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Behavioral Health Clinic improves play therapy

Behavioral Health Clinic improves play therapy

Carson Valley Health’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic recently supplied its youngest patients with updated play therapy equipment to better serve their needs, thanks to funding provided by the Carson Valley Health Foundation.

Spearheaded by Marriage and Family Therapist Shalini Malasingam the funding provided both the equipment and the training related to play therapy, family therapy and therapy for children and adolescents.

Carson Valley Behavioral Health Manager Erin Dudley said Malasingam joined the Carson Valley Health in spring 2023 and is the first provider the clinic has had practicing therapy primarily for children and adolescents.

“As the first provider we have who specializes in this population of patients, she wanted to expand on the play therapy equipment we already had and have more services to offer our clients,” said Dudley.

The Behavioral Health Services Clinic provides general mental health services including psychiatric medication management, services for patients experiencing mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, loss and others through individual and couples therapy, family and group therapy as needed.

Dudley said the clinic sees any patient three and over for medication management and typically five and up for therapy depending on the client and their needs.

“The most common reasons we see people in our clinic are depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse and ADHD,” she said. 

Dudley said through play therapy patients can enhance problem solving skills, improve the ability to regulate emotions and communication skills, develop creativity, learn responsibility and build confidence and resilience.

“Play therapy benefits children because it provides an interactive experience in therapy that allows them to process thoughts and emotions in new ways and allows them to learn skills in a developmentally appropriate manner,” she said.

Funds raised by the Carson Valley Health Foundation come from support from the community through donations and annual fundraising events to help support the services and programs provided by Carson Valley Health.

“We are consistently evaluating our programs and what service we have to offer to see what other needs the community has and how we may be able to adjust our services or create new services to meet the needs of the community,” said Dudley. “Children were the focus and providing additional services and tools for our child population was the biggest area for growth.”