Get to know the play therapist: Sarabeth Haddad, LCSW-S, RPT-S

Sarabeth Haddad LCSW-S, RPT-S is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Supervisor (LCSW-S), Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S), Certified FirstPlay ® Therapy Practitioner, Perinatal Mental Health-Certified clinician (PMH-C), and Certified Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator. She works with children, teens, and adults struggling with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, anger, ADHD, and trauma. Today, we’re going to be asking her some questions so that you can get to know her better!

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Why did you decide to become a play therapist?

I have always enjoyed working with children.  After spending two years as a kindergarten teacher, I knew I wanted to support children with all of the things in their life that made it difficult for them to function at school and in other environments. I was so happy to get a job as a school-based therapist after graduating with my Master of Social Work.  I tried to apply the skills I learned in graduate school, but so many of them were geared toward adults. While the kids who came to my sessions had difficulty talking about their challenges, they had no problem playing.  I figured there had to be away to harness the power of play therapeutically and was happy to find training on play therapy.

What is your favorite part about being a play therapist?

My favorite part of being a play therapist is the opportunity to offer children (and parents) an environment like no other.  In here clients are safe to express any emotions without judgement.  Their thoughts, feelings, and experiences are accepted and validated. It is so fulfilling to see the change and growth that arise from these experiences in the playroom. 

What is your favorite toy in your therapy room? 

This is such a hard question since each toy in the playroom is thoughtfully selected to elicit important emotions and/or experiences!  Since I have to choose, I’ll go with the sword and shield.  I have seen so many children experience empowerment, strength, bravery, and pride as they battle foes real and imagined!

What is something you enjoy doing in your free time?

My favorite things to do in my free time are spending time with my daughter, exercising, and reading.  Each activity fills my cup in different ways!

If you could give parents one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Let your child take the lead in play.”

child therapy | play therapist | therapy for kids | pediatric counseling | houston | memorial | 77077 | 77079

I’ve read, “Children don’t ask you to talk when they have a bad day, they ask you to play.”  Immersing ourselves in our children’s play, and the directions they choose to take it, allows us a window into their inner world that they usually cannot or feel self-conscious communicating verbally.  If you embrace the range of emotions they demonstrate in their play, from anger to sadness to excitement, you will get to know your child on a deeper level.

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