What is Play Therapy?

“It is in the playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, it is only in being creative that the individual discovers Self.” 
~ D.W. Winnicott
In essence, play therapy relies on the child’s natural language of play to communicate and facilitate healing.  It is much easier for children to express themselves through play rather than sitting on a couch and talking as an adult.  Rather than just playing, trained play therapists utilize resources such as carefully selected toys, art, puppets, dolls, play-doh, therapeutic games and books, and sand tray to work through issues and help children heal. 
An important aspect of play therapy is helping children learn that all feelings are okay by allowing a safe non-threatening way to express their feelings, beliefs, concerns, and thoughts.  It also focuses on teaching children self-regulation and healthy coping skills.  Through play therapy, children can learn to overcome challenges, resolve emotional and behavioral issues, develop a sense of mastery, and increase self-esteem.  In addition, it targets the inherent ego-centrism of children to help them understand that they are not responsible or at fault for things outside of their control



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About Kimberly Rodgers, LCSW, RPT-S

Kimberly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor through the Association for Play Therapy. She also supervises clinical social work interns pursuing licensure. She has worked as a psychotherapist for twelve years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia and Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida.

Her experience includes foster care, adoption, youth shelter, youth related research, school-based counseling, and sexual assault crisis center settings prior to private practice. She specializes in counseling children, families, and adults struggling with stress, anxiety, trauma, and adjustment to life transitions. Kimberly is a current Board member of the Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida and former Vice-President of the Southwest Florida chapter of the Association for Play Therapy. She is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers and EMDR International Association.

Kimberly is founder of Monarch Wellness (originally Monarch Therapy), an integrative center focused on empowering individuals and families through emotional and behavioral metamorphosis. In addition to counseling and play therapy, the center offers other supportive modalities to further enhance emotional healing and stress management including support groups, yoga, laughter yoga, breathwork, integrative relaxation, and sound therapy. Monarch Wellness' sister site eFitFamily.com offers health related information and inspiration for everyday families to live healthier every day. The center is also involved with House of Gaia community center and other community and service focused organizations. More information about Kimberly and her practice can be found online: www.MonarchWellness.net.

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