770-847-8611 marissa@ezell-lcsw.com

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

― Maya Angelou

Enter into children's play and you will find the place where their minds, hearts, and souls meet.

― Virginia Axline

Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

― Brene Brown

 
 
 
  
 
 

Children (and their parents) do the best that they can, but can also face things that make the already complex tasks of childhood even more challenging. There are so many moving parts in childhood it is easy for things to go of course. Especially since in our earliest years we are developing deep and complex notions about how the world and relationships work.

In our competitive and achievement oriented culture children can often struggle to meet expectations as they are trying to master the art of being human. Play Therapy can help kids who seem to be disconnected, discouraged, or different. It can help transform delays and difficulties so that a child is better able to manage the ups and downs of everyday life.

We will work together using play, which is the native language of childhood, in order to help refine, reconnect, and repair. Play Therapy provides the emotional connection and safety needed to encourage healing and growth.

Therapy starts by seeing the world from the perspective of the child’s stated and unspoken needs, while always remembering that children are whole people. Children not only remember, they interpret, learn, and have their own inner world that they’ve constructed for themselves. Change happens when children are able to explore and experiment in the context of a safe relationship.

Play Therapy Defined

  • Play Therapy is an evidenced based, developmentally appropriate, and effective treatment method for children experiencing a variety of emotional or behavioral challenges
  • Play Therapy is not just "playing" but rather the systematic application of therapeutic skills, techniques, and theories by a trained therapist
  • The Play Therapist works to build an accepting, encouraging, and safe environment for the child, which helps provide a catalyst for change.

Children (and their parents) do the best that they can, but can also face things that make the already complex tasks of childhood even more challenging. There are so many moving parts in childhood it is easy for things to go of course. Especially since in our earliest years we are developing deep and complex notions about how the world and relationships work.

In our competitive and achievement oriented culture children can often struggle to meet expectations as they are trying to master the art of being human. Play Therapy can help kids who seem to be disconnected, discouraged, or different. It can help transform delays and difficulties so that a child is better able to manage the ups and downs of everyday life.

We will work together using play, which is the native language of childhood, in order to help refine, reconnect, and repair.
Play Therapy provides the emotional connection and safety needed to encourage healing and growth.

Therapy starts by seeing the world from the perspective of the child’s stated and unspoken needs, while always remembering that children are whole people. Children not only remember, they interpret, learn, and have their own inner world that they’ve constructed for themselves. Change happens when children are able to explore and experiment in the context of a safe relationship.

Play Therapy Defined

  • Play Therapy is an evidenced based, developmentally appropriate, and effective treatment method for children experiencing a variety of emotional or behavioral challenges
  • Play Therapy is not just "playing" but rather the systematic application of therapeutic skills, techniques, and theories by a trained therapist
  • The Play Therapist works to build an accepting, encouraging, and safe environment for the child, which helps provide a catalyst for change.

There are many different reasons that parents seek out therapy for their children.
Regardless of the reason, we will work together to help your child flourish and improve the quality of life for your family.

Play Therapy Can Help

  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Behavior and Relationship Issues
  • Frequent Outbursts or Reactivity
  • Life Changes (Divorce, Deaths, Moving)
  • Depression, Anxiety, Worries, or Fears
  • Adoption and Attachment Concerns
  • Traumatic Events and Chronic Stress
  • Many other stumbling blocks and pitfalls
  • Benefits Of Play Therapy

  • Increased ability to regulate emotions
  • Improved behavior at home & school
  • Development of problem solving skills
  • Upgraded resilience & stress management
  • Enhanced emotional literacy & expression
  • Enriched relationships with family & friends
  • Boosted confidence & self-esteem
  • Creativity, Connection, Joy, & Fun
  • The Process begins with a meeting to discuss your child's strengths and challenges, as well as your family's hopes for therapy. After that, sessions with your child will begin, usually weekly, with a focus on assessment and establishing a relationship. The first several weeks will be about getting to know your child and helping them to feel comfortable in the play room. This time is important to better understand the child's perspective on the world, how they respond to challenges, and to help identify areas of growth.

    After this initial assessment phase we will meet once again to discuss a plan for supporting your child as they acquire new skills and understanding. Sometimes I will even ask you to participate in the play! Change is hard, but can be supported through caring relationships. Therapy is not a fast process, but you will likely notice some changes early on in our work. My techniques draw from a variety of theories and types of play therapy. The work I do with each family is personalized and planned to meet the identified needs of the child. I value the role of the parent and will frequently consult with you in order to best support your child.

    The Process begins with a meeting to discuss your child's strengths and challenges, as well as your family's hopes for therapy. After that, sessions with your child will begin, usually weekly, with a focus on assessment and establishing a relationship. The first several weeks will be about getting to know your child and helping them to feel comfortable in the play room. This time is important to better understand the child's perspective on the world, how they respond to challenges, and to help identify areas of growth.

    After this initial assessment phase we will meet once again to discuss a plan for supporting your child as they acquire new skills and understanding. Sometimes I will even ask you to participate in the play! Change is hard, but can be supported through caring relationships. Therapy is not a fast process, but you will likely notice some changes early on in our work. My techniques draw from a variety of theories and types of play therapy. The work I do with each family is personalized and planned to meet the identified needs of the child. I value the role of the parent and will frequently consult with you in order to best support your child.

