"Play is a child's natural medium for self-expression"
- Virginia Axline
Serving Starkville, Mississippi and surrounding areas!
Play Therapy I Expressive Art Therapy I Parent Consultation
Helping Families through the Power of Play Therapy
Sandplay. Art. Equine assisted play. Role playing. Games. This is the language of children.
Children are designed to play. Long before they are able to talk, children learn to interact with their world and the people in it by curious exploration – by playing. Play is the natural language of children. In play therapy, children are given the opportunity to play out feelings and experiences they are not developmentally equipped to talk about.
Play therapy is a research-based discipline that has been used for decades. Play therapy sessions take place in a play room that is equipped with a special selection of toys. Most play therapy sessions are one-on-one, though small sibling groups or families may sometimes be seen together. At Upside Down Therapy, play therapy sessions are sometimes child-led, meaning the child has the freedom to choose how to use the time in the playroom, but sometimes guided by the therapist.
Play therapy capitalizes on the power of play to help children learn to develop self-control and problem-solving skills, accept responsibility, and manage the unmanageable in their worlds.
For more information about play therapy, visit the Association for Play Therapy’s article titled “Play Therapy Makes a Difference” (http://www.a4pt.org/ps.index.cfm?ID=1653).
Our Core Values
We believe that the therapeutic process is a relationship that takes, time, energy, and investment from both sides. We believe that play is the natural language of children, and they should always be allowed to express themselves through therapeutic play.
We believe in our clients’ capacity to overcome obstacles in their lives.
We believe everyone is valuable to God and His Kingdom. We commit to making all of our interactions, with clients or otherwise, with this in mind.
High Trust and Safe Environment
We believe high levels of trust are essential to the therapeutic process and hold it as our responsibility to maintain this trust by acting in trustworthy ways. We value an environment of safety and security so clients feel free to explore and express themselves completely.
We intentionally focus on the child/adolescent in the family and serve as their advocate and ally. We commit to providing a session and environment that communicate to the child/adolescent that they are our number one focus and priority.
We believe the best therapeutic results are achieved when the family system as a whole is involved in the therapeutic process. We commit to involving parents in the process and equipping them with resources that enable them to employ knowledge gained during the therapeutic process into their home environments.
What Should I Expect?
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule an appointment or to obtain additional information about any of the counseling services we offer, please call or email. If you would like a specific therapist to contact you, please indicate so below.
When you arrive for your scheduled appointment, you will be asked to complete some initial paperwork. This paperwork explains our office policies and allows us to gather important information from you.
At your scheduled appointment time, your therapist will greet you and lead you into one of our therapy rooms. Your therapist will briefly explain portions of the paperwork packet and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you have, either about the paperwork or therapy in general. Much of the remaining session will be dedicated to hearing from you and learning about what led you to Upside Down Therapy.
It is our practice to meet only with the parents/caregivers during the initial session. This gives us an opportunity to gather a case history and learn about the dynamics of the child’s home and social environments. In some cases, we may request to meet with the parents/caregivers for several sessions before bringing the child(ren) into a session. Because of our training in family therapy, you can expect that our work together will include sessions in which we meet with just the child(ren), just the parents, and the family as a whole.
Meet our Therapists
A Licensed Professional Here to Guide You
Emily Suggs, LPC-S, RPT-S
Emily is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S), a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S), and the owner of Upside Down Therapy LLC. She received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She is married and a Mom to two daughters. Emily specializes in anxiety-related issues, life change, grief, divorce, and parenting.
Destiny Griffin, MS, NCC, P-LPC
Destiny is a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (P-LPC) as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and is a therapist here at Upside Down Therapy. She received her Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Mississippi State University. She is married and enjoys spending time with her family. Destiny enjoys working with children and their parents to help with issues such as anxiety, trauma, life transitions, and family relationships.
Licensed therapists bill the out of pocket session fee for initial sessions before insurance benefits are established since many insurances have a deductible or copays that must first be established. For more detailed information regarding fees, please contact our office to discuss your specific situation. Therapists reserve the right to require payment in full at the time of sessions, especially with certain insurance benefits or deductibles.
Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. The following insurances can be filed for you: BCBS, BCBS Federal, and BCBS State. It is your responsiblity to check your insurance plan in order to see if they will cover your sessions. Please remember your insurance plan is a contract between you and your insurer therefore you are responsible for any sessions that are not paid or not fully paid by your insurance. If you have any questions please contact our office. You can check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:
Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
What is my deductible, and has it been met?
How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
Is approval required from my primary care physician?
If you have a different insurance provider, we can provide you with a receipt
and a self filing insurance packet so you can file the sessions yourself.
Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted in the office.
The full session fee will be charged for failure to attend a scheduled therapy appointment without a 24-hour advanced notice of cancellation.
A Happier, Healthier You
Equiplay: Equine Interactive Play Therapy
Equiplay (equine interactive play therapy) capitalizes on the power of play while interacting and connecting with equines to help children learn to develop self-control and problem-solving skills, accept responsibility, and manage the unmanageable in their worlds.
In my therapy sessions, we’ll work to solve current problems and improve positive thinking and behavior. I will help you “re-frame” your reactions and provide you with valuable tools to cope with life’s obstacles. I’m confident you’ll find my personalized Couples Counseling beneficial and inspirational. Get in touch to book an appointment.
A Happier, Healthier You
Parenting is hard work! Every child is created different and unique which can bring about parenting challenges. Parenting challenges can affect the entire family unit and cause extra stress on families. Parent Counseling is helpful in guiding parents to determine the best parenting techniques and strategies for their family, as well as mapping out a family plan to equip, encourage, and empower each child’s unique personality and talents.