Providing play therapy for young children experiencing social, emotional,

and/or behavioral problems, and support services for the grown-ups who love them.

Our mission is to provide high quality, developmentally appropriate counseling for children and families.

Play Therapy. Child Parent Psychotherapy. Child Parent Relationship Therapy.  Behavior Management Training.

Join Our Team!

We are hiring!

Must be interested in pursuing the Registered Play Therapist credential.
Submit a statement of interest and resume to: admin@thehealingplayroom.com

Schedule a Free Consultation Here

*Please know that our therapists currently have very limited availability.

Thank you for your continued patience, as we do our best to meet the needs

of children and families in the Jacksonville community.

Our Services

HEALING CHILDREN

Play Therapy

Adults communicate verbally. In difficult times we reach out to those closest to us, because talking to someone who really understands and cares can soften the blow of a painful experience. And the reverse is also true. Sharing positive experiences with those who care actually heightens our joy.

Children, however, have a limited verbal ability to communicate how they think and feel about the world. (You’ll know this to be true if you have ever asked a child to tell you about his or her day at school). They are not trying to annoy us – they simply do not have the cognitive ability to do so. Young children (ages 2-10) process and share emotionally significant experiences though play. Play is their language.

Play therapy requires the therapist to go to the child’s most natural form of communication, instead of asking the child to come to ours. It is a respectful, effective, and developmentally appropriate way of being with young children. 

Child Parent Psychotherapy

Child Parent Psychotherapy is an intervention for young children from birth through age 5 and their parents/caregivers. It is used to improve the quality of the parent-child relationship and helps families heal and grow after stressful experiences. This approach builds on family strengths, and respects family and cultural values.

HEALING Grownups

Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)

When children are struggling, their grown-ups suffer. CPRT teaches parents how to use some of the same skills that play therapists use to help children experiencing social, emotional, or behavioral problems.

While play therapy focuses on the relationship between the child and the therapist, CPRT is designed to strengthen the parent-child relationship and empower parents to become the change agent in their child’s life. Due to the emotionally significant role of the parent, CPRT can be more effective than individual therapy with a highly trained play therapist.

CPRT can help parents regain control, discipline effectively, and understand and respond to their child’s needs. Parents experience increased confidence in their parenting skills, see improvement in their child’s behavior, and most importantly, enjoy an improved relationship with their child. 

Circle of Security Parenting

Circle of Security Parenting is geared for parents with children 0-10 years old. The program is based on decades of research about how secure parent-child relationships can be supported and strengthened. It helps parents understand their child’s emotional needs, enhance the development of their child’s self esteem, and support their child’s ability to manage emotions.

Active Parenting for Preteens and Teens

Active Parenting provides parents with the skills needed to use effective discipline, teach responsibility, and strengthen communication with their tweens and teens. Parents learn skills for clear, honest communication, concrete strategies to prevent risky behavior, methods of respectful discipline, and gain insight into important issues such as social media, bullying, and depression. 

Cooperative Co-Parenting

Cooperative Co-Parenting helps parents shield their children from parental conflict and guides them in establishing a long-term relationship with each other for the child’s sake. It educates parents about the impact their conflict has on the children, guides them through parenting after a separation or divorce, and teaches practical skills to manage anger, increase impulse control, and resolve conflict without arguing.

Healing Therapists

 Licensure and Play Therapy Supervision

Anna L. FarrinLCSW, RPT-S is a Qualified Supervisor for clinical social work interns and others working toward their Registered Play Therapist credential. Contact her directly at afarrin@thehealingplayroom.com for rates and availability.  

Mandy Jo Moldehnke, LMHC, RPT is a Qualified Supervisor for clinical mental health interns. Contact her directly at mandyjo@thehealingplayroom.com for rates and availability.

Tayler Papke, LCSW, RPT-S is a Qualified Supervisor for clinical social work interns and others who are working toward their Registered Play Therapist credential. Contact her directly at tpapke@thehealingplayroom.com for rates and availability.

