At Erie House, we strive to support children's growth through a holistic approach, tending to their cognitive, physical and socio-emotional needs. One of the key components of this effort comes in the form of play therapy.
“The overarching goal is to help our kids feel safer and stronger in the world,” says Dr. Elizabeth Yelen, a clinical psychologist who has played an integral role in the Erie House community since 1998.
She oversees a clinical program that includes a team of masters-level students, addressing the socio-emotional needs of more than 100 children and youth each year. After they are referred for therapy by their teachers, children are paired with a therapist and meet one-on-one for 45-minute sessions once a week.
And that is where the transformation begins.
- Dr. Elizabeth Yelen
The basis for play therapy is the notion that children are only able to grow and develop to their fullest potential when they feel calm and safe. Giving them a space to play and interact with a caring, trained therapist can help them lay a foundation for this outcome.
In spite of threatening factors such as immigration issues, violence and poverty, Dr. Yelen observes the tremendous impact therapy can have in the life of a child. “The word I like is ‘transform.’ Through therapy, they become healthier people, they feel safer, they feel more confident, their self-esteem is more developed. It’s all about transformation.”
Ages 2–5; must meet household income requirement and parent(s) must work/attend school at least 20 hrs/wk
M–F, 7:30 am–5:30pm