The Psychotherapy Practice of Kimberly Bartlett, LCSW, RPT-S (949) 872-7454

The Psychotherapy Practice of Kimberly Bartlett, LCSW, RPT-S (949) 872-7454

Caring Hearts Play Therapy offers a variety of therapeutic services including play therapy, individual psychotherapy for all ages, family therapy, parent coaching, and clinical assessments.
Individual Therapy: Individual therapy sessions for all ages are typically 45-50 minutes, which frequently includes a brief check-in with a parent when appropriate.

Family Therapy: Family therapy sessions are approximately 50 minutes. A specific plan and recommendation will be made regarding the need and type of family therapy on a case-by-case basis. 

Parent Coaching: Specific advice and education regarding your child’s needs are provided in a collaborative approach. 

Free 15-20 minute phone consultation: During your consultation discuss your specific concerns, find out if you or your child are in need of therapy, and discover if Caring Hearts Play Therapy is a good fit for you and your family.

Home-Based Therapy: Children with disruptive behavior patterns and children with high needs particularly benefit from home-based therapy. Therapy in your home for specific skills like parenting can be demonstrated and practiced in the home. This allows the therapist to observe the child and parent-child relationships in action, providing insight into family dynamics and assists in speeding up the treatment process. In specific cases it may be recommended to have a number of home-based therapy sessions.  


Play Therapy:                           
Discover how the Association for Play Therapy and leading play therapists define play therapy, discuss the benefits of using play in therapy, explain how play therapy works, and describe who benefits from play therapy by reading below “Play Therapy Makes a Difference!” and watching the informative video produced by the Association for Play Therapy.

Why Play?
Play is the child's language and ..In recent years a growing number of noted mental health professionals have observed that play is as important to human happiness and well being as love and work (Schaefer, 1993). Some of the greatest thinkers of all time, including Aristotle and Plato, have reflected on why play is so fundamental in our lives. The following are some of the many benefits of play that have been described by play theorists. It expands self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-efficacy. Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego (Landreth, 2002). In addition, play allows us to practice skills and roles needed for survival. Learning and development are best fostered through play (Russ, 2004).

Why Play in Therapy? 
Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002; O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983). The curative powers inherent in play are used in many ways. Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings (Gil, 1991). In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language (Landreth, 2002). Through play, therapists may help children learn more adaptive behaviors when there are emotional or social skills deficits (Pedro-Carroll & Reddy, 2005). The positive relationship that develops between therapist and child during play therapy sessions provides a corrective emotional experience necessary for healing (Moustakas, 1997). Play therapy may also be used to promote cognitive development and provide insight about and resolution of inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking in the child (O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983; Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005).

... toys are the child's words! Initially developed in the turn of the 20th century, today play therapy refers to a large number of treatment methods, all applying the therapeutic benefits of play. Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002). Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development. APT defines play therapy as "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."

How Does Play Therapy Work?
Children are referred for play therapy to resolve their problems (Carmichael; 2006; Schaefer, 1993). Often, children have used up their own problem solving tools, and they misbehave, may act out at home, with friends, and at school (Landreth, 2002). Play therapy allows trained mental health practitioners who specialize in play therapy, to assess and understand children's play. Further, play therapy is utilized to help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems (Moustakas, 1997; Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). By confronting problems in the clinical Play Therapy setting, children find healthier solutions. Play therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns (Kaugars& Russ, 2001).Even the most troubling problems can be confronted in play therapy and lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered and adapted into lifelong strategies (Russ, 2004).

Who Benefits from Play Therapy?
Although everyone benefits, play therapy is especially appropriate for children ages 3 through 12 years old (Carmichael, 2006; Gil, 1991; Landreth; 2002; Schaefer, 1993). Teenagers and adults have also benefited from play techniques and recreational processes.To that end, use of play therapy with adults within mental health,agency and other healthcare contexts is increasing (Pedro-Carroll & Reddy, 2005; Schaefer, 2003). In recent years, play therapy interventions have also been applied to infants and toddlers.

