Therapist Spotlight November 2018 – Cary Hamilton, MA, MFT, LMHC, CMHS, RPT-S

Accomplishing Dreams for Growth is written by Contributing Author Liz Gray, LCSW, RPT.

Cary Hamilton, MA, MFT, LMHC, CMHS, RPT-S first discovered play therapy during her graduate studies at the NW Center for Play Therapy Studies. Today we are featuring Cary’s career path and her journey to becoming a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and a leader in the field of play therapy.  Learn how receiving practice building support from Lynn Louise Wonders helped Cary with accomplishing dreams for growth in her Play Therapy career.

Under the guidance of her first mentor, Dr. Daniel Sweeney, Cary’s natural skills shined while working with children. Cary continued to attend his annual conferences and met many of the “greats” of Play Therapy.  She graduated well on her way to becoming a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). As the only therapist trained in Play therapy at her first post-graduate job, Cary remembers having a “leg up” when being hired to work with children.

Cary has always believed that children deserve respect and speak their truth if you just listen for it. This meshed completely with Play therapy, fostering her desire to know more!

“The more I have learned and grown, becoming a parent myself, the innate power of play heals us all from within. I feel it is the purest form of expression and natural healing we can all do for our children and especially ourselves.”

Cary has created a group practice of RPT’s or in-training practitioners doing Play Therapy.  She is also the Director of Play Therapy at Antioch University’s play therapy certificate program on its 4th year. In addition, she will be presenting for the 2nd time at the National conference on Play Therapy on Sensory Processing Sensitivities and Play Therapy. Cary even traveled to China in 2016 to teach Play therapy to caregivers and educators! She looks forward to continuing to present on play therapy and sensory challenges across the U.S. in 2019.

Currently, she is launching Playful Wisdom, an integrative parenting and mental wellness site and program for educating parents on the power of play and relationship in being preventative for child/parent mental wellness. This has been a dream for the last year and to see it coming to fruition is so exciting!  She is a prime example of someone who is accomplishing dreams for growth!

Cary shared her favorite quote for inspiration to other therapists who work with children: “The child knows the way, trust them to lead you there.” C. Hamilton.

Cary enrolled in practice building mentoring with Lynn Louise Wonders through a mastermind group for therapists.  Cary shared that Lynn supported her in accomplishing dreams for growth.

“Lynn helped focus and guide me to follow and trust in my dreams for growth and spread my love for play therapy into the community. She actively challenged me in ways to foster my growth edges and stretched my thinking so I could see my full potential.” She added, “Lynn was instrumental in encouraging me to push forward with my career and stimulate my growth in a healthy and thoughtful way. Trusting in your own creativity and ingenuity is what Lynn helps you to strive for.” 

When asked what advice she has for other therapists just starting to grow their own career in play therapy or working on accomplishing dreams for growth, Cary shared, “Where I live, play therapy is not considered a viable treatment option for children. Having spent much of my career fighting this stigma and being successful, I would tell other play therapists to trust in their education and training. Parents now understand the value in play and see the healing powers it has. Trust in this.” 

Cary Hamilton is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor- Supervisor, Child Mental Health Specialist, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and Director of Play Therapy at Antioch University.  Her group practice in Olympia, WA has a total of 8 clinicians. Olympia Therapy PLLC is the only local clinic seeing children and families specifically using the power of play. They serve their local community of 4 counties, with 2 sites with 2 dedicated play rooms with art and play therapists.

Learn more at www.olympiatherapy.com and www.antiochseattle.edu/academics/ma-counseling-family-therapy/play-therapy.