About Katie

Wisdom Within Counseling, LLC. Experiential Marriage and Family Therapy. 461 Main St. Niantic, CT 06357. Call/Text 860- 451-9364. KatieZiskindMft@gmail.com.

Specialist in Combining Family Therapy with Experiential Techniques

-You are having trouble sleeping. You are over thinking small things, worried about what’s coming, and feel insecure.

-You’re a perfectionist at school, but relationships are a different story.

-When thinking about relationships, you feel frazzled and anxious.

-You want security in a partner, but often feel insecure.

-You’ve tried therapy before and felt like it didn’t work.

When I offer is different, unique and unlike traditional talk-only counseling offered in this area. In addition to talking, you also get to choose from art, yoga, music, and animal therapy as a way to share your feelings and release.

I love working with adolescents, teenagers, young adults, and adults. I am your holistic therapist that offers experiential therapies above and beyond talking, when appropriate. I became a therapist to offer an approach so different, but one that is also a perfect fit from many who have not had previous success in talk-therapy alone. In my past, I worked with newly sober clients recovering from substance abuse and alcoholism, who greatly benefited from animal therapy. From this experience, I knew that talking doesn’t work for everyone- especially angry, frustrated, regretful people. Animals calmed anxiety and helped my clients move through feeling stuck. I would love to help you build positive coping skills to love yourself just as you are, embrace your imperfections, and create fulfilling, thriving relationships with yourself and others. I am here for you. All feelings are welcome in my office. Let’s connect today!

Call or text me for your free 15 minute phone consultation (860)-451-9364.

I’m Katie Ziskind, LMFTRTY500,, an experiential family therapist offering a safe space for your family, your marriage, and your child, adolescent, or teen to release, express emotion, and manifest a positive life. My office is a space where you and your family can feel comfortable and accepted. 

Therapy for Children and Teens

Your child, teen, or young adult can feel safe in my office expressing their deepest emotions. My mixed-methods, holistic, experiential approach helps children and teens who are going through a tough time feel accepted as they are and feel like they belong in the world again.

Meeting your child or teen where they are is my speciality! If you have questions, check out the FAQ page here.

Family-Focused Topics

Additionally, children often show anger after the death of a loved one or pet, divorce, remarriage, and gender identity issues. I help with processing these overwhelming emotions through evidence-based play therapy and experiential therapies. It is my goal to provide a safe space where they can feel accepted and supported.

I work with issues including: frequent crying, anger, distance, self-harm, sexual orientation, school avoidance, divorce, trauma, a move, life/social skills, eating disorders, dating boundaries, interpersonal skills, and pet loss. Also, I am an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and help adolescent clients come out, understand gender, and gender expression. Read more about how and why I am an LGBTQIA+ therapist in Niantic, here.

My Expertise with Counseling Families with Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

In addition to integrating art therapy for creative expression alongside talking, I support the parasympathetic nervous system and teach relaxation skills in session through yoga therapy. To supplement, music therapy is another method I offer families as a means to communicate as a universal language. I provide animal-assisted therapy groups. Read more about animal therapy here.

Why do I integrate animal therapy and how is it so effective? Read more on that topic here.

Expression of Emotion Through Art, Yoga, Music, and Animal Therapy

Experiential therapy for teens helps them feel like they are a positive part of their own growth process. When a child or young adult comes to therapy, sometimes talking about emotions can be very tough. I combine different, highly effective, evidenced-based treatment approaches. By combining these healing modalities, children, adolescents, and teens build positive coping skills and self-confidence.

Read more about each of these below.

Art Therapy

Nutrition

Animal & Adventure Therapy 

Yoga Therapy for PTSD

Why Animal Therapy?

Therapy For Young Adults In Niantic, CT

Sometimes the stress of balancing academics, college life, relationships, parents, and work can be overwhelming. Also, I work with teens and young adults who have recently been diagnosed with Lyme or Diabetes help them deal with the emotional components of their new diagnosis. Read more, here.

My Education

I began with bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mitchell College. After finding the course listings the most fascinating, I chose Central Connecticut State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. I graduated in 2017, hold a master’s in marriage and Family Therapy, am licensed in the state of CT. Yoga is interwoven into my therapeutic style as I also have over 500 hours of yoga therapy trainings. These include a children’s yoga training, 200-hr power vinyasa yoga training, and a specialized 300-hr yoga therapy training.

