Opinion on Adoption

My Opinion on Adoption

By a 14 year old Adoptee from a large adoptive family

Matthew 18:5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.”

I think adoption is an awesome thing! At first, adopting again sounded like something I didn’t want to do. Now that I thought about it, I think we should adopt again. Here is the reasons that I changed my mind:

One, if you hadn’t adopted me, I do not know where I would be.

Two, kids need us. A lot of children are out there hurting. They are needing someone to love them. They need a dad to protect them. To tuck them in at night. To read them stories. To say that they are his princess. The need a mom to teach them to write. To teach them math. To teach them how to ride a bike. To change their diapers. To hold them when they cry. To tell them don’t jump that high. They need brothers or sisters to hold their secrets. My point is they need us.

I am not saying that I will not be frustrated every now and then with the children. I am not saying that I will not need your attention every now and then. I am saying “I will help”. “I will try”. I say Let Us Adopt.

Linda S. Klein, LPC, RPT/S

These Forms may download, printed, completed, and taken into your first counseling sessions.
Please make sure you download forms for the therapist you are seeing.

Click any of the form names below to open and download them.

Linda Klein

Suzanne Simon

A Children’s Counseling Center was formed in 1986 by Melinda Hardage and three other women who were commited to raising their own children and in providing quality counseling services to children and families. Over the next years it grew to ten counselors who provide a wide variety of individual, family, and group services. Since we provide services to adults also we have added the name A New Day Adult Center to reflect that we offer services to all family members.

A Children’s Counseling Center is a group of therapists each of whom maintains a separate and independent private practice. All have extensive experience with children and families which assures you comprehensive mental and behavioral health services.

We believe that childhood should be a time for healthy growth and development with a happy family. For many children and teens, it is a time of great emotional stress. Children react to stress in many way including withdrawal and acting out behaviors at home and school.

Parents and school personnel want to help children become happy, loving adults, however in today’s society this can be a difficult goal. Troubled children and youth usually mean troubled families as everyone becomes part of the problem.

To implement our philosophy and solve family problems, a team approach has been developed. A child psychiatrist and a licensed psychologist are available for consultation and services. We help children and families learn the life skills necessary to be successful.

We have three playrooms that are designed to accommodate different ages and needs of children.

Suggestions for participating in play therapy with your child

Play is the language of children. Play is the way children verbalize what is going on with them cognitively and emotionally. Play is not therapy by itself. In play therapy the therapist enters the child’s world and makes a connection, giving empathy, understanding, and feedback, respecting where they are emotionally, and what they are expressing. Play therapy allows a child to express him/herself, and the play therapist lets the child know he/she is important by providing the attention, time, and nonjudgmental response to what the child is expressing. Parents are asked to follow these guidelines when entering the play therapy setting:

  • Prepare your self prior to play by reminding yourself to leave your “disciplinarian” hat at the door. The therapist will be in charge of the rules of the playroom.This is not the time to educate your child or ask questions. Asking questions makes the child think. This is a time for your child to be creative and emotional.
  • Thebasic rules are that no one gets hurt and nothing gets broken intentionally (breaking it just to break it). All toys remain in the play therapy room. When it is time to leave the play therapy room the child must leave the room.
  • All feelings are okay. Play is a time when children follow their impulses, so difficult emotions may emerge. The playroom is a good place for these feelings. Do not judge or show disapproval in the play therapy room.
  • The child is in charge of the play, follow their lead.
  • The child will choose what activities and toys with which to play. Toys that are not allowed at home, may be allowed in the play therapy room. Do not dissuade the child from playing with these toys in the play therapy setting. Following play, and outside of the play therapy room, you may state that in your household those toys are used only at play therapy.
    If you feel confused about what the play is expressing, try to suspend critical thinking, follow the child’s lead and improvise. This may lead you to a greater understanding of your child’s feeling and beliefs.
  • The therapist will create opportunities to talk about issues that are important to both parent and child, in language adapted to the child’s age.
    You will have opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns after the session when you “de-brief” with the therapist.

What is Play?

Play is the singular central activity of childhood, occuring at all times and in all places. Children do not need to be taught how to play, nor must they be made to play. Play is spontaneous, enjoyable, voluntary and non-goal directed. It is done for its own sake.

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is based on the fact that play is a child’s natural medium of communication and expression. In the Play Therapy room, children can “play out” their experiences and feelings in a safe environment. Children can use toys to say what they can’t say with words. There are very few limits imposed on the child in the play room. They are allowed to do as they please, with the exception of hurting themselves or the therapist.


