Dawn Craig MS, LMHC
License & Certifications
- Licensed Mental health Counselor
- TFCBT/CBT+ Certified
- Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) Certified
- EMDR Certified
- Yoga Calm Certified Youth Instructor
- Certified Theraplay Foundational Therapist
- Infants to toddlers (birth to 3)
- Children (ages 3-11)
- Behavioral Issues
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Yoga Calm
- Motivational Interviewing
Dawn earned a masters degree in Applied Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health Counseling from Eastern Washington University and a Bachelors degree in Kinsioology with a minor in Psychology and Health from Lewis-Clark State College. She is licensed in the state of Washington as a Mental Health counselor and has earned designation as a Washington State Approved Supervisor for Mental Health Counseling.
Dawn has specialized in children and has worked in community mental health, schools and private practice over the course of her career. She uses a Rogerian, Person-Centered therapeutic style paired with an attachment-based framework to guide her treatment approach. Dawn creates a safe place for children and their families to explore, experience and recognize what might have been difficult to face on their own. She believes by creating this trusting relationship, change can be more willingly available and acknowledged.
Dawns's areas of specialty are:
- Anger Management
- Behavioral Issues
- Oppositional Defiance
- Trauma and PTSD
A Message from Dawn
Seeking help is the first step towards a healthier, more balanced life. It takes courage to ask for help and I value working from a nonjudgmental place that provides unconditional positive regard. We can work together to build a personalized treatment plan that takes you through the process at your own pace. I tend to work from a person-centered approach where you are the "driver", so to speak, of your journey in therapy. I look at my role as someone that is alongside you rather than the expert of your life. I truly believe every individual and/or family has the answers within themselves. I strive to create a place of trust to build rapport and a working relationship to get the outcomes you are wanting.
I have over 10 years of experience working with individuals as young as 2 years old to the most experienced in life. My passion and specialty, as a Child Mental Health Specialist, is working with young children and the grownups in their life. My experience includes treatment of depression, anxiety, adjustments in life, behavioral challenges, and trauma with children. It can be challenging to navigate education systems and as a former school-based therapist I can help advocate for your child to be served appropriately.
I am inspired to incorporate practical, effective and fun ways for little kiddos to experience their resilience - physically and mentally. I use play and creativity in my sessions with children as my approach is active, interpersonal and fun -- not "talk therapy." I enjoy creating a fun, playful and engaging place for children and their grownup that focuses on improve the child's behavioral and emotional challenges through the parent-child relationship. I use interactive and evidence based treatments with children such as: Play Therapy, Art Therapy, Sandtray and Theraplay-based interventions as this tends to be more engaging and effective. Yoga therapy can be incorporated into youth regular sessions if desired.
A trusting alliance with the child and the family is important as change can be scary. Venturing out of our comfort zones can be an uncomfortable experience. However, through my supportive approach the discomfort is carefully calibrated to reduce avoidance and encourage healing. Families often find me to be a good fit for their family when they notice the delicate balance of a supportive approach and attainable challenges to stimulate growth. Children typically progress quicker in therapy when their parent(s)/guardian(s) actively participate and are engage in their child’s therapy. For this reason, I work closely with the child’s grownup to learn how to validate the child’s emotions and set boundaries in a kind and respectful way to create long-lasting change rather than a short-term solution. All behavior is communication and teaching children appropriate ways to express emotions, regulate arousal, and be connected to a trust grownup can have a huge impact on the child and the family. Theraplay ® focuses on the grownup-child relationship as the most powerful and influential element for change. Family members often notice positive changes in the youth before the child is even aware of the change. Positive changes that can be expected are a reduction in frequency and intensity of anger outbursts, an increase in helpful communication, grownup and child experience attunement, increased trust, child is able to identify and express emotions in age appropriate ways and an overall reduction in distressing experiences.
Theraplay ® has been used successfully to help children experiencing a variety of challenges:
- Acting out, angry or disruptive behavior
- Defiant or controlling behavior
- Shy, withdrawn or clingy behavior
- Anxiety and Selective Mutism
- Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and other Developmental Disorders
- Attention and hyperactivity concerns
- A history of trauma or neglect
- Attachment issues due to adoption or multiple family placements
- Medical trauma
Please visit www.theraplay.org for more information about the history of Theraplay, research and publications.