How Will Play Therapy Benefit A Child?
Play therapy is implemented as a treatment of choice in mental health, school, agency, developmental, hospital, residential, and recreational settings, with clients of all ages (Carmichael, 2006; Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005).Play therapy treatment plans have been utilized as the primary intervention or as an adjunctive therapy for multiple mental health conditions and concerns(Gil &Drewes, 2004; Landreth, Sweeney, Ray, Homeyer& Glover, 2005), e.g anger management, grief and loss, divorce and family dissolution, and crisis and trauma, and for modification of behavioral disorders (Landreth, 2002), e.g. anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism or pervasive developmental, academic and social developmental, physical and learning disabilities, and conduct disorders (Bratton, Ray & Rhine, 2005).Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including: children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters (Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). Play therapy helps children:
  • Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.
  • Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
  • Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
  • Learn to experience and express emotion.
  • Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
  • Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
  • Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.
How Long Does Play Therapy Take?
Each play therapy session varies in length but usually last about 30 to 50 minutes.Sessions are usually held weekly. Research suggests that it takes an average of 20 play therapy sessions to resolve the problems of the typical child referred for treatment. Of course, some children may improve much faster while more serious or ongoing problems may take longer to resolve (Landreth, 2002; Carmichael, 2006).

How May My Family Be Involved in Play Therapy?
Families play an important role in children's healing processes. The interaction between children's problems and their families is always complex. Sometimes children develop problems as a way of signaling that there is something wrong in the family. Other times the entire family becomes distressed because the child's problems are so disruptive. In all cases, children and families heal faster when they work together. The play therapist will make some decisions about how and when to involve some or all members of the family in the play therapy. At a minimum, the therapist will want to communicate regularly with the child's caretakers to develop a plan for resolving problems as they are identified and to monitor the progress of the treatment. Other options might include involving a) the parents or caretakers directly in the treatment in what is called filial play therapy and b) the whole family in family play therapy (Guerney, 2000). Whatever the level the family members choose to be involved, they are an essential part of the child's healing (Carey & Schaefer, 1994; Gil &Drewes, 2004).

Who Practices Play Therapy?
The practice of play therapy requires extensive specialized education, training, and experience. A play therapist is a licensed (or certified) mental health professional who has earned a Master's or Doctorate degree in a mental health field with considerable general clinical experience and supervision. With advanced, specialized training, experience, and supervision, mental health professionals may also earn the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) or Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S) credentials¹ conferred by the Association for Play Therapy (APT).
¹The Association for Play Therapy (APT confers the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S) credentials to licensed (or certified) mental health professionals who have provided APT with documentation that they have 1) earned a graduate or higher mental health degree, 2) completed a minimum number of play therapy training and supervision clock hours, and 3) completed the requisite continuing education hours. The RPT/S credentials do not certify, imply, or affirm the knowledge or competency of such individual but only confirms that the education and training requirements identified herein have been satisfied. APT also offers approved continuing education provider status to agencies and individuals who have provided APT with documentation that the agency or individual will provide program(s) that satisfy APT requirements for continuing education of RPT/S designees. The APT approval status of any continuing education provider does not certify, imply, or affirm the knowledge of any agency, individual, or presenter of a program but only confirms that APT continuing education provider requirements have been satisfied.

Authors
The information displayed for the general public and mental health professionals in this section was initially crafted by JP Lilly, LCSW, RPT-S, Kevin O'Connor, PhD, RPT-S, and Teri Krull, LCSW, RPT-S and later revised in part by Charles Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, Garry Landreth, EdD, LPC, RPT-S, and Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, EdD, LPC, RPT-S. Linked mental health conditions and concerns and behavioral disorders were drafted by Pehrsson and Karla Carmichael, PhD, LPC, RPT-S respectively. Research citations were compiled by Pehrsson and Oregon State University graduate assistant Mary Aguilera. APT sincerely thanks these individuals for their contributions!

Parent Feedback Form (Periodic):



Fees:
Caring Hearts Play Therapy accepts all insurance plans as an out-of-network provider. Please verify your specific insurance benefits.
You can find out your benefits by with your insurance company by asking about your "out-of-network" benefits for mental health services. Please note that as an out of network provider, it is your responsibility to pay for services upfront. We are happy to bill your insurance company on your behalf or provide you a Super bill.  Your insurance company will reimburse you directly.