Stephanie McGlynn, MFT

Play Therapy and Social Skills Training

Regardless of children’s diagnostic labels, I start with children based on their developmental levels. Throughout the process I use a variety of techniques to establish and maintain a relationship with each child. The focus with younger children is often to teach the child how to play with a variety of toys, to work on social skills that will prepare the child for playdates with her/his peers, and to increase the capacity for participation in social situations.

With older children, the focus is even more on social interaction and relating. Paying attention to non-verbal cues, facial expressions, pauses in the dialogue, how to stay on a topic, how to start a conversation and so on are several of the skills practiced in sessions. Part of our conversation will also lead us to such issues as fitting in, bullying, dealing with anxiety, how to find and maintain friends, which are emotional stressors in the child’s/teen’s life.

Amongst other methods, I utilize the “DIR/Floortime” approach developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Serena Wieder, the concept of “Social Stories” originated by Carol Gray, as well as principles of social skill training from Dr. Tony Attwood and Dr. Jeanette McAfee. I also have extensive experience using behavioral intervention methods, based on my work in home- and school programs for children in the autistic spectrum.

My focus is a team approach: I am interested to hear your opinions and want to be in contact with other professionals who are working with your child, such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists, teachers, home program coordinators and tutors. To provide the most effective treatment, I ask parents to be involved in the therapeutic process. This can take the form of observing and/or participating in the child’s sessions, homework assignments, and separate consultations with me.

I offer a safe, accepting, and fun atmosphere for children’s explorations and expressions. My office provides a large variety of toys, games, and art materials to support each child’s individual process.

My experience of working with children and their parents spans over the last 15 years and extends into various settings. I had the privilege of leading movement classes for children of all ages and cultural backgrounds, working in schools in academia and as a counselor, tutoring children in home programs, doing play therapy with children, and consultations with parents.

Since 1997, I have also focused on working with children in the autistic spectrum. In this capacity, I have been part of ABA teams, and have led social skills groups. Besides continuing my work with children, I have extended my focus to the parents of children with special needs in an effort to support the family as a whole.

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  • Hello and welcome! My intention is to create a comprehensive and helpful resource directory for Sonoma County. If you know of anything that should be listed here, or if you find any outdated information, please contact me. Thank you!
    Stephanie McGlynn, MFT