skip to Main Content

My Play Therapy Story

Clients and others in my life often ask why I became a play therapist and what I like so much about what I do. Like most people, I have a story behind how and why I got here.

I started working in early childhood programs in my early 20’s. I loved working with small children, but after several years, became bored and disillusioned with the way many early childhood programs were run. I slowly began taking college classes, beginning with classes in early childhood education, and eventually ended up with a bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology. While that is a lovely pursuit of studies, it didn’t lead to any type of paying career, so I decided to apply to graduate school and focus on counseling.

During one of my semesters, an elective course was offered in play therapy. I had no idea what it was, but if it involved children, I was in! One component of the class was doing a weekend training on-site at Mid-America Nazarene University’s play therapy counseling center. We were learning how to do sand tray therapy, and were asked to pick a miniature that represented ourselves. I chose this peg family. 

When asked to explain why, I became a bit choked up, and it was hard to find words. Like many people who enter the counseling profession, not only is there a strong desire to facilitate healing in others, but also in ourselves. I had spent over 10 years working in early childhood settings, and then another 5 working in public schools. But this play, and using play therapy to bring healing and joy, spoke to my heart in a way nothing else has. I remember stating to the entire class and the instructor “This is what I want to do with my life”.

And here I am, almost 10 years out of graduate school, and having been a play therapist for over 5 years, still loving every single minute of what I do, bringing hope, healing, and love to the children and families in my Kansas City community. 

Valerie Owings

I am a licensed professional counselor, national certified counselor, and registered play therapist. Those credentials let you know that I am licensed to practice counseling in the state of Missouri, have met the standard to be certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors, and have extensive training and certification to practice play therapy. I am also a member of the American Counseling Association and The Association for Play Therapy.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top