Amy Duren, MA, LPC owns a private practice called Safe Haven Christian Counseling Center, where she provides play therapy services and support for families focused on providing a safe space, acceptance and encouragement needed to grow into one’s full potential. She recently completed my practice-building 90 day MasterMind program.
It has been such an honor to see her flourish in her career that I wanted to shine the spotlight on her so you can hear a bit about her process of professional development so you might gain inspiration! I interviewed Amy recently and this is what she had to share:
LLW: What made you want to become a play therapist?
AD: Honestly, I had not planned to work with children. In grad school, one professor said, “working with children is a counselors bread and butter”. That lead me to think…focusing on teens and kids couldn’t hurt. So I took more play therapy and adolescent/children courses in grad school. When I started working with kids, I realized quickly I needed to learn more. The more I learned about play therapy and worked with kids and teens, the more I fell in love with play therapy. I am forever grateful for this haphazard choice that changed my life for the better.
LLW: Tell us a bit about where are you in play therapy career and what kinds of clients do you see there?
AD: I have had my private practice for 5years. I am beyond grateful for this gift. In 2018, I was able to add an additional office space which is now a play therapy room. I work with clients 3 and up, individuals, couples and families. I love the diversity and being able to work with a broad age range and diagnosis. My favorites are the 7 year olds to tweens and young adults, working with all ages on the spectrum, anxiety/depression, identity and grief and loss.
LLW: What has been the most challenging aspect of providing play therapy in private practice and what is the most rewarding?
AD: Personally, one of the more challenging parts of play therapy in private practice is the isolation. I have found surrounding myself with educated supervisors, colleagues and professionals in law has been a neasecity. Being able to collaborate with other professionals is a must for me. Most rewarding part for me is the honor of joining others in their journey. And however in whatever way they choose to share that with me. The greatest gifts is being present with another in the hardest parts of their journey.
LLW: What did you value the most from having enrolled in the Play Therapy Practice Building Academy?
AD: The access to Lynn’s wisdom and guidance as well as the collaboration and support of other counselors. Even though this is a virtual group, my experience has been warm, supportive and educational.
LLW: What advice do you have for someone who wants to build a play therapy private practice?
AD: Enroll in the Play Therapy Practice Building Academy! Be connected to others. Even as an introvert, the need to have collaborative professional support was and is my life-line. Lastly, give yourself grace and welcome failure. You won’t do everything perfectly, you will stumble AND you will learn a lot. Those times only strengthen you to become a play therapist who is equipped and caring.
Amy Duren, MA, LPC, was born and raised in Zimbabwe Africa where her parents continue to serve as missionaries. She brings her dedication to her personal faith in God and Christ into her work with particular celebration and sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity. Amy is on track to receive her Registered Play Therapist credential and has a thriving practice in Fort Mill, South Carolina. You can read more about her and her work at https://www.safehavenccc.com