When I first considered, many years ago, the possibility of attending graduate school and pursuing a Master’s in Social Work, part of the appeal for me was how incredibly broad the degree and the field are. I didn’t have to decide where I wanted to work, if I wanted to work for a non-profit or a big company, if I wanted to be a therapist or an advocate – I knew that I loved helping people, and that I had a special heart for children with special needs. And I knew that when I checked Idealist.org, looking for jobs, every job that sounded awesome to me had “MSW Required” somewhere in the job posting.
Now I’ve been a Licensed Social Worker for almost four years, and the path I want to take with my career is narrowing. I absolutely love my job – I work at a school for children with special needs (autism, intellectual disabilities, mental health diagnoses) between the ages of 7 and 21. Recently, I’ve been taking steps toward seeing clients privately, though that’s still in the planning stage at the moment.
Play therapy is an approach that uses the curative powers inherent in play to help children to express themselves, to heal, to grow – to become the healthiest and the whole-est that they can be. (And, as I’ve been learning, it can be incredibly powerful for adults, too. I had an amazingly therapeutic experience this past week, while learning about Sand Tray Therapy with the wonderful and renowned Eliana Gil at the Starbright Institute.) The training with Dr. Gil definitely reinforced my motivation to pursue certification as a Registered Play Therapist.