    Teens are often asked to live in-between two worlds. They are expected to leave the realm childhood behind as they learn to manage the increased expectations and responsibilities of growing up. They identify more with their friends but also have to maintain connections with their family. They are constantly fed messages about who they should be and what is acceptable but also encouraged to be an individual apart from the crowd.

    It is not uncommon for a teenager to feel unsure about themselves, their place in the world, or their path in life. It is also not uncommon to find it difficult to manage the heightened and intense emotions and reactions that are a part of adolescence. When you are a teen, therapy can help you get a better idea of how you view and respond to the world. Therapy can help you feel less alone and learn about yourself without judgement or shame.

    Common Concerns of Teens

    • Identity and Self-Esteem
    • Goals and Future Plans
    • Depression or Anxiety
    • Body Image and Healthy Habits
    • Friends and Relationships
    • Stress and Overwhelm
    • Family Conflict
    • Past Trauma or Abuse
    • A million other important things

    Benefits of Therapy for Teens

    • Increased awareness and understanding
    • Find the courage the face challenges
    • Better manage thoughts and feelings
    • Adopt new perspectives about life
    • Navigate relationships with more ease
    • Learn how to handle and manage stress
    • Improved communication skills
    • Letting go of the things that hold you back
    • An experience of creativity and expression

    Getting Started for Teens

    First we will get to know each other and go over how therapy works. We will also spend time talking about what you and your parents hope to get out of coming to counseling. You get a say in what we work on. After all, you are the one who is going to be doing to work. Our sessions could look different each week, it really depends on what you are interested in exploring. Some teens like to talk things out while others really enjoy using art, music, or poetry to express themselves. We will try things out and find what feels right.

    About Therapy

    • Therapy will involve learning new skills and gaining insight about yourself, your world, and your strengths and challenges. Sometimes this will be done through talking and sharing and other times it can be accomplished through creating. We may use art, music, poetry, or
      even movement to help the process.
    • Sandtray Play Therapy is a projective form of therapy where you will be asked to build worlds and scenes using figurines and miniatures in a tray of sand. Through experiencing the world and telling the world's story new connections and realizations can be made. It is also fun!
    • Trauma and Stress are treated using a holistic framework based on establishing felt safety. Managing distress and also building new skills will be a big part of the work.

    Information for Parents

    It can be really hard to see your teen struggling and not be able to help. Therapy can help you understand your teen and open the lines of communication. To ensure that there is a relationship of safety and trust what your teen says or does during their individual sessions is held confidential. There are of course exceptions to this rule which we will discuss during the first appointment. It may be important, with the teen's consent, to include the family in session at different points through out the process.

    Getting Started for Teens

    First we will get to know each other and go over how therapy works. We will also spend time talking about what you and your parents hope to get out of coming to counseling. You get a say in what we work on. After all, you are the one who is going to be doing to work. Our sessions could look different each week, it really depends on what you are interested in exploring. Some teens like to talk things out while others really enjoy using art, music, or poetry to express themselves. We will try things out and find what feels right.

    About Therapy

    • Therapy will involve learning new skills and gaining insight about yourself, your world, and your strengths and challenges. Sometimes this will be done through talking and sharing and other times it can be accomplished through creating. We may use art, music, poetry, or
      even movement to help the process.
    • Sandtray Play Therapy is a projective form of therapy where you will be asked to build worlds and scenes using figurines and miniatures in a tray of sand. Through experiencing the world and telling the story new connections and realizations can be made. It's also fun!
    • Trauma and Stress are treated using a holistic framework based on establishing felt safety. Managing distress and also building new skills will be a big part of the work.

    Information for Parents

    It can be really hard to see your teen struggling and not be able to help. Therapy can help you understand your teen and open the lines of communication. To ensure that there is a relationship of safety and trust what your teen says or does during their individual sessions is held confidential. There are of course exceptions to this rule which we will discuss during the first appointment. It may be important, with the teen's consent, to include the family in session at different points through out the process.

    Adulthood implies this idea that you should have it all together and figured out. Our culture sends this message that you should be doing more, no matter what, without help or rest. Things that happen (or don’t happen) in life can lead us to feel not good enough, not worthy enough, not enough. Memories of the past and the stories we tell keep us from living the life we desire. We wind up feeling disconnected, dejected, and distressed. We learn ways to deal, even if they cause more harm in the long run. We learn to manage and mold parts of ourselves so that we can feel accepted.

    The good news is that people never really stop growing and changing. You can always choose to find new perspectives, no matter our age or experiences. Sometimes that means we need to find a way to let go of past hurts, change patterns and behaviors, or find new ways to accept and adapt. By starting therapy you are embarking on a journey towards wellness. Working with a therapist can provide a safe and non-judgemental place for you to access your own inner wisdom and learn new ways of being. Learn to let go of that which no longer serves you and embrace your unique self.

