Jen Taylor is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor credentialed by the Association for Play Therapy.
Jen Taylor utilizes a prescriptive approach to play therapy services, which means that she chooses the most appropriate method of play therapy based on your child's individual needs. This typically consists of a blend of non-directive play therapy (where the child takes the lead in directing the play) and directive play therapy (where the therapist offers specific interventions).
Jen Taylor is also certified in two specialized play therapy programs: AutPlay Therapy (for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders) and FirstPlay Kinesthethic Storytelling (an Attachment based family therapy model).
What to Expect:
First Meeting: Come In Together
It is important that all members of the family participate in therapy, including the child. Consent from BOTH legal guardians is required prior to beginning therapy. If you are separated or divorced, please bring a copy of your divorce order for your therapist. Whenever possible, it is helpful for both parents to be present for the initial session.
Typically, the next 2-3 sessions take place individually with your child in the play therapy room. The purpose of these visits is for the therapist to complete assessments of your child and begin to establish a sense of safety and comfort in the therapy space and with the therapist.
If your child is feeling anxious about therapy, the time in the play therapy space may be reduced and/or the parent may participate in therapy until the child feels more comfortable. These sessions are usually non-directive in that the child is encouraged to use the time in whatever way he/she chooses. The goal is for the child to explore the toys and materials and begin to feel a sense of empowerment in the therapy process.
Throughout therapy, a combination of individual, sibling, or family sessions may be used to address your specific situation. Typically, play therapy consists of approximately 16-20 sessions (although each situation is unique).
Beginning in the fourth session and beyond, the parent will have an opportunity before/after each individual session to discuss concerns regarding behaviors and to receive specific feedback about potential solutions to these problems. You and the therapist work together to find solutions that fit the needs of your family. Often, these sessions can include the child (as they are solution-focused and center around things that you, the parent, can do differently to support your child). *Your child likes to hear these tools and see that you are working on change too!
If there is a need to have a private parent consultation, then this can be scheduled during a time when the child has school or a secondary caregiver.
For separated or divorced parents, the parent who schedules the appointment is responsible for bringing the child and for any co-pay. Any recommendations regarding behavior plans are for that parents concerns and home only. The therapist will provide the other parent with any recommendations directly, as needed.
Key Components of Play Therapy
The concept of non-directive play therapy (as introduced by Virginia Axline) is central to play therapy services with Jen Taylor.
In non-directive play therapy, the child leads and the therapist follows. That means that the child chooses what to play with and talk about during the session. This may include choosing NOT to play or talk. All of these choices are part of the therapy process and are welcomed as important.
Also known as Child-Centered Play Therapy (as introduced by Gary Landreth), therapists respond to children in very specfic ways. These reflective responses help children learn how to recognize and express emotions, to make choices and be responsible for consequences and build self-esteem through taking responsibility. The therapist will set approrpiate limits, as needed, to ensure the safety of the child, the therapist and the materials in the space.
When needed, the therapist may introduce directive play therapy interventions included SandTray, Guided Drawing, Autplay, Kinesthethic Storytelling or many other games or art based interventions.
For children that have experienced trauma, a combination of play therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) or play therapy with Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) may be recommended.
8 Principles of Play Therapy
- A Warm/Friendly Relationship
- Acceptance of the child as he/she is
- A Feeling of Permissiveness
- Belief in the Child's Ability to Solve Problems
- The Child Leads and the Therapist Follows
- There is No Hurry
- Limits are introduced when necessary
Go Play Outside: An Online Tool to Give Parents More Confidence with Outdoor Play
This resource helps guide parents through an action plan to overcome the anxiety of allowing your child to engage in risky play behaviors outside. Risky play can be considered things like climbing trees, being outside unsupervised or using tools. This website helps you see the benefits of outdoor "risky" play and develop an action plan to reap the benefits.