Welcome! I am Stacy Johnson, the owner of Lawrence Play Therapy. As a child/play therapist, I specialize in working with children ages 2 - 12. I also do family therapy involving children and parents when needed. Some of the most common issues I see children for include: abuse/trauma, attachment, ADHD, anxiety, depression, behavior problems, divorce, parenting struggles, anger, grief/loss, and adjustment issues.
I have extensive experience working with children and families for over 15 years. I was a therapist with Catholic Charities for 10 years before going into private practice 5 years ago. I received my master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2004 and a post-master's certificate in play therapy from Mid-America Nazarene University in 2007. I am now a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor.
In addition to private practice, I also supervise new practitioners in the field, including master's level interns, those working to receive their clinical license, and those becoming Registered Play Therapists.
Child and Family Therapy
Family therapy seeks to reduce stress and conflict by improving the interactions between family members. This type of counseling views problems as patterns or systems that need adjusting as opposed to viewing problems as residing in the person.
I often use a play-based approach to family therapy, which is more successful in engaging children in the process. I also have extensive training in attachment therapy, including Theraplay and filial therapy. Attachment therapy is used in instances where the root cause of the presenting issues involve a child's attachment to a primary caregiver. Often, improved attachment or connection between parents and children may improve other issues going on as well.
Children often do not have the words to express what they are feeling or thinking. Traditional talk therapy alone is rarely successful in helping children process difficult life situations. Play therapy involves children sharing their feelings and working through problems using play rather than just talking. The toys are the child's words and play is the child's language.
Parenting education is used often as an adjuct to play therapy and/or family therapy. Unfortunately, children are not born with a manual and parenting is not easy. I utilize a parenting approach with an emphasis on connection, attachment, and positive discipline. The specific approach is geared toward the family, the presenting issues, and parenting styles. For some additional parenting resources, look under the Resources section of the website.