Why is Play Therapy beneficial to children?

  • Play Therapy provides a way for children to work through defenses and handle anxiety.
  • It helps children verbalize feelings.
  • It helps children act out unconscious material and relieves tension.
  • Children can release feelings in a safe environment.

What is the role of the Play Therapist?

The therapist’s responsibility is to go to the child’s level and communicate with them in a way they are comfortable with. The therapist follows the child’s lead, and does not suggest play activities or themes (unless they are using a directed play activity with a therapeutic goal in mind). All of the child’s feelings and thoughts are accepted without judgement.

What is the goal of Play Therapy?

Each child is unique and will take something different from the play therapy experience. Children can learn the following things in play therapy:

  • self-control and responsible freedom of expression
  • to respect themselves
  • that their feelings are acceptable
    to be responsible for self
  • to be creative in confronting and problem solving
    self-acceptance and self-direction
  • to make choices and be responsible for their choices

What is the parent’s/guardians’ role in Play Therapy?

The time in the play room is a special time for children. They should not feel that they have to give a report to anyone, even parents. Play sessions with children are confidential, just like counseling sessions with adults. Therapist usually share with parents general impressions and offer suggestions but don’t share specifics about what was said by the child. Some children request that parents come into the play room for part of the sessions or the therapist may request that you accompany your child into the play room. This allows you and your child to work together in this therapeutic process. Please remember that this is a process and not a product.

Always feel free to address any questions or concerns with your therapist. Your input is very important. You know your child best!

For more information about Play Therapy, please click on the following logo:


We are excited about working with you and your family

and we want to acknowledge your courage and strength for beginning this therapeutic process.


We believe that childhood should be a time for healthy growth and development with a happy family. For many children and teens, it is a time of great emotional stress. Children react to stress in many way including withdrawal and acting out behaviors at home and school…


A Children’s Counseling Center was formed in 1986 by Melinda Hardage and three other women who were commited to raising their own children and in providing quality counseling services to children and families…


A Children’s Counseling Center is a group of therapists each of whom maintains a separate and independent private practice. All have extensive experience with children and families which assures you comprehensive mental and behavioral health services…

Therapy sessions last for 50 minutes and are usually scheduled once a week. This is to help you or your family member develop a trust relationship with the therapist which is the key for success in therapy. Payments can be made at the end of each session. Cancelled appointments must be done prior to 24 hours and a regular fee will be assessed to those appointments canceled within 24 hours.

Your Rights

You may seek a second opinion from another therapist or termnate therapy at any time.
As a client you are entitled to receive information about the method of therapy and techniques used. You are entitled to know the fee structure and duration of therapy if known.

In a professional relationship such as this, sexual intimacy is never appropriate and should be reported to the Grievance Board: State Grievance Board, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1340, Denver, CO 80202

By law the information you share during therapy is legally confidential except:
When there is serious threat of personal harm, harm to others or property.
When sexual or physical abuse on another person is disclosed. In case of a child or an elderly person, neglect may also break your confidentiality.
The court of law may order session notes to be disclosed.

In the case of non-payment for services in order for you name to be given to a collection agency.

Information may also be shared with a billing company to collect payment from you insurance company.

Developing a trusting relationship with your counselor is the key that makes therapy happen. Set goals with your counselor for what you want to accomplish in therapy. If you feel that you are not making the progress that you want, talk to your therapist about this. That what they are there for!

The counselors at A Children’s Counseling Center all have separate and independent private practices and therefore accept different insurances and have their own fee schedules. It is your responsibility to contact your insurance company to make sure that a provider is on that panel and accepts your insurance. It is our aim to provide services to all who need them and many providers accept a sliding fee scale if you do not have insurance. Copay and fees are collected at the time the service is provided in cash or check form.

Meet Our Therapists

A Children’s Counseling Center is a group of therapists each of whom maintains a separate and independent private practice. All have extensive experience with children and families which assures you comprehensive mental and behavioral health services.

