Paula Kettula, LCSW - Psychotherapy,  Educational Services and Consultation

  • Stress management: Guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, relaxation trainingand yoga helps you to be present and alleviates distressing emotional states. Experience relief from stress and overwhelm by restoring your body and nervous system to its natural state of feeling relaxed, at ease and neutral.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy:Tools and techniques for treatment of depression and anxiety. Learn to effectively manage distorted thinking and unhealthy patterns of behavior that block attempts to become well.
  •  Life and coping skills: Learn valuable skills, tools and techniques to manage symptoms and to better cope with what life brings and perhaps even find a way to enjoy it!

Play Therapy 

Play is fun, creative, and enjoyable for all of us but it is vital for the healthy physical, social, academic and psychological development of children. Children use toys and play activities as a way to explore the world and to express their emotions and needs. Play therapy is informed by developmental neurobiology that discovered it promotes optimal brain development of children.
For children, play is serious and purposeful activity through which they work to resolve inner conflicts, anxieties and fears that underlie problem behaviors. Play as a form of therapy differs greatly from regular play in that it is a structured and strategic method of therapy that is theoretically sound and conducted by a trained professional. In play therapy, I strive to create a trusting and safe relationship with the child and provide an accepting, respectful and free healing space.

Play therapy can help your child! Here are some examples how your child may benefit from play therapy:

  • Supports healthy brain development
  • Improves social skills
  • Fosters learning and academic skills
  • Helps with language development
  • Stimulates natural curiosity and exploration
  • Teaches self-soothing skills
  • Teaches adaptive behaviors
  • Improves confidence and self-esteem
  • Reduces stress
  • Problem solving and life skills
  • Develops and improves thinking skills


Play is absolutely vital for the healthy development of the child!
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a powerful scientifically researched method of psychotherapy for the treatment of many distressing circumstances such as PTSD, trauma, anxiety, panic attacks, depression and complicated grief. It has helped millions of people get relief from psychological suffering. 

Many emotional disturbances, or negative patterns of behavior that are in the way of fully experiencing life and social relationships, originate from some sort of trauma or multiple traumatic events. When we do not adequately process these traumas, they remain in our nervous system, brain, body, and the emotional self in an unprocessed form. It is as if part of us is "frozen in time". The old feelings of hurt, anger, fear, rejection, mistrust, or disturbing intrusive thoughts or images might surface to the consciousness for no apparent reason. Triggers in the present time open the gates to the wounds of the past,  and we may find ourselves drifting uncontrollably in the sea of emotions or unpleasant body sensations.  

The good news is that we know the reason why these experiences continue happen even years after the trauma is over. They have remained locked in the nervous system in an unprocessed form. As long as trauma is unprocessed, it has an impact on us. EMDR helps a person overcome trauma by activating the natural processing system of the nervous system. It sort of helps the mind "digest" all the bad things that happened, put them in a new perspective and constructs an inner order that feels more balanced and neutral. In Dr Shapiro's work, it helps to leave the past in the past!

I use EMDR a lot in my work and continue to be amazed by the positive results. It truly taps into the inner resources, strengths and healing powers of the individual allowing transformations to occur from living in the shadows of the past to living a fulfilling life. 

EMDR can be used with both adults and children. Please ask me more about EMDR to determine if this might be the right treatment method for you. 

To find out more about EMDR, please look into the following resources:

EMDR In the News
EMDR with children


Benefits of Sand play
  • Improved self-awareness and acceptance
  • Fears and anxieties decrease as one is able to expand the relationship to the outside world and experience more freedom
  • Allows one to work through trauma, loss, grief and other issues
  • Emotions and behavior are clarified with increase awareness of healthy and unhealthy choices
  • Inner tensions and conflicts are expressed and resolved 
  • Conscious and unconscious connect allowing greater understanding of one’s own identity and selfhood
  • Healing and creative energies are activated 
  •  Allows one to find meaning and purpose in life 

Sandplay is a form of depth therapy based on C.G. Jung’s analytical psychology. It was developed by Dora Kallf during World War II, and emerged from the psyches of children rather than from books and research.

In typical therapy, clients express themselves in words and body language which allows them to communicate thoughts and emotions in a safe environment and thus getting in contact with realities of their psychic life as it exists at that moment. The limitation of “talk-therapy” is that the inner experience shrinks as it passes through the analytical left-brain and is formulated into words. Verbal language makes it easier for us to communicate and understand each other, but it also tends to label experiences rather than to describe them, which leads to only partial expression of the issue leaving much in the shadows of the unconscious.   

Sandplay offers a different and deeper form of communication. A type of communication where a person can connect with the totality of their being, the True Self. It is based on the premise that the body, mind and soul have a natural capacity and tendency to heal when given the chance and an optimal environment to do so. In sandplay, this environment is provided by the presence of the therapist, the office space, the miniature toys and the sandtray. In this setting, both children and adults can use their innate drive towards wholeness and healing.  

Sandplay is the language of our own inner being that stimulates fantasy, imagination and growth. The images (miniature toys) in sandplay provide a medium for that which cannot be spoken. Engaging in sandplay requires no skill or understanding of symbolism from the client’s part. During a sandplay session the therapist encourages you to look at the miniature toys and select ones that you somehow feel connected to or interested in or perhaps feel a strong aversion. You are then instructed to create a “scene” or a picture in the sand using the image you selected. In this part, you allow the body and the unconscious to do the work as you just follow a purposeful inner guidance as to where each image should be placed. You can also shift and mold the sand as you please. Water can be added to the sand if needed. You will then let the therapist know when you are done and both of you take a moment to look at the scene noticing how it feels to do that.

Engaging in sandplay is like embarking on a journey into the depths of your own being- it takes time, commitment and patience. Like in any journey, there will be danger and challenges as well as times to rest and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. 

Find out more about sandplay at:

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