Sand Castle Counseling is a very specialized service, primarily treating children as young as two years through early adulthood. Serving the whole family is always preferred, when possible. Play Therapy builds on the natural way children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world (Axline,1947; Carmichael, 2006). Through play therapy children/teens learn to communicate better with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills and learn new ways of relating.
Sand Castle Counseling uses primarily a play therapy model in working with children, adolescents and families. Play therapy is the treatment of choice in mental health settings for children of all ages. Play therapy is especially appropriate for children 2-13 years. Play therapy is used as an intervention of multiple conditions and concerns, such as anger management, grief, loss, family dissolution and trauma (Gil & Drewes ,2004: Landerth, Sweeney, Ray, Homeyer & Glover, 2005). It is also used for modification of behavioral disorders. This includes anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism or pervasive development, academic and social development, physical and learning disabilities and conduct disorders (Bratton, Ray & Rhine).
Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children whose problems are related to life stressors such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence and natural disasters.
A family's role in children and teen's healing is important. Children's behavior can signal problems in the family. The entire family may become distressed because the child's problems are so disruptive. Children and families heal faster when they work together. Whatever the level of involvement, family members are essential to the healing process.
Sand Castle works in conjunction with Pediatricians, Guidance Counselors, teachers and Psychiatrists in an integrated team model. This extra effort can lead to a more successful result.