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The Magic of Playing

Play Therapy and Why it Works   Dr. Janet Courtney There are many natural developmental skills that we learn in the process of growing up.  As babies we begin to see, hear, talk, laugh and run naturally. We scream and cry when we are hungry, and sleep when sleepy. Once we learn to control our motor skills as infants, one of the first things we do is begin to play. As a parent myself, I remember hanging a mobile toy over my daughter’s crib and watching her become fascinated by the bright colors and moving objects. After that, everything and anything that came within the vicinity of her crib or playpen became a toy that she was excited to get involved with. The more she wanted to play the more toys I provided. That was a long time ago and I do not think I fully understood the value of play in the life of a child or even in the life of an adult. If my children were playing, I believed they were happy which meant I also felt I was doing the right thing as a mother. What I did not realize at the time was that the way children played or did not play was a revealing insight into what they were feeling. I  had the pleasure to meet Dr. Janet Courtney who has studied play and play therapy as a tool to help children suffering from all sorts of emotional issues, as well as their families. In her own words Janet Courtney says “Play is fun, but it is anything but trivial. It is a basic...

The healing power of the stage and the performing arts.

An interview with Bob Carter Founder of Actor’s Workshop & Repertory Co Palm Beach County, Florida     It has long been recognized that active involvement in the arts offers a wide range of benefits both to the participant as well as to the recipient. As an artist with a disability, I know from personal experience that self-creativity on any level naturally leads to an improvement in emotional health, self-esteem. Artistic expression enhances the development of positive social skills and other important communication abilities. After a crippling bout of polio, I found creative expression through the visual arts, contributed to my physical and psychological healing. However, I never tried acting even though it mesmerized me. needs without Like many others, I have always been dazzled by the theater and the stage. I have watched actors create magic with their words, transfix audiences and evoke standing ovations. Secretly, I have envisioned myself on that stage in the spotlight. I have asked my-self, how do they do it? Are actors born with the passion to perform or is it learned through years of study? Recently, I have had the opportunity to meet with Palm Beach County’s, Bob Carter, and founder of the Actor’s Repertory Workshop. Bob Spoke openly and candidly about his life in the theater and the 30-year history of the Actor’s Workshop and Repertory Co. His love for the stage began in is early years, continuing through high school and developed into a compelling story of love for the performing arts. In a true spirit of giving back to the community, Bob continues to put his heart and soul into...

Can Play Therapy help you Understand your Child on a Higher Level?

  Understanding Play Therapy! Learn how you can communicate effectively with your child using this wonderful method. The guests: Dr. Courtney and Dr. Nolan. Both are mental health professionals with doctoral degrees in social work and psychology, respectively. For 25 years Dr. Courtney has held a Private Practice, Developmental Play and Attachment Therapies; in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Dr. Nolan holds the position of Executive Director of the Institute for Child and Family Health in Miami, Florida for the past 40 years. Both Doctors are known as Play Therapists. The method used is a therapeutic treatment approach that is more commonly utilized with children and adolescents. The underlying theory of Play Therapy is that practitioners assist children to heal emotionally through their own developmental language of communication~ the language of play.   Dr Courtney and Dr. Nolan believe that play is healing for individuals of all ages and an important part of life throughout one’s entire lifespan. However, for children, who very often can’t communicate or verbalize their concerns or fears, it can be life changing for both the child and the parents. The entire family’s ability to relate to one another and grow together can be impacted by one member of that union, the child, who is in trouble and acting out in some way. The two doctors explain, and present wonderful examples of how the method works. Listen to stories about real people. Doctors Courtney and Nolan offer training to professionals on a variety of Play Therapy interventions ~ their own particular play lies within their passion for adapting earth sciences to their work with children. Collectively,...