give him and US the tools to navigate his emotions and behaviors. And that she did. (I HIGHLY recommend her parenting workshop too.)”
“Dr. Hicks was accommodating to all our needs and always willingly to consult with professionals involved in our son’s care. This was crucial, esp in the educational setting. We will be forever thankful to have her as part of our son’s team!”
a year ago
So sign up for my 6-part video series to get more information about why this works so well.
After teaching these skills for 15 years, I truly believe this is the best option for you and your family. I hope to hear your success story when the program ends!