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Deaconess Foundation
Gifts to the Foundation improve local health care

Using Play to Heal

Posted: 11/26/2019
“Play therapy” isn’t a term that resonates with most people, but for Registered Play Therapist Autumn Brown it’s one of the most effective ways to work with her pediatric patients. 

“Play therapy is a developmentally appropriate way to address emotional and behavioral challenges,” explains Autumn. 

Through a grant from Deaconess Foundation, Autumn was able to attend the 2019 Annual Association for Play Therapy International Conference. Autumn, whose focus is on childhood trauma and caregiver attachment, says this conference was a great opportunity to learn more techniques to incorporate at Deaconess, to work with clinicians from around the world, and to better learn how to explain play therapy to those outside of the therapy world.

Autumn grew up in Chicago, IL. Through volunteering at local shelters in her college town, she discovered her passion for children who were experiencing traumatic events. Autumn witnessed firsthand the effects on children as they became “silent witnesses” to violence and abuse around them. This motivated Autumn to receive her Masters of Social Work Degree from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. Her hope is to continue educating the community on the benefits of play therapy, while increasing the number of pediatric patients receiving individual therapy services at Deaconess Cross Pointe Outpatient Services. 

“Play therapy works because it is a child-centered process. Play comes naturally to children. During play therapy, a trained mental health professional is present as a support, and an external regulation source for the child.” 
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