FAPT Meet-ups

The First Coast Chapter of the Florida Association for Play Therapy meets monthly to provide networking and training opportunities for students, professionals, and all local play therapy enthusiasts. Contact firstcoast@floridaplaytherapy.org for more information.

 

training

Behavior Management Training

Provided by Anna L. Farrin, LCSW, RPT-S for teachers, professionals, and parents/caregivers of children with challenging behaviors. This 2 hour training will teach skills to effectively manage difficult behavior in young children. Participants will learn to respond to behavioral challenges in a way that changes the behavior, and strengthens their relationship with the child. As a result of this training, participants will be able to effectively discipline and limit inappropriate behavior, meet children’s emotional needs, communicate more effectively with young children, and enjoy a stronger relationship with the children in their life. 

 Contact Anna Farrin at afarrin@thehealingplayroom.com for rates and availability.

 

Schedule a free consultation by clicking the button above.
*Please know that our therapists currently have very limited availability.
Thank you for your continued patience, as we do our best to meet the needs
of children and families in the Jacksonville commnity.

The Therapeutic Playroom 

While play is the language of children, toys are their words. The therapeutic playroom is an accepting, safe, predictable environment for children. It contains a wide variety of toys and materials chosen specifically to help children fully express themselves.

In the playroom children learn self-control, emotional awareness, and problem solving skills. They develop increased confidence and self esteem, and learn to take responsibility for their own choices and behavior.

Children often enjoy inviting their grown-ups to join them in the playroom. This fun approach to family therapy can help parents resolve behavioral challenges and enjoy an improved relationship with their child. Whether suffering from problematic behavior, a mental health diagnosis, traumatic events, or medical problems, the playroom is a therapeutic place where young children and their grown-ups can heal.

FAQs

 

What are your rates?

Rates for services vary by provider from $125-$175/session

Do you take insurance? 

We accept HSA/FSA cards and can provide documentation for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement if you have an out of network mental/behavioral health benefit.

How long are the therapy sessions?

Sessions are 45-50minutes.

Do you offer Telehealth?

Yes. We offer telehealth for grown up sessions, and for child sessions when clinically appropriate.

What should I say to my child about play therapy:

“Sometimes it is helpful for children to have a special place to play.”

Are you seeing clients in the office/playroom during the pandemic?

Yes. We are currently offering an in-person option with safety precautions based on local, state, and federal guidelines to protect the health and safety of our clients and therapist. We continue to follow CDC guidelines.

 

MEET THE Team

Anna L. Farrin, LCSW, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor

Anna Farrin received her undergraduate degree in Human Development, with a specialization in Health and Human Services, from Vanderbilt University in 1996. While working in the field of early intervention she was struck by the lack of mental health services for young children. Anna attended graduate school at UNC-Charlotte and received her Masters of Social Work degree in 2010, along with a Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy.

Anna is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and a Qualified Supervisor for Social Work Interns. She has treated children with a wide range of social, emotional, and behavioral problems in a variety of settings including early intervention, residential treatment, foster care, and most recently in the day treatment program in Duval County Public Schools. She is on the board of the Florida Association for Play Therapy (FAPT), and provides trainings for FAPT, graduate students, parents of young children, local agencies, teachers, and foster parents. 

Anna opened The Healing Playroom in 2015 to provide developmentally appropriate counseling to children and families in the Jacksonville community. She has a client-centered approach to working with young children, and especially enjoys strengthening parent-child relationships through the language of play. Anna lives in Atlantic Beach with her husband and two children, who have graciously donated many toys to The Healing Playroom.

Mandy Jo Moldehnke, MS, LMHC, Registered Play Therapist

​Mandy Jo Moldehnke received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston in 2006. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, she began working with young children through early intervention work. The passion to continue to help these children further led Mandy Jo to seek and obtain a graduate degree. Mandy Jo attended graduate school at UNC-Charlotte and received her Master’s in Community Counseling degree in 2010, along with a Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy.

