FirstPlay® Therapy Offered at Outspoken Counseling and Consulting!

Cerified FP Practitioners_Three lines (002).jpg

While researching models to increase my practice of working with younger children and engaging mothers, I discovered FirstPlay® Therapy. I immediately reached out to the founder and trainer to see how I can learn more about this model. Those interactions led me to spending a week in Boynton Beach Florida and becoming a Certified FirstPlay® Practitioner!

group .jpg

The Founder

Dr. Janet Courtney, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and internationally recognized Registered Play Therapist Supervisor is the founder of FirstPlay® Infant Massage Storytelling and FirstPlay® Kinesthetic Storytelling®   



What is FirstPlay®

FirstPlay® Therapy is a Play Therapy strength-based model that enhances the parent-child relationship and is based upon the work of Play Therapy pioneer, Viola Brody, founder of Developmental Play Therapy (DPT); Ericksonian Play Therapy; Attachment Theory; & research in Touch.

FirstPlay® Therapy focuses on the therapeutic aspects of pre-symbolic play, or “first-play”, the early joyful touch-based activity play that happens between a parent and infant.

FirstPL Therapy_new color 2 lines (002).jpg

FirstPlay® Therapy is offered for two different developmental stages:

  • FirstPlay® Infant Massage storytelling is for ages 4 weeks to three years old.
  • FirstPlay® Kinesthetic Storytelling is for children ages three to six years.

Practitioners learn how to facilitate respectful, caring & fun touch-based activities between parents and children through demonstrations via baby dolls. The parent simultaneously practices the techniques on their infant/child. The therapist does not touch the child but supports the healing value of touch.

FirstPlay® integrates methods of calming and is an adjunctive model that can be integrated along with other forms of play therapy methods and it can be used with most parents & children regardless of issues, and can also be applied in groups, parent reunification & parent-child residential settings; with adoptive & foster parents; children with autism, behavioral problems, and attention problems.



OutspokenC2 Welcomes Kimberly Bridi, C-IAYT, ERYT 500


Kimberly receives her M.S. in Counseling Psychology in October of 2018. Her interest and expertise lie in the area of trauma resolution and chronic pain management in children and adults. She specializes in using evidence-based somatic and mind-body therapies with clients.

She is a trauma-based clinical yoga therapist who spent nearly 3 years developing yoga therapy programs in the U.S. Army’s first Interdisciplinary Pain Management program. During her time as a civilian provider, she helped manage and facilitate the Intensive Outpatient Program at Dwight D Eisenhower Army Medical Center to help reduce the use of opioids among service members. She worked with patients healing from chronic pain, trauma, drug and alcohol addiction and treatment resistant conditions.

Following her time with the Army, she created a non-profit organization to provide yoga-based therapies for military and veterans recovering from service-based conditions such as PTSD, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma and drug and alcohol use. She was awarded a local grant to implement a yoga-based treatment program for military sexual trauma in 2016.

Kim’s clinical training in trauma resolution includes the study of evidence-based techniques by leading experts including Dr. Bessel van Der Kolk and Dr. Peter Levine.

Previously she worked with children and teens healing from trauma and attachment issues, developed social skills groups for special needs children, and implemented her programs in schools.

She lives in Martinez GA with her two boys and two dogs. She loves hiking and backpacking, watersports and is a life-long student of yoga.




OutspokenC2 Welcomes Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Natalie T. Pride

Welcome to the Outspoken Counseling and Consulting Family! 

Natalie Bio.JPG

Natalie T. Pride is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Georgia. She is also licensed Independent Social Worker in South Carolina.Natalie earned her Bachelors in Sociology from Berea College in 2001; she completed her Master in Social Work from The Florida State University in 2004.

Natalie has over 13 years of experience in the mental health field. She has spent over 10 years focusing on work with veterans, and families.

Natalie has experience with working with individuals from diverse backgrounds who have experienced issues with homelessness, hospice and substance abuse.  Natalie specializes in work with Veterans and families. 

Natalie conducts clinical assessments, provides individual and family therapy sessions. Natalie provides weekend and tele-mental health sessions.

