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 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.
MEET THE THERAPISTS
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.
Email: email@example.com . • Direct: (904) 853-6072
Lori L. Pinkerd, MS, LMHC, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor
Lori Pinkerd earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology in 1994, while serving in the United States Navy. While in the Navy she spent many years volunteering as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, providing crisis support to military and family members who were victims of sexual assault. Lori retired from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer after serving 22 years on active duty.
Her passion for helping others led her to earn her Graduate degree in counseling in 2008. She spent 4 years working with victims and survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence, both adults and children. Her love of working with children resulted in her achieving Registered Play Therapist certification in 2010.
Lori is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, and a Qualified Supervisor for Mental Health Interns. She is experienced in working with children with a variety of social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Lori enjoys working with military families, and her experience as a veteran, a Navy spouse, and the mother of children raised in a military family gives her perspective into the unique challenges military families face.
Lori lives in Jacksonville with her retired-military husband, one of her sons, and 2 dogs.
Lori accepts TRICARE insurance and is currently accepting clients at our RIVERSIDE location.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Direct: (904) 853-5417
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 is accepting clients at our BEACHES location.
Email: email@example.com • Direct: (904) 372-0848
Tayler Papke, LCSW, Registered Play Therapist
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 with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder, attention difficulties, and other chronic medical diagnoses.
Tayler moved to Jacksonville in 2016 where she continued to work with children in the foster care system. Through a nonprofit, Tayler assisted children and families through the reunification and adoption process. She also has experience counseling children through Duval County Public Schools Full Service Schools Plus program. Tayler has experience working with children through adjustment issues, grief and loss, anger management, trauma, and other school based difficulties.
Tayler is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida, and a Registered Play Therapist. In her free time, Tayler enjoys traveling, going to the beach, walking her dog, and cheering for FSU football.
Tayler is accepting clients at our RIVERSIDE location.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Direct: (904) 723-4982
Jessica Soto, Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern
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 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 offers a reduced rate and is accepting clients at our BEACHES location.
Email: email@example.com • Direct: (904) 746-7256
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 is accepting clients at our BEACHES location.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Direct: (904) 746-7255