Heather Thompson

Theraplay Level 2 (attachment based therapy) trained
Marschak Interaction Method trained

Heather Thompson holds a Masters of Science in Clinical Counseling from Northwest Nazarene University. With over 12 years of experience working with children and families in various venues, she knows that no two families are exactly alike. Through compassion and understanding, Heather meets each client right where they are in order to create a Safe Place to Grow! Heather believes that we all hold the ability to learn new ways to experience the world and interact with others. Because she does not believe that there is a “one size fits all” or “cookie cutter” approach to therapy, she goes to great lengths to know and understand her clients’ needs. Through a “prescriptive multimodal” approach to therapy; Heather tailors the therapeutic process to each client. She sees clients of all ages from 2 years to adults.
Heather enjoys creative expression and is not one to turn down a good latte, pleasant conversation, or a fresh chocolate chip cookie!
To learn more, visit her web page listed below:
Sliding scale – all major credit cards, cash, and checks accepted.
Some discounted appointment time slots available.
Photo provided by HopeAnn Photography

Suzanne Simon



I’ve been working with children since 1987.
I began as a first grade teacher, Pre-K teacher and then yoga instructor for children.

After raising my children, I received my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

My passion is helping families live more functionally. I utilize a variety of techniques tailored to meet your child’s needs.  

I am a certified Rapid Resolution Therapist.

I help clients discover and resolve subconscious causes for emotional and behavioral difficulties, resolve issues contributing to medical problems.

I help promote mind/body healing, expose and eliminate unconscious conflicts blocking desired change and stop self-destructive behavioral patterns. 

I work on the board of BACA (Bikers against child abuse).

Insurance – Accepts all major credit cards, Victims Compensation

Vasti Holstun


As a licensed professional counselor and school counselor, Vasti is responsible for working with elementary children, as well as parents and educators. She began her career in Tennessee where she worked in an elementary school providing counseling services to students, teachers and parents. Since 2002, Vasti has taught life skills and provided individual counseling and group counseling to hundreds of children, parents and educators. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling from Southern Adventist University and an Education Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership from the Tennessee Technical University. Vasti’s counseling experience includes children, adolescents, adults and families. She specializes in bereavement counseling, as well as divorce and family issues, parenting, children and adolescents (solution focused therapy and reality therapy),play therapy, and social skills.

Insurance – Humana/Lifesync, United, Value Options/Kaiser, Tricare, Aetna, Cigna, CHP+, Victims Comp, CHAMPVA, Anthem BCBS, PCHS Multiplan, Magellan, & some sliding fee

Jamye Rico


Jamye is a Licensed Professional Counselor located at A Children’s Counseling Center in Colorado Springs. She is a graduate of University of Colorado – Colorado Springs with her BA in Psychology. She then continued her education at the University of Phoenix – Colorado Springs and completed her Masters degree in Community Counseling.

Jamye specializes in working with children and families in both Play and Family Therapy settings.

She has over 14 years of experience working with children and families and she offers supervision for LPC and RPT credentials.

Jamye believes that all parts of the family are important for the successful emotional and physical development of children and healthy families.

Insurance – Value Options, Medicaid, Victims Comp

Susan 'Sam' Torres

Theraplay Level 2 Trained,
Marschak Interaction Method Trained

Sam is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist. Kids and young people may be smaller, but are BIG when it comes to wonderful, unique, and awesome! Sometimes though, young people face challenges on their life’s journey and it’s important to help them navigate their way. By helping children address their challenges NOW, they will be less likely to carry those burdens down the road into adulthood. Kids need support and effective parenting from their grown-ups. Sam integrates Play Therapy with Family Systems Therapy, and can help the adults in a child’s life navigate family challenges like separation, divorce, co-parenting, adoption, anxiety, self-esteem, and behavioral troubles. Play Therapy is an ideal way to connect and help children struggling with life’s challenges! Play Therapy can help kids (and their family units) discover self-value, self-respect, confidence, and purpose.
Susan received her Bachelor of Science at the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana, her Master’s in Community Counseling along with her Marriage and Family Therapy Post-Master’s Certificate at Regis University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate, and a National Certified Counselor. Susan is also Theraplay (attachment-based therapy) Level 2 and Marschak Interaction Method (parent-child assessment) Trained, and a member of the Colorado Association for Play Therapy and the Association for Play Therapy (national).
Phone: (719) 201- 9712
Weekdays and Saturday appointments available
Susan offers sevices on a sliding scale.
Cash, Checks, Credit Cards accepted

Shelli Foster

MA, Ed.S, LPC, RPT, EMDR, Theraplay Level 2 (attachment based therapy) trained, Marschak Interaction Method trained

As a parent, if our child is showing behavioral or emotional signs that he or she is struggling, we struggle too. My approach is to work with both you and your child. I utilize play therapy, a powerful tool that allows children to experience significant shifts in their behaviors as well as their feelings about themselves and the world around them. I specialize in working with children who have experienced loss such as divorce, loss of a loved one, adoption or frequent deployments, children who have experienced trauma, and children who have significant behavior problems.

