Hi. Welcome to Children’s Play Therapy! I am Nicole Marchant, LPC (licensed professional counselor). I have helped Portland children and parents navigate difficult times since 2009. After a thorough assessment of your family, which includes a detailed intake session, one or two parent/child interaction assessments, and a post-assessment session, I determine the type of support that will best serve you and your child. Depending upon your needs, I may recommend Synergetic Play Therapy, Theraplay, and/or holistic parenting consultation.

What is Synergistic Play Therapy?

In Synergistic Play Therapy, the child leads the show. They tell the light and dark aspects of their life story through metaphoric play, in order to process out trauma and “unfinished business,” and to integrate the “good” to restore emotional balance. This research-based form of play therapy is particularly effective for children who have experienced challenging events such as adoption, trauma, or divorce.

What is Theraplay?

In Theraplay, the therapist leads the show. She engages in a series of playful therapeutic activities with the child to enhance relational attunement, attachment, and emotional regulation. Theraplay has been found, through research, to be very beneficial for adoptees and children with ADHD because it helps the child practice calm, connection, receptivity, and impulse control.

What is holistic parenting consultation?

Holistic parenting consultation is an eight week series of fifty minute in person or online meetings. Family life is hectic, especially with a challenging child. The Children’s Play Therapy consultation series is designed for you to have a convenient forum to address your concerns about your child, and get real solutions to meet your family’s goals. In certain cases it is a great alternative to play therapy, and works to address the many factors that could be contributing to your child’s behavioral or emotional struggles.

The first session is a parents-only intake session, which will be held either in person or via teleconference. In this session, we will discuss your concerns, your goals, your child’s history, and the current factors that may be contributing to the problems seen. After our intake session, I will conduct either one or two parent/child interaction assessments to gain a better understanding of the interplay between your specific concerns and relational dynamic. In these assessments, you and your child, (and then your partner and your child, if applicable), will engage in various activities together, either in my office or at home in front of the computer, as I watch on the screen and take notes. Following the parent/child interaction assessments, the adults will reconvene for a post-assessment session to discuss my findings, and we will begin exploring recommendations for meeting your goals. The final four or five sessions of the series will be individually tailored to help you meet your family goals. Here, we will explore the proverbial tools in your parenting tool box…what you have, what you need, how to get these tools and start using them, and what to do if for some reason you can’t get ahold of what you need. We focus on the specifics of you and your family here, and my recommendations are always balanced with space to process and digest the greater complexity of parenthood.

When a child presents with behavioral issues that are not better explained by trauma or relational dynamics, it is important to discuss sleep and nutrition. When trauma and relational dynamics are ruled out, we get down to basics in this series and explore how your child’s body and brain might be responding to foods and sleep patterns.


The rate for a fifty minute session is $110. While Children’s Play Therapy is not “in network” with any insurance companies, you may be entitled to partial reimbursement for services if you have “out of network mental health benefits” for your child. If you are interested in using your insurance, please contact your insurance company to find out if they will cover a percentage of the cost of therapy conducted by an “out of network therapist.” Unfortunately, if your child has Oregon Health Plan, they do not have out of network mental health benefits.

Play Therapy and Holistic Parenting Consultation for ADHD, Adoption, Divorce, and Trauma

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