Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a creative style of therapy focused specifically on children. Through play, trained professionals can observe and guide with a child through difficult challenges that they may not be able to process or communicate on their own. Play therapy can help children learn empathy for others, responsibility, self-esteem, alleviation from anxiety, and it can even help develop gross and fine motor skills.

Our Play Therapists

Dr. Mary Ann Lingg

I’m a psychotherapist and I have a child-focused private practice. I work primarily as a play therapist. I received my training as a psychotherapist, my PhD is in counseling, and psychology from the University of North Texas. I started my private practice in 1997. I have extensive training in play therapy. Play therapy is beneficial for children from 3 years to 10 years old. However, there are always exceptions to children older. Even teenagers can benefit from play therapy. Upon visiting my practice, you will notice it is different from others. 

The play therapy room is set up with very specific toys that allow for children to express whatever it is they need to express. The beauty of play therapy is that kids don’t have to be verbal. They communicate through play and toys are their words. Children grieve differently than adults. They have a very small window of ability to tolerate emotional pain. This allows children to go in and out of their grieving while they’re in the playroom. Play therapy is a safe place and we can talk about that death and what their family members might be thinking and feeling.

To learn more about Dr. Lingg, click here

Ivan’s success story with play therapy was the exact reason why Carrie Schmitt started Love Like Jackson. After the death of his brother, Ivan struggled with separation anxiety, obstinance, and difficulties doing most tasks and transitions. He was three years old when his brother died and his ability to process that sudden death was an incredible challenge. When working with Dr. Lingg, Ivan was given a space to use his active imagination to explore his grief and his anxiety in a way that his family could understand. After several sessions, Ivan found his voice and began to excel. While he still struggles with the grief, he is now living out his active lifestyle for his brother. He’s become confident, ambitious, and not frightened by any of life’s obstacles. Thank you, Dr. Lingg.

Jessica Kershenski Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW, RPT

Jessica Kershenski is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked with children and teens for the past 17 years. She has been in private practice for the past year. Prior to that, she worked as a therapist at Mercy Clinic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She counsels children primarily struggling with anxiety, depression, anger issues, trauma, and grief/loss. She is a registered play therapist as well as an EMDR trained therapist.