Playroom Therapy

Help Your Child Cope With Different Life Experiences

About Play Therapy

As children feel safe in their developing therapeutic relationship with me, they begin to address their most pressing issues through play. In the safe and supportive environment of the playroom, children can discharge tension, anger, sadness, fear, and a host of other feelings, which could be causing symptoms in their daily lives. In the therapeutic playroom, children develop coping skills, confidence, self-esteem, and an ability to verbalize thoughts and feelings. As they take more risks and make positive changes in the playroom setting, children begin to transfer their new skills to the "outside" of home, school, and relationships with family and friends. You will notice the difference!

(For information about Belle’s practice working with adults, couples and teens see

What Happens at the First Session?

I prefer to devote children's first session to meeting with their parents or primary care-givers. This provides a chance for us to freely talk about current problems as well as whatever solutions you have already tried. It gives you a chance to talk openly about your own feelings and whatever family dynamics might be going on that could be contributing to the problem.

During this session, we can work together to make some guesses about what's going on and what might help. Often during this time, I can offer some parenting tips that might provide some more immediate relief. Teaching you to help your children manage their own feelings and behaviors is a large part of what a play therapist can offer.

What Do I Tell My Child About Therapy?

You can tell your child that sometimes they might have feelings which are difficult to talk about. Tell them you will help them find a way to feel better by going to visit with a therapist who will meet with them in a playroom.

Tell them they will be able to talk with the therapist and play with the toys in the playroom in just about any way they would like. It helps if you've already been to your intake session because you'll be able to describe the playroom to them. Usually, they can't wait to get there and they often don't want to leave!

How Long Does it Take?

As with any therapy, the length of treatment depends on many variables. It would be reasonable to expect at least five to ten sessions for a child to build up a trust level sufficient to begin to freely approach or disclose significant material, depending on the issues.

The length of continued sessions depends on the duration and severity of the problem, current support systems, individual strengths and coping skills of the child, and other possible stressors.

About Counseling

Given the necessary information and support, children and families have the ability to manage their conflicts and challenges. You can help your children become more aware of their strengths and choices, more of accepting themselves and others, and more capable of finding happiness in their lives.

Some children need only a few sessions, while others may require months or even years of therapy to achieve their goals. The length of time children and families spend in therapy is strictly individual and is impacted by many influences including past experiences as well as current outside support.

Please feel free at any time to bring up changes you would like to see in how your child's counseling proceeds. Your input and participation is an essential part of the therapy process. As progress is made, you and your children will feel more able to face life's challenges on your own, with the knowledge that future counseling support is available if desired.


Our communications will become part of the clinical record that is accessible to you on request. Information disclosed in counseling is confidential, except with some exceptions including:

  • Your authorization in writing to release your records
  • A court of law subpoenas your records or the counselor's testimony
  • There is reasonable concern that harm may come to your child or others, such as suicide, homicide, child neglect, or physical/emotional/sexual abuse
  • If court ordered to therapy, information you share may be disclosed to the court or an officer of the court
  • Certain client information may be given, as required, to any entity responsible for the payment or collection of client fees
  • Information about your case that may be shared within the professional supervision process


  • Abuse
  • Anger Management
  • Adoption
  • Anxiety
  • Assertiveness
  • Behavior Problems
  • Bullying
  • Communication
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Family Problems
  • Loss, Grief
  • Lying
  • Parenting
  • Post-Traumatic
  • Stress
  • Relationships
  • School Problems
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Esteem
  • Stealing
  • Stepfamilies
  • Stress

Belle has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Since 1994, specializing in the areas of Individual, Marriage and Family counseling, and work with children between the ages of 2-12 in a therapeutic playroom. She received her Play Therapy training at University of North Texas from Dr. Garry Landreth, Ed.D., an internationally recognized leader in working with children. Belle has been a Registered Play Therapist since 1996, a credential which initially required 500 hours of supervised play therapy experience and 150 hours of continuing education in Play Therapy. Since then, at least 18 hours of Play Therapy continuing education every three years has been completed to maintain the RPT credential.

In addition to her counseling background, Belle is a Registered Nurse, with over 30 years of psychiatric experience. Areas of inpatient work have included programs for children, teens, adults, women, chemical dependency, and dissociative disorders.