Child Counseling/Play Therapy

Play is a child’s natural medium of self-expression; play therapy provides children with the opportunity to ‘play out’ their feelings and problems just as in certain types of adult therapy individuals ‘talk out’ their difficulties. At The Talking Place children meet with a qualified professional who first meets with parents to talk with them about their concerns and explain play therapy. After meeting with parents, the clinician then meets with the child each week in the playroom. In the playroom we reflect children’s feelings, help them develop positive self-direction, and set limits on inappropriate behaviors. Ultimately, play therapy helps children express their feelings in acceptable ways, become increasingly aware of themselves and others, becoming increasingly self-directed, and become better able to express their feelings and emotions. Over time, both parents and adults begin to notice behavioral and emotional changes in their children leading to closer and more fulfilling relationships. 

Adolescent Counseling

The preadolescent and adolescent years are often periods of considerable stress for both parents and children alike. Teens can be impulsive and prone to struggles with both anxiety and depression. Perhaps you’re finding yourself frustrated with your preteen/teen due to poor-decision making or you may be experiencing difficulty connecting with your preteen/teen. 
At The Talking Place, we offer a variety of approaches with the intention of meeting the unique needs of preteens/teens and their families. Specific approaches include expressive arts, activity therapy, and traditional talk therapy, amongst others. Additionally, we offer evidence-based treatment for acute concerns such as suicidal ideation, non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors, and a host of other struggles often presenting in adolescents. If you find yourself experiencing struggles in your relationship with your preteen/teen and/or are concerned about their emotional or behavioral expression, we can help.

Adult Counseling

We provide counseling services to people of all ages, including adults. If you find yourself experiencing struggles with life’s ups and downs, we can help. We work with individuals experiencing a range of struggles including anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, loss, or low self-esteem, amongst others. At The Talking Place you can meet with a qualified professional who can help you address the challenges you may feel are interfering with your life. 

Parent Education

Parenting is both the most rewarding and challenging task a parent will ever face. At times, parents may become frustrated in the day to day routine of parenting and may find themselves wishing for a closer and more connected relationship with their child. Furthermore, for children with emotional and/or behavioral concerns, parents may feel they spend more time disciplining their child than emotionally connecting with him or her. 
At The Talking Place we endeavor to equip and empower parents by providing therapeutic parenting support to strengthen the parent-child relationship and to help children thrive in the home setting. Through our approach, parents feel increasingly connected to their child and experience an overall reduction in relational distress.

Diagnostic Testing/Evaluation:

We offer a wide range of assessment batteries intended to gather information to answer diagnostic questions you or your child’s teachers may have about your child's academic, social, emotional, and/or behavioral functioning. Results can provide directives in regards to academic decisions and will always provide recommendations for parents and teachers in how to best meet children’s unique academic needs. Our diagnostic evaluation options are below: 

Comprehensive Psychoeducational Assessment: 

While some children easily meet and/or exceed academic expectations, others may struggle. For some, keeping up with academic requirements may prove challenging for a number of reasons. Children and adolescents experiencing such struggles can become incredibly discouraged; perhaps they start loathing school or lack the energy to just get through the day. Parents and teachers often develop a sense of helplessness as they struggle to support children in their academic pursuits.   
At The Talking Place, we offer a comprehensive psycho-educational assessment battery uniquely designed to assess your child’s cognitive and learning processes. Our team will work to examine your child’s unique abilities, aptitudes, learning preferences, personality, and social/interpersonal, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Although the test battery will vary depending on the referral question(s), the battery may include assessments of intellectual capacity (IQ), academic achievement measures, learning/processing measures, measures of attention and memory, self-report surveys, and/or structured interview, amongst others. Common learning struggles evaluated by our team include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory processing disorder, intellectual disability, visual perceptual/visual motor deficit, and memory-related struggles, as well as struggles that complicate learning including ADHD, executive function deficit, anxiety, depression, and autism spectrum disorders. 

