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Play Therapy

Is your child showing signs of stress, sadness or difficulty coping?

There’s nothing quite as scary as being the parent or guardian of a child- you want the best for them, and yet the world can be a hard place to navigate for a growing child. Play Therapy is a well-established therapeutic tool for young children, who aren’t suited to the same techniques as adults, and can be a great way to help your little one through life’s rough patches.

How does this work?

Play therapy provides a space that’s confidential [as with all therapy] but also safe and nurturing for a struggling young child. Children are encouraged to play and explore with as few limits as possible, while under the
supervision of the counselor. Sometimes the therapist will reflect on the session with the child, and they may discuss strategies to help the child face their difficulties positively. There’s a few strategies that may be used in the sessions:


Sand trays and building


Dance and movement





Puppets/Dress up

Story Telling/Social Stories

Age appropriate creative visualization

Does this really have a proper therapy background?
The use of play as a therapy has been well established and its effective use dates back to the 1920’s. A few different methodologies are used- some address the core reason for the child’s need of counseling directly, while others reach the same by indirect routes. These interventions are generally appropriate for children under 12, especially as a guide for them to interact meaningfully with adults not in their family [so from around 3 upward].

These strategies of learning through play helps children develop adaptively by:

 Facilitating healing from trauma by exploring  historical situations in a way that helps the child process what          occurred.

 Allowing the child a safe space to express their feelings.

 Encouraging the child to be open to new, adaptive, behavior and

 functional thought patterns.

 Allowing them the space to rid problems and concerns.

 Helping develop their decision-making skills in a healthy way.

 Encouraging creativity.

 Enabling new ideas and thoughts.

 Establishing important life themes such as: morality, fairness, appropriate advocacy, respect, as well as                    accepting self and others.


Often times, sitting still in an office chair and not having an activity to engage in will impede a younger child from feeling comfortable in that setting. Many younger children aren’t even really able to makes sense of their feelings, let alone think and reason about situations in the way an adult mind can. A play therapist will help guide the child creatively through an environment that’s much more familiar to them- the play room- and engage with them at their level this way.
The therapist can help children explore concepts they are having difficulty working through, and help them better understand actions, scenarios or situations they cannot process fully on their own. Some children may be hesitant to express certain feelings to parents and other close adults for fear of ‘disappointing’ them in some way, but can be encouraged to reveal them through play.
Play therapy is a great way to engage younger children who need the help and support of a counselor- why not consider adding this tool to your child’s toolbox and help them develop to their full potential?

Call Rocky Mountain Counseling today to see if your child would benefit from Play Therapy! (720) 252-0345

Meet our Team

Cory Reid-Vanas,

Therapist Coach Consultant, Founder of RM3C

Cory earned his Master’s degree in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Colorado Denver. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Colorado and a Colorado State Child & Family Investigator. Cory was born and raised in upstate New York and has been living in the western United States for over ten years. He is an avid outdoors-man and enjoys spending time on his bicycle, growing organic vegetables and exploring the natural world.

With over ten years of experience working with individuals, youth, couples and families, Cory has worked diligently to empower his clients to effectively navigate difficult moments in their lives. He guides his clients in developing healthy coping skills and gaining a deeper understanding of the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Each individual and family is considered the expert of their own lives and will participate in a collaboration with Cory to understand needs, establish specific goals, develop healthy choices, and create purpose.

Growth happens through accessing strengths to tackle barriers and establish strategies for successful living. Cory believes that people who are given the opportunity to learn, practice and integrate effective strategies for working through challenges and celebrating success can positively participate and develop healthy relationships with their family, social circles, and communities. Cory is dedicated and inspired by his clients.

Cory Reid-Vanas, <br>MA LMFT

Cory Reid-Vanas,

Therapist Coach Consultant, Founder of RM3C

Hinde Newton,

Independent Contract Therapist

Hinde earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania in 2004. She has been living and practicing psychology in Colorado since 2007 when she became a Licensed Professional Counselor. Hinde enjoys doing yoga, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, gardening, writing, and exploring the beauty of Colorado’s mountains.

Hinde has over a decade of experience working with families, children, and adolescents. She believes it is important to meet clients where they are and to act as a guide in helping them access their strengths and develop their positive coping skills. Hinde has worked most recently, for the last five years, as a therapist in an elementary school where she had the privilege of helping children and families manage emotions safely and learn to communicate effectively and support each other.

Hinde also has 5 years of experience working in residential and day treatment settings with adolescents. Hinde has a unique ability to gain the trust of adolescents who, due to their past experiences, have a difficult time opening up to adults in their lives.

Hinde will provide a safe, caring, nonjudgmental relationship for her clients so that they can become fully actualized and achieve their treatment goals in a timely manner. Hinde specializes in working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, and can also work with adults who are feeling trapped in negative patterns of thinking and behavior. She looks forward to helping you achieve your goals.

Hinde Newton, <br>MS LPC

Hinde Newton,

Independent Contract Therapist

Hannah Lacaire,

Independent Contract Therapist

Hannah earned her Master’s Degree in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. She was born in Massachusetts and has been living in Colorado for two years. Hannah enjoys being active, including exploring the mountains, skiing, and playing basketball. She is currently a licensed professional counselor in the State of Colorado.

Hannah has been working with children and adolescents for seven years, beginning her clinical work in emergency facilities and group home settings where she refined various crisis support plans and assessments.

She has transitioned her career into more community based settings, such as outpatient and in-home therapy over the past two years. Hannah has enjoyed helping others maintain stability within the community successfully, and out of other restrictive living environments.

Hannah believes that when an individual is provided with the proper tools to understand and cope with their experiences, these internal resources can then be applied not only in the moment, but for a lifetime. It is important for people to be aware of their strengths, potential, and positive attributes in order to achieve short and long-terms goals successfully. Hannah is committed in helping others recognize these strengths and reach desired goals by collaborating with individuals and their external supports.

Hannah Lacaire, <br>MA LPC

Hannah Lacaire,

Independent Contract Therapist


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