About My Practice
I have been counseling for over twenty years. I am chiefly known for my work with young children. As a Certified Child-Centered Play Therapist, I have seen children as young as three years old benefit from the healing effects of this developmentally appropriate approach. I believe children have the capacity to grow in positive, pro-social ways, within the context of the therapeutic relationship and a psychologically safe environment.
In addition to my work with children, I practice Relationship Enhancement Therapy to help couples achieve greater psychological intimacy and fulfillment through deep empathy and advanced interpersonal skills. I also employ a humanistic approach to increasing personal growth through self-awareness and exploration within the safety of the therapeutic relationship.
Very young children (3-6 years old) are not developmentally able to use language as a means of making sense of their world and communicating their inner experiences. Toddlers and preschool aged children use play to work through their strong feelings. As a Child-Centered Play Therapist, I support your child by providing a safe space to do this within the context of a therapeutic relationship. Over time, your child will discover more pro-social ways to convey his or her feelings and learn how to better self-regulate behaviors.
Some families respond well to Filial Family Play Therapy, in which parents learn to provide weekly therapeutic play sessions with their own children, at home. Research shows that this strengthens the parent-child relationship, increasing the child's trust and the parents' confidence.
Barb's Background in
Early Childhood Mental Health
Barb has a masters degree in mental health counseling with advanced training in play therapy and early childhood mental health. Barb was the Mental Health Coordinator for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Rochester for over twelve years. She is certified by the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement (NIRE) as a Child-Centered Play Therapist and has been seeing very young children in her private practice and in schools for many years. Barb teaches a graduate level course in play therapy for The College at Brockport, at the downtown campus.
For Couples: Relationship Enhancement Therapy
In addition to her play therapy work with children, Barb sees individuals and couples seeking to strengthen and/or heal their significant relationships. Her approach to this work is Relationship Enhancement Therapy, a skills-based approach to strengthening significant relationships through deep empathy and advanced communication skills.
Relationship Enhancement Therapy was founded by Bernard and Louise Guerney at Penn State University in the late 1960's. It has been researched and proven effective in significantly improving relationship satisfaction. Barb received her training in this approach over ten years ago from Bernard Guerney himself.
Individual Therapy for Adults
Individuals seeking personal growth, healthy relationships, relief from anxiety or depression - or the effects of trauma - find Barb's Client-Centered, Humanistic approach very beneficial.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Answers You Need
Where are you located?
My office is currently located in the East End section of the city. Winthrop is a small street off East Avenue by the Little Theater movie house.
Number 36 Winthrop is at the end of the block, on the right. Parking is adjacent to the building.
In July, I'll be moving my practice to a newly renovated building at 2300 East Avenue, near the Stone Tolan House.
Do you take insurance?
My practice is private-pay only. I do not accept third party reimbursement for a couple of reasons.
First, I believe decisions about your therapy (or your child's) should be made between us, without outside interference. Secondly, insurance companies require that I make a formal diagnosis. My work is grounded in developmental theory - not the medical model. It goes against my principles to label my clients as ill - especially children under five years old - and after our first meeting!!