Mandy Jo is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Mandy Jo worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of North Carolina providing intensive in-home services and outpatient play therapy services for the foster care and child welfare population. Mandy Jo and her family moved to Florida in 2013 and she obtained her licensure in the state of Florida. She specializes in working with children who have experienced trauma, children who have behavioral concerns, anxiety, or adjustment concerns. Her experience has ranged from direct care to a leadership position at the state Medicaid Health Plan.

Mandy Jo values the child-centered approach to working with young children. In her experience, she has witnessed the power of utilizing play together with the therapeutic relationship to provide a safe, consistent therapeutic environment in which a child can experience full acceptance, empathy, and understanding. This partnership opens a child’s potential to move toward integration and self-enhancing ways of being.

Mandy Jo lives in Jacksonville Beach with her husband and two children. She loves to travel in her spare time. “You can discover more in an hour of play than you can in a year of conversation” Plato.

 

Mandy Jo works at our PALM VALLEY/PVB location.

Tayler Papke, MSW, LCSW,  Registered Play Therapist- Supervisor 

Tayler Papke received her undergraduate degree in Social Work from the Florida State University in 2014 and continued to complete her Master’s in Social Work in 2015. After completing her graduate degree, Tayler worked in an outpatient setting alongside developmental therapists treating children with Autism, sensory processing disorder, developmental delays, attention deficits, and behavior challenges.
 
Tayler moved to Jacksonville in 2016 where she continued her work with children in the foster care system. Tayler assisted children and families through the reunification and adoption process. She also has experience counseling children in the school setting through Duval County Public Schools Full Service Schools Plus program.
 
Tayler has experience working with children experiencing emotional and behavior management difficulties, adjustment issues, grief and loss, and trauma. She has additional training and experience in anxiety disorders, and has attended the International OCD Foundation’s BTTI training.
 
Tayler is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida, and a Registered Play Therapist- Supervisor. In her free time, Tayler enjoys playing board games, walking her dogs, and cheering for FSU football.

Tayler works at our RIVERSIDE location.

Jessica Soto, MA, LMHC, NCC, Registered Play Therapist

Jessica completed her undergraduate education at Liberty University where she majored in Psychology. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and received a Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy from Stetson University.

Jessica  is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida and a Registered Play Therapist. She is a member of the First Coast Chapter of the Florida Association for Play Therapy. She has experience providing play therapy for children in the child welfare system and in Duval County Public Schools. As a certified Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator, Jessica is skilled at strengthening parent-child relationships by helping parents understand and respond effectively to their child’s emotional and behavioral needs.

Jessica’s specialty in play therapy allows her to work with children as young as 3 years old, but she also enjoys working with children under the age of 3 with active involvement from a parent, family member, or caretaker. Jessica lives in Jacksonville with her husband and two children. She loves to play board games and travel in her spare time.

Jessica works at our PALM VALLEY/PVB location.

Erica Mitchell, LCSW, Registered Play Therapist  

Erica completed her undergraduate education at the University of North Florida where she majored in Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies. She went on to complete her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work at Florida State University. Erica also received a Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy from Stetson University. 

In addition to her play therapy expertise, Erica is also trained in Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) and Circle of Security Parenting. She has worked in partnership with the Early Childhood Courts to serve some of our most vulnerable populations, including children 0-5 and their grown-ups involved in child welfare/dependency. Erica is also a member of First Coast Chapter for Florida Association for Play Therapy.  

While Erica’s specialty in Play Therapy allows her to work with children as young as 3 years old, she can also work with children under the age of 3 with the use of Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), as long as a parent, family member, or caretaker is actively involved in the treatment process. The primary goal of CPP is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his/her caregiver as a vehicle for restoring the child’s cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning. 

 

Erica works at our RIVERSIDE location. 

Kelly McCandless, MSW, RCSWI

Kelly completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Jacksonville University in 2015 and received her Master’s in Social Work from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2020. Kelly has a background in pediatric integrated care, early intervention services, and counseling, specializing in maternal, infant, and child mental health.

