During this play-based healing program, your child will have the opportunity to talk about any feelings or big emotions that are coming up for them. They will learn to play their way through their “problems”, challenges, or big emotions so they can feel seen and supported. This will help your child to feel their best, access their words, and find their way forward
with greater confidence, self-esteem & self-expression.
What is Play-Based Healing?
Play-based healing offers your child a safe space and ongoing connection with a "fun adult" to help your child learn healthy ways to connect with, process and express their big feelings. During these sessions, your child will learn to connect to what they feel, what they need and find their words to ask for it. Often children find it easier to express what they are feeling through play, which then gives them the ability to communicate how they are feeling and what they need.
Play gives children the opportunity to feel safe enough to feel their big feelings, name them, and move through them with love, acceptance and connection. This connection and bonding through play also helps children recover from relationship difficulties & build healthy attachment styles to strengthen their relationship to self and others. Play-based healing supports your child to feel greater confidence being themselves and sharing their desires, needs, and preferences — so they can more easily honour themselves.
The idea of "joining” into your child's world (interests, passions, favourite activities, & unique skillsets) bridges the gap between what your child is "good at" and where they can grow (areas of growth). Through the play sessions, we will help your child grow while feeling confident in what makes them who they are.
This approach allows your child to feel safe enough to communicate and connect with others and build healthier relationships. Sometimes making friends can be difficult for children who are sensitive, are seen as an "empath" or have "special needs" because they may not always feel safe & are sometimes more in tune with the energies (and people's emotions) around them. Children who are highly sensitive or intuitive may not always feel safe in their body (brain and nervous system), with their family, friends or in the world around them because they are so tuned in or may be taking on or "feeling" too much that is not theirs to take on.
This program can support your sensitive child to feel more deeply grounded, attuned to themselves, their own needs and emotions so they can feel a greater sense of safety within & create aligned boundaries that will allow your child to thrive!
The program supports children to better understand what is happening in their body and learn tools that are developmentally and energetically appropriate for who they are holistically. These tools will support your child to be able to better regulate their emotions and nervous system so they can feel safer in their own body and in their relationships with others.
Play-based healing can bridge the gap between parents and their child to help your child feel understood, empowered and safe in their surroundings. Play is a beautiful way for your child to feel safe enough in their environment, activate their parasympathetic nervous system to heal, taking them from a state of
"fight or flight" to "stay and play".
Think of a time when you were so engaged with what you were doing and so happy and connected
that you forgot about time, your worries and everything else?
This feeling is what allows our bodies to heal & feel safe because our focus is no longer on what your child struggles with and instead is focused on what your child loves, excels at and enjoys! These connecting experiences through play will help to ground your child into the present moment while feeling safer in their bodies, creating new happy moments & consistent connection with another while being fully themselves.
With this philosophy, by doing what they love, we help your child align with what is needed for them to thrive!
In these sessions, your child may spend time dancing, singing, playing with toys or games, doing yoga, meditating, sharing their emotions, speaking through toys/stuffies/puppets, drawing/colouring/creating, baking, reading, journaling or simply sharing what they love to do. The focus is on letting the child lead and doing what makes them so happy that whatever is in need of healing happens, while allowing the child to learn and grow in a way that feels FUN and full of CHOICE! This approach empowers your child to get to know themselves, BE their true selves while advocating for their own wants and needs.
As shared in an article on play by Billy Brodovsky and Katie Kiernan:
"We co-create safety with the child through the relationship that we develop with them...helping children to have a choice, and to feel like they have a voice."
This approach supports your whole child as a person to be loved, rather than a patient to be "fixed". Their whole self is supported through the play based-healing program in addition to your whole family.
The play-based healing program supports your family to consciously shift patterns, family dynamics and ways of communicating to help you all greet "big feelings" with support throughout for both your child
(and support for you as a parent too). As a parent, you will receive ongoing email support so you can ask questions, receive support around what is going on for your child in challenging moments
and learn new aligned ways & tools that are specifically tailored to better support your child's needs).
"Amanda helped me to believe that all emotions are welcome. As a parent, I did know that emotions are communicating to us but I couldn't trust that they were all safe. The space that Amanda created and all the validation and support she provided consistently showed me that. I would (and have) recommended Amanda to others! Emotions are so important and I would hope more children and families are able to have support with understanding and embracing and communicating their feelings."
"I've been able to learn SO MUCH about my daughter from the session take aways that Amanda sends after each one. Amanda has SO MANY amazing tools and ideas on how to address a certain situation or recurring patterns through play, that my child has really enjoyed. It's SO important to understand how your child plays because that's where their feelings are. And once you start to understand their feelings, is where the magic happens."
- Julie C.
Most importantly, this program supports your child in the way they learn best...
PLAY is the way children learn!