The What & Why of Play Therapy

If you want to understand what your child sees, feels, and thinks about the life and world she is experiencing, watch the way she plays without judging or correcting.

Plato said, "You can learn more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation."

Play is the natural way that children communicate and make sense of their experiences and the world around them. When children have experienced trauma, have developed an intense fear or have recently lost a loved one they need to be able to work through and recover from how these experiences are affecting them.

If you are like most parents, you may not realize the power of play and you may expect your child to be able to use his words to tell you what he wants, how he's feeling and what his needs are. 

Even though a child may be highly verbal, she doesn't yet have the brain development to be able to process his experiences verbally as an adult would do in talk therapy. Her mastery of language is growing every day, but play is still a child's primary language. 

Play is also a way you can bond with your child on a regular basis. There has been a lot of research showing how play helps people of all ages to combat stress and experience greater mental and physical health. Your relationship with your child can be bolstered by regular playful interaction.

If your child is experiencing anxiety, grief or has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, you may want to take your child to a licensed mental health professional who is trained in play therapy. 

Play therapy provides a safe outlet for children to explore and express perceptions, memories and feelings.  It has been said by leaders in the field of play therapy that play is a child's language and the toys are her words.  As a Registered Play Therapist, I am intensively trained in  understanding your child's language of play. I provide children an emotionally safe place to show me her world, what she is feeling and what she most needs as she plays.

There are three approaches to play therapy. 

  • Child Centered Play Therapy
  • Directive Play Therapy
  • Prescriptive Play Therapy

Child Centered Play Therapy is the foundation of all play therapy. It is rooted in deep respect for the child as an individual and for his unique way of experiencing his life and world. In child centered play therapy we provide a space that is non-judging, reflective and we ensure the child knows he is heard and seen with very close attention and empathy. This is a non-directive approach, allowing for the child to explore and expression whatever he needs and wishes trusting that he will naturally work through and resolve whatever needs to be worked through and resolved in natural time with the toys in the play room. The play therapist holds this space and is closely present, witnessing and tracking the child's choices and expressions affirmatively. 

Directive Play Therapy built on a foundation of the essence of child centered play therapy allows for the therapist to provide directed play techniques and interventions to support the child in learning new skills or providing specific avenues often evidence-based that assist the child with a particular issue that we know the child is grappling with. For example if a child is presenting with with inability to self-soothe when highly anxious a directive play therapy technique might be to introduce "the birthday cake breath" where the child is directed to imagine she has baked a yummy smelling cake with a yummy scent she wants to breathe in deeply and then blowing out the candles on the cake. This helps a child learn how to have a bodily experience of deep inhales and full exhales which can generate a calming effect. 

Prescriptive Play Therapy is an approach that considers that we must meet the child where the child is, assess the needs of the child based on what we observe in his play and then create a plan for the therapy that provides a combination of child centered play therapy and directive play techniques centering around the unique issues and challenges the child is presenting. 

Play therapy is the most developmentally appropriate approach to providing therapy to young children. When needed, boundaries and limits are set in the play room in order to keep children safe and support them in developing their own internal self-regulation.


Author Carmen Jimenez

Outspoken Counseling and Consulting LLC is excited to announce the publishing of the first children's book written by our Clinical Director, Carmen Jimenez. The publication "No, No Elizabeth" is Jimenez's first published work.

The story follows a sweet little girl named Elizabeth who wants to play all day! From running around outside to jumping on the bed, she's a curious little girl. But Mommy, Daddy and even Liza the kitty can't always play and sometimes they must say "no." Through this sweet colorful book, early readers will learn just because grown ups say "no" sometimes, doesn't mean they love any less.

You can preorder this book from Amazon or Warren Publishing's website! Live readings and workshops will be announced soon!


Nkechi M. Scott is a Licensed Master Social Worker

Nkechi M. Scott is a Licensed Master Social Worker with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development from Benedict College and holds a Masters of Social Work degree from University of South Carolina. Nkechi has over 18 years of social work experience in the public and private sector.

Nkechi has experience with working with individuals from diverse backgrounds as well as experience in conducting informational workshops and presentations for state and non-profit agencies.

Nkechi conducts clinical assessments and provides individual and family therapy services.