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 and a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. 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.
Anna has provided trainings for parents of young children, local agencies, teachers, in-home therapists, and foster parents. She has a client-centered approach to working with young children, and especially enjoys strengthening parent-child relationships through the language of play.
She lives in Atlantic Beach with her husband and two children, who have graciously donated many toys to The Healing Playroom.
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.
Mandy Jo Moldehnke, MS, LMHC
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 2015 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.
Tayler Papke, LCSW, RPT
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.