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Support for Individuals & Families

Providing a safe place to work through life's challenges. Serving children, adolescents, teens & families.

Meet Cindy Brackmeyer

Licensed Professional Counselor, 

Registered Play Therapist

Certified in Animal-Assisted Counselor

Cindy is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Registered Play Therapist and is certified in Animal-Assisted Counseling (AAC).  She is a retired school counselor, dedicating 25 of her 29 years working as a counselor with individuals ranging in age from 3-19, as well as adults, families and groups in the counseling setting.

 

Cindy has extensive training in the areas of Child Centered Play Therapy, Sandtray Therapy, Animal-Assisted Counseling as well as being trained in Trauma Based Relational Interventions. When seeking advanced certification in the mental health field, she worked closely under the direction of Dr. Linda Homeyer, a leader in the field of counseling and psychotherapy.

 

Throughout her many years of experience, Cindy has a utilized a variety of therapeutic approaches in assisting individuals when navigating through life’s challenges. Developing a trusting and empathic relationship is key to client growth.

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Cindy Brackmeyer, M.Ed., LPC, RPT, AAC

cindy@counselingofaustin.com

Specialization Areas Include

 
 
  • Divorce

  • Stress

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Depression

  • Grief

  • Coping Strategies

  • Parent Coaching

  • Self Esteem & Confidence Building

  • ADHD/ADD

  • Academic Problems

  • Emotional Regulation

  • Trauma

Services Offered

 

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Animal-Assisted Counseling (AAC)

 

One of the unique therapeutic approaches that Cindy implements is Animal-Assisted Counseling. Charley (Cindy’s Certified Canine in AAC) has truly helped in the therapeutic process of building relationships with clients. 
> > Who is Charley?

 

“Play is a child’s natural language and toys are their words.”

~ Landreth, 2002

 

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy isn’t the same as playing at home or at school with others.

 

This counseling modality is a developmentally appropriate way for children and adolescents to express their feelings. We will use toys as well as the creative arts/crafts, and games in working towards therapeutic goals.  Children, through this therapeutic process, can learn to express their emotions, build self-confidence, and self-esteem while increasing their social skills. 

What is Sandtray Therapy?

Sandtray Therapy is an expressive form of therapy where the use of a tray, sand and a carefully selected group of miniatures is used to create a sandtray.  As in traditional talk therapy, the client is able to work through barriers and traumatic events while reprocessing them in a safe environment and with a trained therapist.  Through this process, individuals can find insight into their distress and learn new ways of coping.

Who Practices Play Therapy?

The practice of play therapy requires extensive specialized education, training, and experience. A play therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has earned a Master's degree in a mental health field with considerable general clinical experience and supervision.  With advanced, specialized training, experience, and supervision, mental health professionals may also earn the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) conferred by the Association for Play Therapy.

What is Animal-Assisted Counseling?

Animal-assisted counseling (AAC) is a goal-directed process in which a trained mental health practitioner-animal team work together to help clients resolve mental health and behavioral challenges and achieve growth. AAC is a process of using experiential and expressive interventions that include the therapy animal, Charley.

 

Research shows that the presence of the therapy animal makes a positive impact, regardless of the level of involvement of the therapy animal.

AAC can be used with children, teens, and adults in both individual and group counseling settings.

 
 
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Who is Charley?

 

  • Charley is a Golden Retriever rescued from Gold Ribbon Rescue (grr.org)

  • He is fully licensed and has been called a “natural” by Dr. Elizabeth Kjellestrand Hartwig, Program Director at Texas State University’s Animal Assisted Counseling Academy

  • He worked his internship year (2019-2020) at Gullett Elementary in the Austin ISD

  • Graduated from Texas State University’s Animal-Assisted Counseling Program in May 2020

 

Charley loves people and especially children. The Gullett community was awesome, and I cannot think of a better place for him to have begun his career.