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Stephanie chats with Jillian Kelly-Wavering, MSSW, LCSW, RPT about play based therapy for kids. She explains what attachment-oriented play therapy is and how it can help create healthy routines, rituals, and even be used for early childhood trauma. Jillian also shares how parents can help their kids with homework without it causing a ton of stress, tension, and frustration. You’ll learn how important play, exploration, and connection is key for early childhood development.

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Topics Discussed:

  • What play-based therapy is and what it looks like
  • Creating daily playful rituals and routines to support development
  • Understanding and navigating tantrums
  • Developmental changes at different ages
  • Considerations for overscheduling
  • Tips for helping kids with homework

This episode's guest

Jillian is a psychotherapist working with children (age 3-10) and their families. Prior to opening her practice, Asheville Child Therapy PLLC, in North Carolina, she worked in community mental health centers with at-risk children in the south Bronx in New York City for nearly a decade. Jillian’s education and advanced training includes a Master’s degree from Columbia University School of Social Work, completion of a fellowship with the National Health Service Corps, certification in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF CBT), and completion of post-graduate training to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). 

She is a graduate of the Association for Play Therapy’s Leadership Academy and she has served as a Board Director and Vice President of the New York Association for Play Therapy. Jillian has taught as an Adjunct Lecturer on the topics of Play Therapy, Trauma, and Resilience, has co-authored several publications including Dear Mr. Leprechaun: Nurturing Resilience in Children Facing Loss and Grief; Play Therapy with Children Facing Medical Challenges; The Use of Puppets in Psychodynamic Play Therapy. She is a frequent presenter in the topics of Play and Expressive Arts Therapies nationally, and recently internationally! Most importantly, Jillian respects and delights in the work of accompanying children on their journeys through hard times: from expressing big feelings, to uncovering bravery, setting healthy boundaries, and ultimately healing.