Kelly Meinhart, LPC
Kelly Meinhart is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who specializes in working with children and young adolescents. She has worked with children presenting with anxiety, separation issues, mood difficulties, ADHD, and life adjustment issues, children coping with foster care placement and adoption issues, as well as children who have been exposed to trauma, such as domestic violence, loss, and abuse. She has worked extensively with children, teens, and young adults on the autism spectrum and those with developmental disabilities, particularly those who need assistance in learning and practicing coping and social skills. Kelly believes that family involvement is integral to the treatment of young people, and assists parents with finding ways to improve their relationships with their children as well as addressing parenting issues as they arise. Additionally, she has a knowledge of the education system and can work with schools and teachers as needed, as well as parents attempting to navigate the special education system. She has also conducted group therapy sessions for children focused on social skills training.
Kelly received her Masters of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University in 2006 and a Masters of Arts in Teaching for Elementary and Special Education from The College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 2007. She is a member of the Association for Play Therapy. She believes that children communicate and learn through their play, and believes that developmentally appropriate, play based interventions can assist children in overcoming the obstacles in their lives. Because of this, she has pursued over 150 hours of play therapy training and education through approved providers of the Association for Play Therapy. She has had specialty training in areas such as play therapy for trauma, non-directive play therapy, play therapy for teens, resiliency, and play-based interventions for children with ADHD and autism spectrum disorders.
Kelly has had extensive training, supervision, and experience in providing Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT), which is a relationship-based treatment modality for children ages 2-10 which creates a non-judgmental, emotionally supportive therapeutic atmosphere, with clear boundaries that provide the child with psychological safety to permit the learning of emotional and behavioral self-regulation. Research has validated this as powerful method for decreasing a wide range of childhood problems, for overcoming traumatic experiences, for developing expressive freedom, resiliency and creativity, and for building self-esteem and more mature, pro-social behaviors. This modality has also useful as preventative measure in times of transition, change, or family stress.
Kelly is also able to provide Filial Family Therapy for families with children ages 2-10. FFT strives to enhance child-parent relationships by empowering the parent with new and innovative ways to interact with their child. Parents are given the skills necessary to practice effective listening and respond to a child’s emotions as well as tools to help encourage the enhancement of the child’s self-esteem. Therapists teach the parents how to utilize special play sessions in the home to increase parent-child communication, bonding, and increase the child’s ability to understand limits.
Additionally, Kelly meets the criteria to provide supervision to those who are seeking to become PA Licensed Professional Counselors, and is able to provide such supervision in both individual and group formats. She is able to assist those who work with children as well as those who work with adults and substance abusers.
Kelly provides services to Cognitive Dynamic Therapy Associates clients in both the Oakland and Wexford offices. She has been providing mental health services to children, teens, and adults for over 6 years in a variety of settings, including wraparound, head start, and community mental health centers. She particularly enjoys working with children and their parents in an effort to help them create life-long healthy relationships.