Janette Berne LPC

Children’s Therapy

Janette Berne is a Registered Play Therapist

Children’s Counseling

I have spent decades working with children as young as five and their families, here in Atlanta. I have also spent years in specialized training and supervision to obtain the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credentials. I am an active member of the Georgia Association for Play Therapy and the Association for Play Therapy in the United States. Over the past decade Play Therapy has gained national recognition, due to its efficacy in treating a myriad of mental health and relationship issues for many age groups. However, Play Therapy is especially effective for children aged 10 and under.

Play Therapy

Play Therapy is a counseling technique that enables children to communicate their thoughts, feelings and experiences using toys designed specifically for this purpose. You have probably had the experience of asking a child why they did something, only to have them reply “I don’t know.” Translation: “I can’t tell you why, but I can show you why.” Play Therapy toys become the words for the child. An experienced clinician can help translate what the child is telling us through play or art and turn that product into concrete treatment goals. Play is our first language and Play Therapy is a powerful tool for addressing cognitive, behavioral, and emotional challenges. When children come to see me, we use play to help them process their experiences and develop more effective strategies for managing their world.

The many forms of Play Therapy

The two forms I practice are Child Centered and Prescriptive. Please read about them below. Fortunately, there is enough space in my office to have a separate area dedicated to both.

Child Centered Play Therapy

In Child Centered Play Therapy, the child chooses from an array of toys that are presented in a carefully planned way. The child then chooses what area to focus on and certain themes emerge for the therapist to observe and later address with the child. For instance, it is common for children to feel intense anger if their parents divorce. Child Centered Play Therapy offers them the opportunity to work with the aggressive toys, kept in a distinct area from the nurturing toys, the dollhouses, the sand tray, and so on. As they work through their feelings using the materials provided, the therapist is an active participant, helping the child feel safe, heard, and supported. Using the above example of the child whose parents are in the process of divorcing, other themes will become apparent, including containment and grief. During this phase the child might use the dollhouses to depict two homes with a figure of a child going between the homes and engaging in fun or everyday activities like sharing meals or driving carpool. By the end stage of treatment, the child will usually have a calm demeanor, a transition from the typically agitated state an angry child will exhibit.

Prescriptive Play Therapy

 Prescriptive Play Therapy involves the use of therapeutic board games, card games, and other cooperative games. Books and therapeutic art activities are also used. The therapist makes suggestions and guides the child towards certain activities. By adding Prescriptive Play Therapy to Child Centered Play Therapy, the counseling experience can become customized for your child. Most children need help with emotional modulation. Prescriptive Play Therapy allows me to teach a client breathing techniques using bubbles, drawings and engaging imaginary games. The activities I would suggest for an anxious child would differ from a child learning to modulate anger, or for a child dealing with parent’s divorce or recovering from trauma.



Contact Janette

Ask a question or request an appointment

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
4243 Dunwoody Club Dr
Ste 215
Dunwoody, GA 30350