Play therapy will help your child develop empathy, identify and understand his or her feelings, and learn and practice skills that he or she can use throughout life to solve problems. When children are able to master some of their problems, deal more effectively with daily stress and move toward increased self awareness and healthy choices, they feel better about themselves.

I have dedicated years of study to understanding brain development and its influence on emotions and behaviors. My work experience with children has spanned over 20 years and has included schools and residential settings, as well as clinical and private practice for the last seven years. As a military spouse of 23 years, I have a special interest in working with military families.

I hold a M.A. in Counseling from the University of North Dakota and an Ed.S. in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina with specific certifications in play therapy, Theraplay 1 and 2, EMDR, and Circle of Security Parent Training Model. I work with an age range of three years to adolescents.

Insurance: United Health Care (military), TRICARE, Cigna

Jan Wilkenson


Building nurturing relationships with children, parents and/or caregivers, individuals and couples is Jan’s purpose. Within this context, she has used trauma-related play therapy, bonding and attachment enhancing techniques, individual and group training in emotional intelligence, and sand tray work. She enjoys working with children and adults. Her synergistic approach to therapy employs several modalities.
Naturally intuitive and compassionate, her counseling approach has been developed over the years through extensive work with families, teens, and children in volunteer, faith-based settings, as well as in the professional counseling environment.
Her Master’s Degree in Counseling was received from Colorado Christian University, a CACREP approved program. She is the mother of two and grandmother to five. She enjoys sharing life and playing with her family, hiking, playing her horn, reading and volunteer work. She does couples co-counseling with Willy Wooten, LCSW, LMFT, upon request.
Self-pay on a “sliding scale” is available for children and individual counseling. All credit cards are accepted. Tri-Care Insurance is available with couples when co-counseling with Willy Wooten.

Barbara Schooler


As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Barbara offers a wide range of counseling services for couples, families, adults, and children. Prior to joining A Children’s Counseling Center and A New Day Adult Counseling in 2002, she spent several years as a therapist with the Pikes Peak Mental Health Child and Family team. Barbara received a Masters Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage, Family, and Child therapy from Chapman University. Barbara has participated in man continuing education workshops and has advanced training in a number of areas including: Level I Certification as an Addictions Counselor (CAC I), Level II training in EMDR trauma treatment, Critical Incident Stress Management, and Level II Thought Field Therapy. Barb is not taking any new clients at this time. If you are a new client, please call Susan “Sam” Torres at 719-201-9712

Insurance – Tricare Prime and Standard, Medicaid, Beechstreet, PHCS, Humana, Anthem BC/BS, Magellan, Kaiser, Mines, Aetna, Cofinity(Sloans Lake), Value Options, Great West

Linda S. Klein

LPC, RPT-S and Founder

Linda has been in private practice at A Children’s Counseling Center since 1990. Services she provides are:

  • Completed Level 2 Theraplay Training
  • Workshops and Trainings in Play Therapy
  • Training for Preschool Staff
  • Supervision for Licensing
  • Supervision for Registered Play Therapist
  • Adoption-Needs Assessment and Reports
  • Marshak Interactional Assessments
  • Workshops on Parenting, Filial Therapy and Adoption

Linda is not accepting new clients at this time.

Developmental Team Approach

Although we maintain independent and separate private practices, each of us is committed to the concept of team approach to providing services to children, teens, families, adults, and couples. Please contact us to see which of our therapists best fit your therapeutic needs.

The counselors at A Children’s Counseling Center all have separate and independent private practices and therefore accept different insurances and have their own fee schedules. It is your responsibility to contact your insurance company to make sure that a therapist is on that panel and accepts your insurance.

Counseling and Treatment

  • Individual Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Counseling
  • Individual Therapy
  • Couples Counseling

Diagonsis and Evaluation

Comprehensive pschological/social evaluation of families and individuals as well as

  • educational assessments
  • psychoeducation
  • interactional evaluations

Education and Groups

  • Becoming and Love and Logic Parent
  • Parenting Groups
  • Workshops
  • Filial Therapy
  • Resiliency Builder Program
  • Supervision for Professional Liscensure
  • Supervision for Play Therapy Certification
  • Infant Massage Education for Caretakers


A Children's Counseling Center
4251 Date Street,
Colorado Springs, CO, 80917

Tel: (719) 639 - 4869

Colorado APT


4251 Date Street, Colorado Springs, CO, 80917