“Your willingness to go the extra mile is something I cannot put a value on.” “I’m so glad M—- had your support and you could share our joy in seeing him grow. Thank you for helping him through all the scary, angry, and frustrating times!”
Clinton Germond’s collection of hand-written thank you notes tug at heartstrings. These expressions of gratitude only touch the surface of his outstanding work as a child therapist.
In recognition of his work, Germond received a 2022 Health Care Hero award from Inside Business, the weekly business journal for Hampton Roads.
Since beginning his career in 2002, Germond has improved the lives of children and their families. He joined The Barry Robinson Center (BRC) in 2016. Germond’s therapeutic focus is Play Therapy.,
With the isolation and loss children have experienced during Covid, mental health counseling for them is needed now more than ever. His work helps meet that urgent need.
“To me it seemed magical that therapy could occur through the medium of play. I saw instantly that through the power of play, the child and I could communicate back and forth through their ‘native language’ rather than forcing them to converse verbally like miniature adults,” Germond said. “At that moment, I knew I needed to become as proficient in the language of play as possible because I would be ‘speaking it’ for the rest of my career.”
Throughout his career, Germond has been intentional and prioritized getting the right training. He developed a foundation of play therapy skills and later earned certification as a Registered Play Therapist.
Germond said he quickly discovered every child wants to belong and when they are not sure how, they can develop unhealthy behaviors that contribute to a strong sense of discouragement. To help encourage these children and help them discover their unique ways to belong and contribute to their family and social groups, Germond sought additional training in Adlerian Play Therapy, becoming a Certified Adlerian Play Therapist.
Later, he discovered children on the autism spectrum often have special challenges as they seek to belong and develop their courage, specifically learning to regulate their emotions, develop social skills, and strengthen their connection skills. This led Germond to pursue certification as a Certified AutPlay Therapy Provider, one of only a few in Hampton Roads.
Germond said he also realized that to really have lasting change for children, parents need some play therapy skills, to speak their child’s language. He took additional training in Parent Child Interaction Therapy and recently began offering it.
In his work at BRC, Germond has successfully applied his skills with military families in crisis, whose children are in the center’s residential program. More recently, his work has expanded to provide much-needed outpatient services in Hampton Roads. His work is respected among his peers and appreciated by his clients.
Germond believes it’s important to share what he’s learned. He’s certified as a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and provides play therapy training through the League of Extraordinary Adlerian Play Therapists (LEAPT LLC). He’s also teaching an Introduction to Play Therapy graduate level class through Old Dominion University.
Read more about Germond in this article about his award, which is being presented in a virtual ceremony Thursday, June 23.