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coping skills

Mike Koch, MS, LPC

52_TCCT_Aug2015Mike has worked for the Missouri Division of Youth Services for 26 years. During that time he was in residential program management for 12 years. He was a Regional Family Specialist for 10 years, providing individual and family counseling for the students who are placed there.  For the past three years, Mike has been in the position of Regional Clinical Coordinator. His experience in residential treatment has allowed him to work extensively with survivors of trauma (sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and domestic violence), adolescents and children with sexual behavior problems, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.  Since joining the group practice at The Center for Counseling and Training, Mike has received training in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).  Mike received his Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University in 2010. He served his internship at the Child Abuse Protection Association (CAPA) in Independence, Missouri, where he gained experience in non-directive play therapy. Mike joined The Center for Counseling & Training in June 2013. He prefers to work with middle school and high school students, adults of all ages, people with mild intellectual disabilities, couples, families and groups.  His approach is person-centered, strengths-based and solution-focused.  It emphasizes building resilience, coping skills, protective factors and strengths so that people may not just face and manage the problems of life but flourish in their everyday existence.  His approach to counseling is eclectic.  He seeks to apply theoretical approaches in an individualized manner that specifically meet the needs of each individual client.  He has experience in the utilization of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).  Key components of his counseling work includes mindfulness and meditative techniques. Mike is a co-facilitator for The Center for Counseling & Training’s Batterers Intervention Program.

What is Play Therapy?

Play is an essential part of development in childhood.

As children grow, they use play to practice new skills, communicate with others, and relieve stress.

Play therapy uses what we know about how children use play to help clients process trauma, express their feelings, and practice coping skills. Play therapy lets children be active and engaged in the therapy process in a safe and accepting environment. When children are not able to express how they feel through words, they can use puppets, art, toys, and sand tray.

Play therapy also helps children begin to develop the words to tell us how they are feeling. Research suggests that play therapy is effective in helping a variety of issues (see Association for Play Therapy for more information).

Registered Play Therapists are mental health professionals who have completed additional training and supervision in play therapy and how to use play to help clients meet their therapy goals.

Vicki Knipmeyer and Amy Dobson at The Center for Counseling and Training both have specialized training in play therapy.