After completing her graduate program in Denver, Kelly moved back to Jacksonville and worked as a therapist for children involved in the foster care system. Kelly particularly enjoys getting to know her families in order to share in their successes and join with them to overcome challenges. She has strong experience providing trauma-informed care and is passionate about providing culturally-appropriate services that meet and support the unique needs of her families. 

Kelly is currently practicing under supervision and working towards full licensure as an LCSW, and plans to become a Registered Play Therapist. When she’s not working, Kelly enjoys reading at the beach, playing video games, and spending time with her partner and two cats.

 

Kelly works at our NEPTUNE BEACH location. 

 

The Healing Playroom

Lisha Day, MS, NCC

Lisha received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2015. She completed her master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Couples Counseling at Stetson University in 2020, along with Graduate Certificates in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Play Therapy & Creative Expression. She is also a member of the First Coast Chapter of the Florida Association for Play Therapy.

Lisha has experience using nature, play & creative/expressive arts to provide developmentally appropriate counseling for children at multiple Jacksonville schools and community mental health settings. She has worked with children and families navigating complex & generational trauma, grief & loss, parent-child relationship challenges, school and behavioral concerns, and sensory processing difficulties. While working with these families, Lisha observed that parents often experience high stress levels and a lack of support services; the more stressed the parents, the more stressed the child. Lisha believes that in order to have optimal family mental health, parental mental health has to be managed first. 

Lisha recognizes that it is often difficult for parents to help their children manage the BIG emotions of childhood, especially when they weren’t allowed that same freedom when they were younger, or had a stressful childhood themselves. Because of this, Lisha offers individual sessions for Parent Support – specifically geared towards parents who need assistance managing the daily stressors & frustrations that come with parenthood and managing their child’s emotions. This service can be done by itself or in conjunction with Play Therapy for the child.

Lisha is a Nationally Certified Counselor, and is currently practicing under supervision and working towards full licensure as a Registered Play Therapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her son, gardening, doing yoga, and taking nature walks.

 

Lisha works at our RIVERSIDE location. 

 

The Healing Playroom

Shawna Nelson, Graduate Student Intern

Shawna Nelson received her undergraduate degree in child psychology and development with a minor in early education from the University of North Florida in 2014. She is currently a graduate student at Wake Forest University, where she is studying clinical mental health and play therapy. 

Shawna is passionate about child development, character education, and parent outreach. She is a credentialed Montessori guide with 5 years of classroom experience, and has worked as a parent partner for children ages 0-10 years for the past decade. Her ardent belief in the wonders of childhood led her to create The Wise Child, an educational resource and collaborative program for children and parents which promotes the development of autonomy, emotional resilience, a sense of purpose, and community.

Shawna lives in Atlantic beach with her husband and 3 dogs. She is an avid meditator and a lover of philosophy—stoicism in particular. She enjoys literature, music, nature and being of service.

 

The Healing Playroom

Jennifer Lipsey, MA, Admin & Operations

Jennifer Lipsey received her undergraduate degree in Child and Family Development from San Diego State University in 2004 and continued to complete her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. While completing her graduate studies, Jen co-facilitated a Domestic Violence Prevention program for mandated perpetrators and provided individual, couples and family therapy through a private practice based in downtown, San Diego.

Post-grad school, Jen provided therapeutic support to adolescent residents based out of two group homes until she became a full-time Clinical Case Manager supporting dually-diagnosed (substance abuse and comorbid mental illness) adults in an outpatient setting.
Jen moved to the DC area where her passion for supporting vulnerable populations and her administrative strengths led her to the Association for Child Life Professionals where her career evolved from Certification Coordinator to Manager, onto Director of Operations and ultimately CEO.

Although Jen remains actively engaged in the association space, she chose to step down from the C suite to focus on her two daughters while they navigate through the pre-teen and (subsequent) adolescent years. Jen’s education, training, and experience in family dynamics and systemic theory shapes her appreciation for early childhood interventions – especially play therapy – that provide the building blocks for long-term success. Jen lives in Northern Virginia where she embraces the silliness, grit, wonder and awe that comes with raising her 11- and 8-year-old daughters with her husband.

