Play Therapy Community Inspiration, Information, & Connection for Child Therapists Around the World | ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, School Counseling Behavior Therapy, Sandtray Therapy,

Play Therapy Community will present a fresh, insightful episode once a week, usually on Thursday mornings. On this podcast, we will cover topics such as play therapy techniques and resources, group therapy, maternal mental health, picky eaters, struggles in school, behavioral issues, grief and loss, and so much more. We’ll also delve into specific diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. Difficult topics, such as parenting through separation/divorce, depression, anxiety struggles, relationship struggles, and such will be explored as well. As the host of Play Therapy Community, I feel honored that you are joining us on this journey for knowledge to truly help our children in a way that honors their mind, body, and soul. My name is Jackie Flynn, and I’m a Licensed Psychotherapist, Registered Play Therapist, Education Specialist, Adolescent Life Coach and a Parent Educator.
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Play Therapy Community Inspiration, Information, & Connection for Child Therapists Around the World | ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, School Counseling Behavior Therapy, Sandtray Therapy,




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Now displaying: February, 2016
Feb 25, 2016

Parenting in the Rain, Episode 9

Helping Picky Eaters Try New, Healthy Foods with Jill Castle

In This Episode:


  • Jill Castle is America’s Childhood Nutrition Expert.  She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and a childhood nutrition expert. With over 25 years of experience with babies, toddlers, children and teens, in a variety of settings from private practice and consulting to author and writer.  
  • Jill has 4 children, so she knows what it is like to feed healthy meals to kiddos on a busy schedule.
  • In this episode, Jill gives us some practical tips that we can use to successfully take on the issue of picky eating in our families.
  • Always make sure that when you feed your child, you include a “safe” food in the selection.  This increases the child’s comfort zone and likeliness to try new foods.
  • Tasting a new food could be smelling, kissing, licking, etc...  Every, little step along the way is progress.
  • Being patient with your child is SO important.  The more pressure that you put on your child, the more resistance you will probably will get.  
  • Resist the urge to “cater” to your child eating only specific foods.  Let them know what is being offered and that there aren’t other alternatives.  After meals, tell the child that the kitchen is “closed”.  Setting boundaries is so important.  
  • It is vital to include an item from every food group in your child’s meal.  
  • If you are serving something your child doesn’t like, just include something that they do like such as a favorite fruit or vegetable.
  • MYTH -  “If you just put the food on the table, your child will eventually eat it.”
  • Jill tells us about the “Learning Plate”, which is a separate plate that is put on the table with a tiny little portion of the foods for the child to “try”.  The food on the “learning plate” can be touched, smooshed, licked, etc.  It encourages the child to be more adventurous and to try new foods.
  • “It takes 18 years to raise a healthy child!!”
  • Recognize that everyone in the family likes to have a voice.  Let everyone contribute ideas to the meal choices.  Some families let each person choose what is for meals throughout the week.  In the end, the parent is still needs to make sure that each meal is well balanced and healthy.
  • Sometimes it is a struggle to pack lunches for kids.  Incorporating an item from each food group is a great idea with lunches as well.  Also, letting your child provide input on their preferences and helping pack their lunches is a way to get “buy in”.  
  • Kids can start packing their lunches pretty early on.  Jill mentions that children as young as 6 years old can start packing lunch independently.  This will help them learn how to put healthy and balanced meals together themselves. It does require some thought and input from the parent though, even when the children are packing their own lunch.
  • Feeding kids is not an easy thing, so having a system can really make a difference.
  • Jill has a free training coming up: 5 Honest Mistakes That Sabotage Your Child’s Healthy Eating.  This training is schedule for February 24th and February 25th.   If you miss this training, be sure to visit Jill’s blog to sign up for her newsletter so that you know about any future training that she has scheduled.
Feb 18, 2016

The guest expert for this show is Susan Blakeslee, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Professional Artist. Active listening is paying attention with your MIND, BODY, and SOUL. Understanding what is behind the words is an important focus of active listening. The person being listened to feels validated in this kind of listening, which encourages people to be more open.  This can result in the sharing of more information. When someone is feeling a certain emotion, instead of telling them that they shouldn’t be feeling a certain way, simply reflect their feeling by saying things like “you feel sad” or “you’re excited”. Sometimes children think things are their fault which can lead to painful, guilt.  Listening actively can alert parents to this and help them to respond in a way that is helpful for the child.


