Wichita Child Counseling
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I’m not sure if professional help for
my child is needed?
You may want to start talking to other parents and
professionals you trust about whether your child’s behavior is different than average behavior at that
age. Your child’s doctor and teacher are good resources, because
they are likely to work with many other children your child’s age.
If you are in the Wichita area, we encourage you to
call us at 729-9965 for a free phone consultation.
How Should a Child Be Prepared for
It varies widely based on the age of
the child. Parents should definitely not deceive their children about
where they are going or why they are seeing a therapist. However,
depending on the age of the child, they may not need a detailed explanation of why they are
going. For young children, a simple explanation that they are
“going to see a lady who has a play room and who helps children with their feelings and behavior” may be
enough. Although parents often tell children they are going to
“talk to” someone, it usually helps reduce the anxiety of children if it is made clear that they can also
play, not just talk. Older children often are more enthusiastic
about therapy if their parents emphasize more about the stress they feel the child has been under than about
the parents desire for their behavior to change. If the child
expects the therapy to be like going to the principals office because of something they do wrong, then they
are likely to have more anxiety and resistance.
How Long Does Child Psychotherapy Take?
Therapy is generally a gradual
process of helping a child gain new skills and change attitudes. We
generally recommend that children see us weekly, for 50 minute sessions, in the beginning. Having appointments spaced more than a week apart in the beginning will slow down
therapy substantially because an important part of the process is gaining rapport and trust with the
How many sessions are necessary
depends on the problem, the level of support the child has, and how long the problem has existed. Recent problems are usually much quicker to deal with than long-standing
problems. Although some parents will see noticeable improvements in
their children in just a few sessions, twelve sessions is usually considered brief therapy. For more longstanding problems the child may come for a few months to a
year. Therapy usually progresses quicker where a child has good
support from both parents and slower when there are family problems hindering their development. In some cases family therapy, or a parent having their own individual therapy,
will be recommended.
For some problems, like sexual abuse,
parts of the problem may not be able to be fully addressed at the child’s current developmental
level. It is important that the therapy start as early as
possible, but we do not recommend years of therapy. In such
cases, children are often seen for weeks or months to resolve the current issues, and then later come back
for therapy at a later developmental phase.
What is play therapy?
Play therapy refers to a variety of treatment methods which make
use of the natural benefits of play.
Why use play in therapy with children?
Play is a natural form of communication for children and is the
most natural way for them to resolve emotional issues. Even children who are quite talkative are not usually
developmentally able to fully express their feelings verbally or to fully benefit from the "talk therapy" designed
for adults. Play therapy allows children a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows them to
express their true thoughts and feelings in ways best suited to their developmental level.
What is a play therapist?
A play therapist is a trained mental health professional
who uses play with a child in such a way that the child can systematically address and resolve his/her problems.
The Association for Play Therapy is an organization that credentials professionals who have advanced training and
experience in play therapy. The credentials available through the Association for Play Therapy include the
"Registered Play Therapist" and the "Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor".
Who can be a Registered Play Therapist?
A Registered Play Therapist must:
have a Master's degree in a medical or mental health profession,
be licensed or certified in his or her field,
have 150 clock hours in instruction in play therapy,
have at least two years (2,000 hrs.) of clinical experience post-Masters,
have provided a minimum of 500 hours play therapy
have documented receipt of both general and play therapy specific
receive continuing education in play therapy in order to keep the
Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor has additional requirements, including at least 1000
hours of play therapy experience.
Is play therapy an
accepted, effective treatment modality?
Play Therapy is not a new or
experimental therapy approach. It has been used and researched for over sixty years. Among
therapists who specialize in therapy for children, it is widely accepted as a standard
Why are some health
professionals, and even mental health professionals, not well informed about play therapy with
Professionals have generally not
been routinely trained or informed about therapy practice with children during their years of college education.
Most training in psychotherapy focuses on treatment methods for adults. Therapists who work with children generally
have had to seek out opportunities for advanced training after they have begun experiencing the
frustration of trying to apply therapy methods designed for adults to therapy with children. Like many mental
health professionals, we worked with children as social workers for several years before we received any play
therapy training or any information about it's effectiveness compared to other forms of treatment with
children. Our experience has been that when we received training in play therapy, the results
of our efforts at counseling children improved dramatically.
What does the scientific research
say about play therapy?
Play therapy has been researched in
many studies for over 60 years and has generally been found to be an effective modality for therapy. Research on
the effectiveness of play therapy with different types of issues can be found and downloaded from the website of
the Association for Play Therapy: http://www.a4pt.org/
The Central office (Susan Huebert's office) is located near McLean and Seneca at 560
N. Exposition, Wichita, KS.
The West office is located near Central and Ridge Road, at 515 N. Ridge, Suite
200, Wichita, KS.
The East office is located near Central and Rock Road, at 250 N. Rock Rd, Suite 340,