Play allows us all to feel safe enough to connect, talk about "big feelings" and find loving ways to express, redirect, and "make friends" with whatever emotions, worries, fears, or illnesses we have.
*When we aren't quite sure what to do...and take the time to pause, play
and find our fun - there is always a way through!*
Who will benefit from Play-Based Healing?
Common reasons people seek play-based healing support for their child include:
BiG Feelings, transitions, and
- Learning difficulties or big feelings
Has low self-esteem or has experienced trauma
Hard time expressing their emotions
Throwing tantrums or having meltdowns
Behaviour may seem "attention-seeking, rude, or disruptive"
Refusing to go to school and does not want to be there
Experiences emotions as "REALLY BIG!" and experiences mood swings
Navigating loss or big life transitions (such as divorce or separation of family members, moving or a death of a loved one).
Social Withdrawal or Bullying
Has experienced bullying, trauma or feeling unsafe in social situations
Feeling withdrawn, shy, lonely or isolated
Has a hard time listening when others are speaking, making eye contact or communicating using words
Difficulty being in noisy, bright or "overstimulating" environments
Your child may find it difficult connecting with others, joining in activities with other people and making/keeping friendships
Checked Out or Unfocused
Difficulty "staying grounded", being present and engaging with others
Your child appears to just "check out" completely, often feels "overstimulated", dys-regulated or completely spaces out (experiences difficulty listening or paying attention in the moment)
Gets super excited and can't "calm down"
Special needs (Exceptionalities)
Autism, Depression, Anxiety, ADD/ADHD, brain injury or is very hyperactive
Difficulty self-regulating and can sometimes be poorly labeled or seen as the “behaviour kid”
Children with exceptionalities or are labeled as having
Diagnosed with a brain injury or some type of invisible disability or chronic illness that nobody can see or is hard to understand (and as a parent, you aren't quite sure how to support their well-being)
Seen as "sick" and your child often shares that they have tummy aches, headaches or aren't feeling well
Frequently going from appointment to appointment or various "specialists" to seek answers and support
If this is you, book a consult so we can talk more about what is going on for your child and see what may be going on under the surface to help them through this time in their life. We will determine if play-based healing is a more supportive approach or complimentary addition so the focus is not always on the "sickness" or "issue" to be healed and fixed, but instead gives your child a voice and safe space to express what they are feeling.
Sensory + Safety Challenges
Sensitive and empathic (HSP, highly sensitive child).
Highly spiritual, connects often to Higher realms and finds it hard to “get grounded”. Your child may find it "safer" outside of their body rather than in their body, in their family or "down here" feeling grounded. They might need some help loving being human, being in their body and receive support enjoying life on Earth & being in a family with lots of connection time that may currently feel overwhelming or too much for them.
“Rainbow child”, “crystal child” or highly intuitive.
Sensitive and empathic children can sometimes take on the energy or emotions of others if they have not yet developed the awareness or boundaries around what is "theirs" and what is "not theirs". This can also sometimes result in feeling overly emotional, getting sick or diagnosed with other health challenges (may experience chronic inflammatory symptoms) due to their sensitivity.
Did you recognize your child in any of the above?
Book a consult so we can support your child.
This program includes...
50-Minute Play-Based Healing sessions for your child (Virtual or in-person). Your program length and number of sessions will be based on your child's developmental needs and areas of growth.
Ongoing e-mail support for parents to ask questions, share what has been shifting throughout the program, and get clarification or receive support with situational parenting questions that arise in relation to the program.
Weekly post-session "themes, tools, and take-aways" sent to your e-mail to further learning and integration, and share what tools, games, or ways of connecting will be most supportive to your child and your family as a whole. Parents love this part of the program because they receive just as much as their child does through the e-mail support.
Your child will also receive a BONUS 'Make Friends with Your Feelings' journal and book bag
to support their ongoing learning, growth, PLAY and development!
What is the investment for the program?
Play-Based Healing Sessions are $135 CAD +HST per session.
After our consult, we will determine the best plan for your child and family's needs. Programs are typically between 5 and 12 sessions.
You can pay in full, per session or in monthly instalments.
Sharing is Caring!
What some families have shared after working with Amanda:
Me and Emaline have been butting heads since her birth. It's been a journey of many hard days, nights and moments of wondering why we can't just get along.
Over the years I have found many ways to heal our relationship and tools that I've used. Some on the physical level, some the emotional, some the spiritual. And we've come a LONG WAY! BUT there has still been this pinch of resistance from both of us that keeps us in the same place. We are very much alike - she is my biggest mirror! So yes, this has some to do with it but I've always felt like I've been searching for the next thing I could bring to our relationship to help her through her feelings and mine. And then I met Amanda.
