Christy Donley is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with a background in elementary special education. With more than 20 years experience working with children, Ms. Donley has spent the last 13 years working with students with autism. Her eclectic approach focuses on child-centered play therapy and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), with an emphasis on parent involvement and communication. Ms. Donley also co-leads Unstuck and On Target groups with Monica Adler Werner, runs friendship groups, and assists with PEERS®for Preschoolers.
Priro to joining CAAT, Ms. Donley worked in the Model Asperger Program at the Ivymount School in Rockville, MD with students in 1st-8th grade. At Ivymount, she taught programs on emotional regulation, mindfulness, social thinking (modeled after the teachings of Michelle Garcia Winner), team building, and sibling support. She also provided individual and group therapy.
Ms. Donley is a dog lover and is pursing licensure as an Animal Assisted Play Therapist (AAPT). While at Ivymount, Ms. Donley saw firsthand the benefits of a therapy dog to help students overcome personal challenges, and she looks forward to expanding her practice to include animal-assisted play therapy to clients.
Ms. Donley has also helped children and adults overcome fear of water utilizing a combination of traditional therapeutic strategies including behavior modification, self-actualization and relaxation techniques, as well as getting into the water with clients to do exposure therapy with them and share the physical and emotional experience as their CBT coach.