Feb 11, 2016

In This Episode:

  • Tammi Van Hollander is a Registered Play Therapist that teaches us about the Nurtured Heart Approach ®.
  • The founder of the Nurtured Heart Approach ® is Howard Glasser.  
  • At a free online eCourse is available to help children with challenging behaviors.
  • Our guest Tammi Van Hollander, was feeling “stuck”, she wanted another tool to be consistent and effective for parents and teachers.
  • Building on the children’s inner wealth, looking at their greatness and helping them to flourish is key.
  • “Children do not awaken by fear of punishment, they awaken to their greatness.” is Tammi’s favorite quote from Howard Glasser.
  • Putting energy into the positivity is so much more effective to help children with problematic behaviors.
  • This approach has 3 Stands:

Stand 1 - “Absolutely NO  I wll not energize negativity” focuses on the benefits of staying calm, collective and “resetting” if necessary.

Stand 2 -  “Absolutely Yes, I will relentlessly create and energize positivity and success in my child.

Stand 3 - “Absolutely Clear, if you cross the line, there are very clear consequences that go with that (the adult stays calm and loving)

  • It’s important not to ignore negative behavior; if negative behavior is ignored things may get worse and worse.
  • This approach highlights the benefits for recognizing the child and honoring them for showing self-control by recognizing what they didn’t do such as hit their sibling, leave the room, etc...
  • Clarity and predictability is so important for the child, as in the analogy of the video game that Tammi talks about in this episode.
  • This approach supports a healthy child parent relationship as well as help regulate their emotions.
  • Using the passion and gifts that comes with intensity  that children sometimes exhibit can make a huge difference when helping children with challenging behaviors.
  • The Nurtured Heart Approach ® is used in schools and homes all over.
Feb 4, 2016

Parenting in the Rain, Episode  6 

Parenting Through the Pain of Divorce with Jared Defife, Ph.D.

In This Episode:


  • The guest expert, Dr. Jared DeFife helps people share their life stories to find meaning, connection and understanding.  
  • Jared is the host of the amazing podcast, The School of Psych on iTunes and
  • Parents often wonder how they can help their child when they are hurting themselves.
  • Blame mode can leave people feeling exhausted without access to experience the change they desire.
  • Sometimes parents choose to seek out their own therapy through a divorce to help themselves, as well as help them to parent through the painful times that divorce can sometimes bring.
  • The divorce process can be a time that people can use to explore areas that they can change about themselves.
  • The time right before and after divorce can be sometimes the most painful.
  • Focusing on personal change is a focus worthy of time.
  • When people are feeling emotional pain, they will sometimes do things and act in ways that are not typical of their character. 
  • It is important for parents to get the support that they need during a divorce to help them best be able to cope and parent in a healthy way.
  • Bashing and blaming the other parent to the child could be confusing and painful for the child.
  • Demeaning, trash talking, and bashing the other parent can be destructive.
  • Children may be feeling a variety of feelings during a divorce: positive and negative.
  • How parents handle the divorce is a huge factor of how the child responds and their capacity to heal. 
  • Sometimes children feel like a divorce was their fault.  Letting them know that children can’t make divorces happen and the can’t make it not happen.  It is a choice between the adults.
  • Helping kids cope through the divorce is a focus worthy of time for the parent and the child.


  • Divorce can put strains and stresses on a family, but it doesn’t have to be high conflict.
  • Jared mentioned the 3 Elements (Stages) of the Divorce Process

1. Making the Decision 

2. The Divorce Process

3. Afterwards

  • After a divorce, parents still need to remain together as co-parents by working together to figure out a way to solve problems and work together as co-parents of their child(ren).
  • There are challenges and opportunities around each stage of the divorce process.
  • People can use their divorce experience as a “call to rise to the challenge of working together amicably”.
  • Discernment counseling can help people when one member of the couple isn’t agreeing with the other couple in regards to pursue a divorce or not. 
  • A place of indecision for too long can be painful and destructive to the relationship.
  • Discernment counseling can help people attain clarity and confidence about the decision of divorce in a healthy timeframe.
  • The decision of divorce should be surrounded by a deeper focus on values and commitments.
  • Sometimes there are deep levels of conflict in relationships that may be unbridgeable such as abuse, addiction, infidelity, etc...
  • The dissolution of a marriage doesn’t have to high conflict.  Working together to figure out a solid co-parenting plan can help everyone involved get through the process.
  • Sometimes people seek out professional support as co-parents after divorce to help with areas such as scheduling, logistics, etc.
  • It’s important to know that it may be necessary to seek out appropriate professionals to help with the divorce process to ensure that specialized support in specific areas such as legal, financial, parenting, etc is available.
  • During a divorce, children often look up to their parents to see how to handle conflict in relationships and how to handle responsibility (Should I try to change myself or point a finger to blame others?)
  • The reflection and grief process after the divorce is important. Sometimes, people skip that piece which puts them at greater risk for similar issues in the new relationship.