Amanda has many wonderful gifts and one of them is working with children through Play. What is play-based healing? Well, that would be a blog post! There's so much to share! But the Coles notes is to give your child a safe space to express their feelings through play. One of Emaline's go to expressions is that she goes into fight or flight when she is feeling certain things. She will either become aggressive or she will run away - literally, to both (I've been kicked and jumped on and I've ran around Costco or out of the park after her). Amanda works one on one, in virtual sessions, with Emaline, through play and this allows her to understand her more and is able to give her tools that will bring her back into a safe space more quickly when she is triggered by something.
We are only 4 weeks in and I am amazed at the difference these sessions have made in her ability to express how she is feeling. She's communicating more instead of going into her fight or flee reactions. I've been able to learn SO MUCH about her from the session take aways that Amanda sends after each one. And she has SO MANY amazing tools and ideas on how to address a certain situation or recurring patterns through play, that Emaline has really enjoyed.
I will be honest. Having to look to someone else for support with Emaline and her feelings and growth REALLY hit my EGO. A LOT. haha. But even though I've learned so much about all the things, sometimes your child just doesn't want to hear about it from you. I HAD TO GET REALLY OK ABOUT THAT. And I'm glad I did because our entire family is winning from this! It's SO important to understand how your child plays! Cause that's where their feelings are. And once you start to understand their feelings, is where the magic happens.
~ Julie, Emaline’s Mom
Prior to play-based healing, I had been hearing negative things from my child’s teacher and school. He doesn’t like school or learning there, but LOVED all the things him and Amanda did together (which is also learning, he just didn’t realize it). It was also nice to have reassurance that we have a good kid, we are all doing the best we can and dealing with experiences with the tools that we have.
It was nice to have someone say: “Hey, you’re doing a great job”.
Amanda is so approachable, warm, and caring. She supports both the child and the parent. Amanda really shows great patience and can see the best in every person. Her care and compassion shines through.
Oli loved spending time with Amanda. His favourite parts about child-led play-based healing were:
chocolate chocolate cookies, kinetic sand and having fun playing together!
~ Caitlin, Olivier’s Mom
Since my 5-year old son has taken the Play-Based Healing Program with Amanda, I have noticed much more space for emotions in our family. We are talking more about the emotions that we witness in each other. Amazingly, when we name the emotion, I can see an instant shift. The emotion is still present but less overwhelming. I see we are all taking more ownership for how we feel when the emotion is identified and that allows us to then honour the emotion and then take care what we need. The most amazing shift was being coached and validated through our journey embracing anger. I really have begun to trust that all emotions are safe and valued!
Amanda helped me to believe that all emotions are welcome. As a parent, I did know that emotions are communicating to us but I couldn't trust that they were all safe. The space that Amanda created and all the validation and support she provided consistently showed me that. I would (and have) recommended Amanda to others! Emotions are so important and I would hope more children and families are able to have support with understanding and embracing and communicating their feelings.
Amanda is a FANTASTIC communicator. Her positive energy is contagious. Amanda's shining quality is her ability to listen with her heart and show genuine compassion and interest. My son Clark would say EVERYTHING is the best part of Amanda. I think he just loved her presence, attention and enthusiasm for play. I know he also really loved her play space. I really appreciated the follow up emails sent the same day as the appointment, I loved that I could email Amanda in between appointments and I loved the little journal she gave Clark. Amanda has a really wonderful program here!
Thank you Amanda for being you and shining your light onto my family!!
~ Naledi, Clark's Mom
My daughter was in the 12-week play-based healing program. We signed up for the program because our daughter has been through a lot of change in the past 2 years which has been very hard on her. We sought Amanda's help to provide her with tools and help give her greater awareness of her own feelings and how to understand & process them.
Since taking the program, our daughter is SO MUCH more self-aware; she now has a greater vocabulary around her feelings and tools to help her process them. And as a parent, I have more awareness around when difficult emotions are getting stirred up in her and feel greater confidence in helping her move through them so they don't impact others in the family. This has had a dramatic change in our family dynamic.
Dysfunctional patterns are being interrupted.
Through sessions, Amanda helped our daughter become more aware of the special relationships she already has (rather than always in the mindset of lacking friendships). She has become more open and connected to me (her mom) than ever before. We feel more like a team now instead of butting heads. Amanda has created a safe space for our daughter to let her guard down and ask questions to allow her to reflect and question some of the scarcity stories she may have stuck in her head.
I would definitely recommend Amanda to others. I just love how she connected with our daughter through play; this is so different from most adults that I think it really allowed her to feel safe and open her mind to new ideas and possibilities. Amanda's ability to listen (I mean REALLY listen to what is unsaid) and her curiosity to genuinely want to get to know the true you under all the "layers" set her apart. This allowed our daughter to feel comfortable and safe to open her mind to new ideas and possibilities. She enjoyed the play, being creative and silly!
~ Leith McKay