Diane Kukulis, lmsw
Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor, Infant Mental Health Specialist-Endorsed
Santray is a form of play therapy that uses sand, water and miniatures within a contained space to encourage children and adults to explore themselves and their world. This creative process taps into our intrinsic attraction to health/growth and the healing power of play to help individuals and families move from being victims to being creators of experience. It supports self expression that might otherwise be very difficult or impossible to put words to and allows one to view their 'world' from a new perspective that encourages insight, problem-solving and emotional growth.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a complex, integrative model of individual psychotherapy in which the therapist guides the client through a procedure to access and resolve troubling experiences and emotions. EMDR brings together diverse psychological orientations, including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral client-centered, gestalt, and bio-energetic approaches to psychotherapy.
The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) is a develop-mentally sensitive, brain based approach to the assessment and treatment of children who present with symptoms and behaviors consistent with complex trauma and neglect. Developed by Dr. Bruce Perry, MD, PhD and the Child Trauma Academy, the model has a strong educational foundation that underlies a broad array of treatment modalities.
Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics
Working with images is a powerful strategy for understanding and modifying our belief systems; that is, our convictions about ourselves and the way we see and experience our world. The use of images in this manner speaks to the right side of our brain, the hemisphere that seeks creative energy, and recognizes and responds to feelings, images, imagination and intuition for deeper understanding and healing. SoulCollage is a creative process that involves creating intimate soul tending images on cards that enable you to know yourself and to show yourself to others in a safe, nurturing and supportive manner.
Relationship based therapies are grounded in the belief that parents are the most important people in children's live and that commitment to long-term relationships are important to families. There is a wide array of relationship-based therapies aimed at strengthening relationships within families. Filial Play Therapy involves teaching parents to be child-centered therapeutic play partners with their child. As parent and child engage in expressive play they develop a new way of being with each other; parents develop a better understanding of their child's concerns and learn more effective and empathic ways to interact with them. Children become more cooperative, confident and tolerant of limit-setting. Theraplay principles focus on relationship development through emotionally attuned, interactive, sensory-based play that promotes trust in children who have experienced loss or trauma at an early age. Parents are present for and involved in treatment and are supported in employing principles at home. FloorTime play is employed to promote healthy development in children who show delays or unique patterns in particular developmental domains. Parents are active participants in the therapeutic process and are encouraged to translate strategies to the home environment. Relationship-Based Family Therapy focuses on strengthening relationships in families where children have insecure attachment patterns due to early childhood trauma or significant losses/stressors. This empathy driven model focuses on co-regulation of affect to assist parents and children in shifting maladaptive behavior and interactional patterns and in developing new models of healthy, secure relationships. Circle of Security Parenting is an evidence-based parent education program that uses images, graphics and video to promote increased parental awareness of the importance of attachment and secure base dynamics in the parent-child relationship in service to the healthy development of children.
Play is a natural and spontaneous part of our lives. It is fun, creative and critical to healthy development. Through play, children can express their feelings, master new skills, practice problem-solving, develop social judgment, and better understand their unique coping abilities. Imaginative play provides a sense of control as everyday life dramas are processed and the rules of social behavior are practiced. Play Therapy provides a safe and age appropriate means for children to address and resolve difficulties they may be facing in their life. By safely confronting issues in the free and protected space of the play therapy environment children can explore the way they feel and think about their problems and develop solutions. They can begin to explore new strategies for coping with problems they do not have the power to change and develop a sense of mastery over their experience.