Laura Contess, MSW, RCSWI

Laura completed her undergraduate degree in both Child Psychology and Sociology from the University of North Florida in 2016 and received her Master’s in Social Work from Florida State University in 2020. While finishing her graduate degree, Laura completed her final internship at The Healing Playroom and is happy to be back! 

Prior to receiving her master’s degree, Laura worked with children in Jacksonville who were involved in the dependency system. After receiving her graduate degree, Laura began providing therapy to children through the Duval County Public Schools Full-Service Schools program, helping those who experienced problems relating to adjustment, self-esteem, grief and loss, anger management, and trauma.

Laura is currently practicing under supervision and working towards full licensure as a LCSW and RPT. In her spare time, Laura enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing board games, and traveling.

Laura works at our NEPTUNE BEACH location.  

Kristýna Richards, MS, RMFTI

Kristýna has spent over a decade working alongside and supporting families & children in youth development, education and foster care programs. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Project Management from Seattle City University in 2014. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she moved to Peru for 3 years. There she volunteered with an NGO supporting Kids in Peru, which provided social services and education programs to socioeconomically discriminated children and mothers in El Porvenir, Peru.  

While volunteering and working in Peru she realized her passion for mental health and decided to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. Kristýna earned her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University in 2021. Kristýna has been a practicing therapist since 2019. As a community mental health clinician she worked in partnership with the Bellevue School district to provide on-site therapy services to students. She is skilled in providing therapy to children who are experiencing the effects of trauma, adjustment issues, grief, anxiety, depression, developmental delays, family conflict, divorce, low-self esteem, divided attention and hyperactivity.  

Kristýna is currently practicing as a Registered Intern under supervision and working toward full licensure as a LMFT, and plans to become a Registered Play Therapist. When she’s not working, Kristýna enjoys going camping with her husband in their camper van, exercising and trying new arts & crafts.

Kristýna works at our PALM VALLEY/PVB location.  

Tracey Errico, MSW, RCSWI

Tracey completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work at Christopher Newport University in 2016, and received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of North Florida in 2020. Tracey has a background in school-based clinical counseling and is passionate about the mental health needs of children and their families.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Tracey moved to Jacksonville to complete two years as a middle school teacher in Duval County Public Schools through Teach for America. After her experience in the classroom, Tracey realized her passion for mental health and decided to earn her Master’s in Social Work. She then worked as a school-based clinical counselor for two years, providing therapeutic services for children ages 5-15. Tracey has worked with children and families from diverse backgrounds experiencing intergenerational trauma, grief and loss, attachment challenges, behavioral concerns, family conflict, low self-esteem, and management of mental health diagnoses. Tracey uses a holistic approach, understanding the importance of the involvement of a parent/guardian when working towards healing.

Tracey is currently practicing under supervision. She is working towards full licensure as a LCSW, and plans to become a Registered Play Therapist. When Tracey is not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, daughter, and dog. She enjoys nature, music, coffee, and loves working with children.

Tracey works at our Riverside location.  

The Healing PlayroomKeep Up With Us!

NEPTUNE BEACH

Neptune Oaks Professional Park
804 3rd Street, Suite D
Neptune Beach, FL 32266
904-746-3320

RIVERSIDE

Park Street Suites
2105 Park Street, Suite C
Jacksonville, FL 32204
904-746-3320

PALM VALLEY/PVB

5150 Palm Valley Rd, Suite102
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 322082
904-746-3320

 

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Paul Tillich

The first duty of love is to listen.

– Paul Tillich

Friedrich Froebel

Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood – for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.

– Friedrich Froebel

Bessel van Der Kolk

Knowing you are loved and treasured is the most important part of a good brain and a good life.

– Bessel van Der Kolk

Virginia Axline

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

– Virginia Axline

Peggy O’Mara

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.

– Peggy O’Mara

Plato

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play, than in a year of conversation.

– Plato

Portal

The Healing PlayroomKeep Up With Us!

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