Jumping Mouse Children’s Center trains students and therapists in nondirective play therapy, with a focus on the use of Jungian sand tray as a central tool. Play therapists at Jumping Mouse learn to integrate the modalities of drama, art, and movement with the practice of psychotherapy. Jumping Mouse offers internships to individuals enrolled in master-level counseling programs, as well as training in child therapy to post-graduate individuals.
Our master-level training program was established in 1999, soon after Jumping Mouse opened its doors. Since then we have trained 40 people from programs at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Antioch University, Saybrook University’s Leadership Institute of Seattle (LIOS), Seattle University and others. Through a combination of experiential learning and applied clinical work, our program addresses the following curriculum objectives and training assumptions:
- Engagement in creative expression is an important aspect of the healing process.
- Fundamental knowledge of mental health counseling is basic to all training in expressive therapies.
- Participation in a learning community emphasizes the understanding of group dynamics and systems.
- Extensive field work of clinically supervised practicum to meet LMHC requirements provides students with a strong foundation of applied clinical practice.
Play therapy differs from “child’s play” in that the therapy session focuses on the child’s inner experience—feelings, perceptions, and imagination—rather than reflections of the outer world. Therapists may use a variety of depth-therapy methods including sand work, dreams, drawing and painting to help their young clients develop and express meaningful images from within. Children who have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression and other psychological issues can benefit from expressing themselves creatively.
Our training program is designed to meet university master-level requirements within a year’s contract time (minimum 16 hours per week). Since we have three certified supervisors on staff, post-graduate trainees may apply these program hours toward licensure.