There’s an openness and calm about Katherine Arkell that makes her immediately easy to talk to. I’m sure that’s an asset in her quest to help children, adolescents and families.
Katherine, a new sponsor on nwaMotherlode, is a solution-focused therapist who works with all members of the family — or everyone together at once. She specializes in play therapy and is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. She’s also a mom to two sons — one at the University of Arkansas and the other still in high school — so she’s right there with you when it comes to understanding the challenges and rewards that go along with parenting.
We sat down with Katherine to find out more about her and her Northwest Arkansas practice. Here are her answers to our questions:
What are some of the top concerns that people bring to you? I treat a wide variety of issues and concerns including depression, anxiety, ADHD, divorce reaction, abuse (emotional, physical, sexual and verbal), discipline, academic and behavior problems, and grief and loss.
I also see families wanting to improve their communication skills with their children and each other, adjusting to becoming a blended family, and dealing with a separation from a parent or other loved one (i.e. military deployment).
You specialize in “play therapy.” Will you tell us what that means and who would benefit? Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that helps children express what is troubling them in a non-threatening way. Essentially, play therapy is to children what talk therapy is to adults. In the playroom, toys, games and activities are used like words. They can use dolls, puppets, paints or other toys to say what they think and feel. Play therapy allows children the opportunity to work through, heal and move past the difficult times in their lives.
Play therapy is especially appropriate for children 3-12 years. However, teens and adults also benefit from play and recreational processes. (See a picture of Katherine’s fabulous playroom at the bottom of this post or by clicking HERE.)
When might a child need therapy? In the process of growing up, children often experience difficulty coping at some time (at home, at school, with divorce and separation, with other children, etc.) or they exhibit behaviors which concern their parents or teachers. Some children may need more help than others in some areas. Generally, if you, your child’s teacher or pediatrician is concerned about your child’s behavior or difficulty adjusting, play therapy may be the recommended approach to help your child.
Do most insurance companies cover play therapy and counseling? While as a play therapist, I am a certified mental health professional and on several major medical insurance panels, mental health coverage varies from plan to plan. It is best to check with your particular insurer to see what benefits you are entitled to.
How old are your children? I am the proud mother of two wonderful young men, Andrew, 21, a junior at the University of Arkansas and Austin, 17, a junior in high school.
How long have you lived in NWA and what do you enjoy most about living and working in NWA? I have lived here 4.5 years. I moved here sight unseen and feel very fortunate to have landed in such a beautiful part of the country. I love the four distinct seasons, the diversity of the area and the easy access to other geographic destinations. I also appreciate the warmth with which I was welcomed into the small business community.