Changing Behavior, Thought and Perceptions

As an overview, I start by helping my clients – children and youths - identify which wants or needs are not being met. Then I help them evaluate possible choices that might improve their situation and explore various options for a successful resolution. 

Because parents know their children and families best, I involve them early on. At that point, I become a facilitator, and together we establish a workable plan that will best solve the problems or issues at hand.

Successful resolutions may include any of the following:

   - Find solutions for school and educational issues

   - Build closer relationships with siblings and parents when conflict arises

   - Treat behavior disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHA), anxiety, anger, grief, academic and social developmental

   - Healing and help with emotional issues, including trauma, abuse, anxiety, grief, depression, transitions, and separation

   - Help with conduct and behavior disorders

   - Navigate family crisis resulting from substance abuse, divorce, and separation


   - Goal oriented play therapy

   - Cognitive-behavioral therapies utilized to change behavior, thoughts and perceptions

   - Choice/Reality Therapy to help clients identify what want and/or need is not being met. Possible choices are evaluated and followed after establishing the preferred plan of action

   - Consulting Services for parents and educators

What is Play Therapy?

It’s been said that toys work like the child’s words and play is the child’s language. Play therapy is a structured, theoretically-based approach to therapy that builds on normal communicative and learning processes of children.
By interacting with children in structured play, Dr. Holliman helps children address and resolve their own problems. Building on the natural way children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world, play therapy helps them learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn new ways of relating. Play offers a safe psychological distance from their problems and facilitates developmentally appropriate expression of thoughts and feelings.

Why Play Therapy?

Play therapy is the treatment of choice in mental health, school, agency, developmental, hospital, residential, and recreational settings. Today, a growing number mental health professionals believe that play is as important to human happiness and well- being as love and work. Besides alleviating stress and boredom, play connects people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates emotions, and boosts confidence. Play allows us to practice skills and roles needed for survival. Learning and development are also fostered through play.

Key Benefits

Play therapy is especially appropriate for children 3 to 13 years of age. These treatment plans are the primary intervention or are used adjunctively for multiple mental health conditions and concerns, such as anger management, grief, loss, family dissolution, and trauma.

Candidates for play therapy include children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters. Play therapy helps these children:
     - Become responsible for their behaviors
     - Develop creative solutions
     - Develop self acceptance and respect for others
     - Learn to experience and express their emotions
     - Cultivate empathy for the thoughts and feelings of others
     - Learn new social skills and relational skills within the family
     - Develop self-efficacy and better assuredness about the child's own abilities

What is EMDR? 

The mind can often heal itself naturally, in the same way as the body does.  Much of this natural

coping mechanism occurs during sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. 

Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 1987,

utilizing this natural process in order to successfully treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Since then, EMDR has been used to effectively treat a wide range of mental health problems.

What can EMDR be used for? 

In addition to its use for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, EMDR has been successfully

 used to treat: 

anxiety and panic attacks  




sleep problems  

complicated grief  


pain relief, phantom limb pain  

self-esteem and performance anxiety 

What evidence is there that EMDR is a successful treatment? 

EMDR is an innovative clinical treatment which has successfully helped over a million individuals. The

validity and reliability of EMDR has been established by rigorous research. There are now nineteen

controlled studies into EMDR making it the most thoroughly researched method used in the treatment

of trauma, (Details on and and is recommended by the

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for PTSD.

Adapted from

To learn more about play therapy, visit:

Association for Play Therapy

Center for Creative Play

To learn more about Choice/Reality Therapy, visit:

The Glasser Institute

To learn more about EMDR, visit