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment/Developmental/Early Childhood Screening:

We conduct a multi-dimensional assessment that is specifically designed to help parents, educators, and professionals understand characteristics of a child's behavior in relation to typical growth patterns. Whether questioning your child’s kindergarten readiness, or simply wondering about their overall development, we offer a battery that explores your young child’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development. This information can be helpful in determining whether or not a child is ready to start Kindergarten and/or is on target developmentally. 

School Partnership/Advocacy:

Is your child experiencing struggles in the school setting? Do you frequently attend parent-teacher conferences and/or ARD meetings and feel ill-equipped or unsure of how to advocate for your child’s needs? Because academic success is contingent upon a myriad of factors including ability, self-esteem, and academic support, a healthy partnership with your child’s school is often key to his or her academic success. 
At The Talking Place we can serve you and your family in the role of educational advocate whereby we provide support to parents, children, and teaching staff to make the most efficient and effective use of your child’s classroom experience. We possess keen knowledge of the special education process, educational jargon, and diagnostic assessments, and can aid parents and school administration in generating strategies and treatment plans to meet the needs of your child. Additionally, we attend both 504 and IEP (individualized education plan) meetings with parents to support you and advocate for your child’s accommodations in the classroom. Please call for additional information. 

Family Counseling:

Family is an important source of support; however, at times, family can also be challenging. Perhaps you feel your family is disconnected or distant or that you just cannot agree on anything. You may find your communication has become ineffective over time and are at a loss for how to move forward. At The Talking Place, we can help you and your family improve communication and ultimately develop healthy relationships within the family unit. Common challenges addressed in family counseling include divorce/separation, grief/loss, trauma, communication, and/or other relational concerns. 

Group Counseling:

Group counseling can be extremely beneficial and meet a variety of needs for individuals of all ages. Specific to children and adolescents, group counseling allows them to learn from their peers, as well as, an adult. Learning how to cooperate and problem solve with others challenges children and adolescents to develop their social skills, or how they relate to others, qualities that are imperative to emotional, behavioral, and academic success.
At times throughout the year, we offer a wide variety of groups focused on social skills, learning, behavior and emotion management, and specific topics such as divorce and loss. A 10-week parenting course is also offered throughout the year and upon request.

Speaking Engagements & Consultation: 

At The Talking Place we value supporting our community and hope to share the knowledge we’ve cultivated across a number of years to those who feel we might meet a need within their work environment. 
Speaking. We offer speakers and topics intended to equip you and your community with the insight and strategies needed to facilitate children’s optimal growth. Previously, our clinicians have been invited to speak at schools, university campuses, churches, foster homes, placement agencies, and non-profit agencies, amongst others. Although custom presentations are available upon request, previous speaking topics have included: 

  • Strategies for Optimizing Emotional Regulation in Young Children
  • Managing Emotional and Behavioral Struggles in Young Children
  • Is This Normal? When Therapy is Indicated for Young Children
  • Beyond Tears: Helping Children Grieve and Grow
  • Fostering Connections: Strategies for Building and Maintaining Relationships with Children in Foster Care
  • Managing Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom
  • Strategies for Delivering Difficult Feedback to Parents 
  • Managing Stress and Challenging Situations in Parent-Teacher Consultations 
Consulting. We also provide consultation in a number of venues for the purposes of program planning and review, staff training and development, play therapy supervision, and treatment consultation. 
If you’re sensing a need for support in the role of consulting and/or speaking engagements, feel free to call us to find out how we can meet your needs.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is an approach that incorporate animals into the therapeutic process, emphasizing the bond created during human-animal interactions. Emotional recovery and positive psychological transformation often occurs when the relationship between an individual and the therapy animal grows. Potential benefits of AAT include, but are not limited to: Increased self-regulation, increased problem-solving skills, symptom reduction (i.e., anxious and depressive symptomology…etc.), improvement in communication, positive relationship development, development of social-emotional thinking skills, improvement in cooperation and motivation, and building rapport and trust. At The Talking Place, there is currently one AAT approved dog: Herbert. Click here to learn more about Herbert.

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