I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of New York (#074861) and New Jersey (#44SC05061800).
I am a Registered Play Therapist (#T-1055) specializing in the treatment of children ages 3 through adolescence.
My Credentials/HistoryOpen or Close
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of New York (#074861) and New Jersey (#44SC05061800). I am a Registered Play Therapist (#T-1055) specializing in the treatment of children ages 3 through adolescence. I maintain a full-time private practice in Englewood, NJ.
Since arriving to The Bronx from rural Illinois in 1991, I have dedicated my career to helping children. I have worked in various settings including public and private schools, a psychiatric hospital, a therapeutic nursery, and community-based social service agencies. I have extensive experience working with such difficult issues as substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, serious physical and mental illness, and poverty.
I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree in 1994 from Lehman College, Bronx. I graduated with my Master of Social Work degree from Yeshiva University, NYC in 1996.
My private practice began in 1998 with an “in the trenches” approach. I packed my suitcase with toys for home visits in the Bronx. For the twelve years to follow, I committed myself to learning and experiencing all that I could about how to help children.
It was also around this time that I attended The Harlem Family Institute, a three-year post graduate psychoanalytic psychotherapy training institute. My internship placement was at a NYC elementary charter School. I integrated the fundamentals of psychoanalysis and its interplay with a child’s developmental stage. Perhaps even more importantly, I participated in my own personal analysis (300 hours) and ultimately walked away from my training with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the delicate therapeutic relationship.
I rely on my professional experience, along with empirical research and theoretical foundations to guide all of my helping efforts today. I’ve gained invaluable experience, received outstanding supervision, and witnessed some fine examples of clinical genius by my mentors over the years. My therapeutic orientation has been strongly influenced by Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Alice Miller, and D.W. Winnicott. More contemporary play therapy influences include Eliana Gill, Gary Landreth, Rise Vanfleet, Charles Schaefer, David Crenshaw, and Heidi Kaduson.
I proudly identify as a Play Therapist. We believe in the therapeutic powers of play. As a Registered Play Therapist (RPT-S), I am trained to facilitate the play process. A RPT credential ensures “a minimum of 2000 hours of supervised practice hours of counseling, 500 direct contact hours of play therapy under supervision, 150 clock hours of instruction in play therapy, and maintain 36 hours of professional training every three years, 18 hours specific to child therapy” (APT).
In 2009, I established my office in Bergen County, NJ. It is a cozy space that includes a fully equipped therapeutic playroom. All of the toys in the playroom are selected for their therapeutic value.
Most recently, I became accredited as a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (#37LC00191600). The body of knowledge offered in the substance abuse field, specifically the therapeutic wisdom gleaned from the 12 step program, enhances my own spiritual and emotional growth as well as my work with children.
I am a single mother of a special needs child. My personal life experiences have helped me understand and empathize with parents who struggle with aspects of raising a child with special needs. I understand - from the shock and disbelief at the time of diagnosis, to the day-to-day frustrations we encounter having to make due with limited supports. Today, I am pursuing credentialing as a Supervisor within the field of Play Therapy. I continue to be a “patient” as I am actively involved in my own psychotherapy. I find the psychotherapy process greatly enriches my self-awareness, making me more effective as a clinician. I remain grateful to have such a meaningful and fun career in the helping field.
Additional Specialty TrainingOpen or CloseSandtray Therapy
This is a non-threatening approach using metaphors and symbolism to help children explore and understand their world. A multitude of miniatures offer endless possibilities to discover, rehearse, and master lifelong strategies.
Release Play Therapy
This form of treatment is generally used for anxious children who have experienced a traumatic event. The child is guided by the therapist to re-enact the trauma in their play as a means of working through the unresolved feelings.
Child-Centered Play Therapy
Through play, solutions are found. This method of play therapy is based on creating a safe, confidential and caring environment which allows the child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary for physical and emotional safety. This allows healing to occur on many levels following our natural inner trend toward health. This therapeutic “container”, which have clear boundaries that provide the child with psychological safety to permit learning and integrating emotional and behavioral self-regulation.
Directive Play Therapy
This time limited approach focuses on specific problem resolution. The child is given strategies to cope with difficulties they face in life and which they themselves may or may not be able to change. Directive Play Therapy employs cognitive-behavioral techniques, as well as psychodynamic interventions.
Pet Assisted Play Therapy
Animal assisted play therapy can teach a child to feel empathy and develop a relationship with another creature, which in turn can teach a child how to interact properly with others and how to control impulses that are inappropriate.
Filial Play Therapy
This form of family therapy is useful in strengthening the relationship between a parent and child. Following the initial training, parents are prepared to conduct play therapy sessions with their child. Parents receive ongoing support and supervision by a Filial trained mental health professional.
Various Expressive Therapies (puppets, art, drama, movement)
Play and creativity operate on impulses from outside our awareness-the unconscious. Images come earlier than words; they are pre-verbal. Earlier feelings, experiences, and memories tend to be more accessible through images that emerge from art therapy techniques or other expressive therapies.
Professional AffiliationsOpen or Close