WELCOME! I am glad you are here! As the owner and director of In Balance Studio, I would like to invite you to explore the unique array of services we offer for children, teens and their families. First, let me introduce myself.
My name is Jamie Moniak and I am traditionally trained as a Licensed Professional Counselor. I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Rehabilitation Education Services...GO NITTANY LIONS! While receiving my Master of Science degree in Counselor Education from Radford University, I was introduced to Play Therapy. Since then, I have continued to evolve my experience in Play Therapy through extensive trainings and it is at the heart of many interventions I use. To understand more about me, I have included a section on my philosophy and approaches utilized below.
My love and passion is working with children and their families. My intention is to provide a playful, positive, and nurturing environment that facilitates healthy growth and development. I believe we are all given challenges in life and through these challenges we grow, creating new possibilities.
I am dedicated to treating the whole child, meaning their mind, body, emotion, and social-self. I believe balance is necessary for long-lasting joy and happiness. In addition, it is my goal to give your child life skills and competencies to handle current and future challenges. As a result, I will choose a combination of approaches designed to create balance for your child.
Both parent involvement and practice outside of sessions are key to successful application of our work together. Therefore, I will work closely with parents to ensure generalizations to everyday life. Therapeutic methods I may use include:
- Directive and/or Non-Directive Play Therapy
- Filial Play Therapy (parent-child play therapy)
- Sandtray Therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Parenting Skill Development
- Animal-Assisted Play Therapy (AAPT)
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- Social-Emotional THINKING groups (based on Social Thinking clinical trainings & curricula)
- Mindfulness (based on Little Flower Yoga clinical trainings & curricula)
His Specialty: Animal-Assisted Play Therapy (AAPT)
His Breed: Chocolate Lab Mix
His Philosophy: WAG MORE, BARK LESS
Favorite Foods: Hot Dogs, Chicken, Peanut Butter, and Cheese
Favorite Hobby: Hiking in the Woods, Chasing Squirrels, and Walking in Streams
Baxter’s History: Baxter’s mom was a stray in Mississippi. Knowing she was pregnant and needing support for herself and her pups, she started hanging around a loving couple’s home. The couple started to feed her and eventually started to let her stay inside the house. Once they decided to make her part of their family, the couple took her to the veterinarian for a check-up. Unbeknownst to them, they learned that she was pregnant. The puppies were born at the couple’s home, however, once the mom weaned the puppies off her milk, the couple realized they were unable to care for all the puppies long-term. As a result, the puppies were taken to a local Mississippi shelter. A rescue agency was able to rescue them from the shelter and give them a foster care home in Palmyra. Baxter was adopted by Jamie and her family at 4 months of age.
Baxter has experienced some medical difficulties with his knees. Both his knees have been surgically reconstructed after he tore both CCLs, which is our ACLs. Both surgeries required 6 months of recovery.
Baxter’s brain makes loud noises and unexpected movement difficult for him. He continues to work on overcoming these sensory difficulties and making accommodations as needed.
Her Specialty: Animal-Assisted Play Therapy (AAPT)
Her Breed: American Staffordshire Terrier
Her Philosophy: Live Like Someone Left The Gate Open
Favorite Foods: Ham, Pastrami, and Cheese
Allergies: Chicken, Gluten, and Environmental
Favorite Hobby: Swimming, Jumping in the Water from Docks, & Hiking
Sarah’s History: Sarah was found roaming the city streets with her brother, homeless. She was then taken to a local rescue agency where she was transferred to a second rescue in Elizabethtown and eventually placed into a foster home. Sarah was sweet and gentle from the beginning. She does have separation anxiety and her brain continues to make it difficult for her to be alone. However, she has made significant progress and is learning that her fears do not come true. In addition, Sarah has experienced breed discrimination and knows how it feels to be misunderstood and feared for no causation of her own.
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” ~Roger Caras