    Adulthood implies this idea that you should have it all together and figured out. Our culture sends this message that you should be doing more, no matter what, without help or rest. Things that happen (or don’t happen) in life can lead us to feel not good enough, not worthy enough, not enough. Memories of the past and the stories we tell keep us from living the life we desire. We wind up feeling disconnected, dejected, and distressed. We learn ways to deal, even if they cause more harm in the long run. We learn to manage and mold parts of ourselves so that we can feel accepted.

    The good news is that people never really stop growing and changing. You can always choose to find new perspectives, no matter our age or experiences. Sometimes that means we need to find a way to let go of past hurts, change patterns and behaviors, or find new ways to accept and adapt. By starting therapy you are embarking on a journey towards wellness. Working with a therapist can provide a safe and non-judgemental place for you to access your own inner wisdom and learn new ways of being. Learn to let go of that which no longer serves you and embrace your unique self.

    You can’t change the beginning of your story, but you can write a new chapter.

    The things that have happened in our lives, especially those things that happened when we were very small have a tendency to shape the way we view the world, the way we move through out life, and the way we connect to others. Your experiences can shape your own sense of identity and your ability to trust. It can be hard to realize that things have been running your show from behind the scenes, but awareness brings change.

    You didn’t choose your family, but you can choose your therapist.

    There’s a good chance this didn’t start with you. Families often pass down ways of being from generation to generation. These relational legacies often keep us from having deep and supportive connections to others. You are shaped by your relationships. You can be held by these connections or you can be harmed. Sometimes the answer isn’t so clear, but it can help to explore things with a safe person.

    Life is not a problem to be solved, but rather an experience to be discovered.

    You are already whole, even if it doesn’t feel that way. You can grow in your confidence to face challenges, change the way you experience the world, and even uncover inner resources and strengths, but you are not some destination to be reached. You are the journey. Sometimes the path is hard to climb, but no one is meant to do it alone. Therapy is a safe place for you to become who you already are.

    Therapy Can Help

    • Changing Behaviors & Patterns
    • Personal Growth & Development
    • Finding Work/Life Balance
    • Living a Purposeful Life
    • Improve Coping Skills & Resilience
    • Depression, Anxiety, & Stress
    • Trauma or Abuse History
    • Relationship Issues
    • Career or Workplace Concerns
    • Grief, Loss, or Life Transitions

    Getting Started will involve a few sessions spent figuring out the goals for our work together and getting to know one another. It is just as important for us to go over your strengths as the problems at hand. After the initial stages we will start working towards the targets you've identified in a variety of ways. It doesn't matter if you come to therapy for a reason, a season, or just because. You are always encouraged to share how therapy is going for you so that we can find what works best. Sessions may look different each week and there may be some homework. Therapy requires a real commitment, but the results are usually worth it.

    Methods and Approach

  • Talk therapy that looks through the lens of attachment, development, and the workings of the brain. This type of therapy provides support, encouragement, an honoring of your story and an inventory of your resources.
  •  

  • Trauma and Stress are treated using a holistic framework based on establishing felt safety. Therapy will seek to provide skills that can help manage distress while at the same time provide experiences that can help build adaptive responses to memories and triggers.
  • Sometimes talk is not enough and it may be beneficial to incorporate creative methods such as art, poetry, music and even movement. While not required, these forms provide an opportunity for a different kind of expression.
  •  

  • Sandtray Play Therapy is a projective form of therapy where you will be invited to build worlds using figurines and miniatures in a tray of sand. Through the process of telling the story in this creative and symbolic way new connections and realizations can be made.
  • Getting Started will involve a few sessions spent figuring out the goals for our work together and getting to know one another. It is just as important for us to go over your strengths as the problems at hand. After the initial stages we will start working towards the targets you've identified in a variety of ways. It doesn't matter if you come to therapy for a reason, a season, or just because. You are always encouraged to share how therapy is going for you so that we can find what works best. Sessions may look different each week and there may be some homework. Therapy requires a real commitment, but the results are usually worth it.

    Therapy Can Help

    • Changing Behaviors & Patterns
    • Personal Growth & Development
    • Finding Work/Life Balance
    • Living a Purposeful Life
    • Improve Coping Skills & Resilience
    • Depression, Anxiety, & Stress
    • Trauma or Abuse History
    • Relationship Issues
    • Career or Workplace Concerns
    • Grief, Loss, or Life Transitions

    Methods and Approach

  • Talk therapy that looks through the lens of attachment, development, and the workings of the brain. This type of therapy provides support, encouragement, an honoring of your story and an inventory of your resources.
  • Trauma and Stress are treated using a holistic framework based on establishing felt safety. Therapy will seek to provide skills that can help manage distress while at the same time provide experiences that can help build adaptive responses to memories and triggers.
  • Sometimes talk is not enough and it may be beneficial to incorporate creative methods such as art, poetry, music and even movement. While not required, these forms provide an opportunity for a different kind of expression.
  • Sandtray Play Therapy is a projective form of therapy where you will be invited to build worlds using figurines and miniatures in a tray of sand. Through the process of telling the story in this creative and symbolic way new connections and realizations can be made.