Work Experience

During my years at UCFS, I worked in depth with couples, children, individuals, and families. Later, I worked at SCADD with clients newly sober. These men and women in recovery, were also involved with DCF and Probation. Broadening my focus from outpatient community mental health settings, I worked a 90-day residential treatment center. It was a short-term transitional placement for clients after they had spent time in prison. I helped my clients build and manage day-to-day life skills while encouraging and supporting them.

My Story and My Passion To Go Beyond Only Talking

While working in substance abuse, I began to see the dire need for therapies beyond talking. My passion to help and my assessment about what they needed fueled me to trail blaze. Shortly, I became certified and learned to drive a big, cumbersome twelve-person, white van. Knowing animal therapy was exactly what they needed to rebuild trust and bonding, I contacted local farms and began networking -to best serve my clients. After much hard work and dedication, I connected with Amy Tripton at High Hopes in Old Lyme. With a desire to help my clients, I applied for a scholarship to attend Equine Enrichment Therapy. We were awarded the full scholarship!

At High Hopes, I saw a completely different side of my twelve clients (ranging from 18-78 years old). Many of them presented as hardened, angry, sarcastic, and aggressive due to being told they were never going to be good enough as well as childhood trauma. Each session, I told them I believed in them. They would cheer mid-week if know I was planning animal therapy for them.

Animal Therapy Groups: From Angry To Outgoing

While around the horses, the once angry men, transformed becoming talkative. They asked questions all about the horses. So interested in petting the horses, it looked like they forgot they were trying to be sober!

Experiential Therapies Support Positive Coping Skills in Children, Adolescents, and Teens

With the focus taken off them being the problem, they felt safe to talk, be genuine, and be curious. In the beginning, one client shared a very painful and sad memory of losing his family dog a few years earlier. In fact, the experience of losing his dog was extremely traumatic for him for a number of reasons beyond the death. During equine therapy, he bonded with the horses. As a result, he felt safe to talk about the loss, grief, and sadness that was still very real and unresolved in his mind, body, and spirit. My clients talked about seeing the horses for many days afterwards!

Maple Hill Farm and The Baby Calf Story

After going to High Hopes, I knew I was an, “experiential family therapist!” Additionally, I knew I had to keep this positive movement of experiential therapy going strong. I connected with Ned Ellis at Maple Hill Farm in Hebron, Connecticut. Ned volunteered his afternoon. First, he showed my clients the young cows in “cow kindergarten,” who were learning about being a cow with other cows. My clients loved petting the cows and had a host of well-thought-out questions for Ned, who answered all of them precisely and in a caring way. Ned, perhaps in his 60’s or 70’s, was incredibly fit and agile. He was climbing over six foot tall fences, modeling healthy aging for my clients. Watching, they were mesmerized, asking him how he was so healthy, his secrets for being so happy with his job, and why he chose to be a farmer vs. another profession where could make more money.

Animal Therapy For Recovery and Substance Abuse

I truly believe the universe has a plan for us because while we were at Maple Hill Farm farm, a new calf was born. A farm employee came to get our group just after the calf was born as we were in another area. Then, we watched this beautiful newborn take its first steps! It pushed itself on to its elbows and fell, then managed to get on its hind legs. But, fell again. The sober men, who were going through a bit of wobbling, being newly sober, felt so inspired. Their faces lit up when finally this calf was able to lean against its mothers legs to stand. They all cheered! These experiences solidified my passion to reach people through experiential therapies. I currently organize programs similar to this for my family therapy counseling practice in Niantic, Connecticut. I would love to have your teen in my next group!

Join for the next animal therapy group!

Contact me if you would like to enroll your teenager in clinical teen animal therapy groups to build self-esteem and attachment today- To talk on the phone, (860)-451-9364 or by email, KatieZiskindMft@gmail.com.

The Roots of Experiential Therapy

Virginia Satir used healthy, healing touch, such as a hug when appropriate. In fact, she helped them feel safe and connected to allow past emotions to be free. Often using family sculpting or play therapy, she focused on compassion, genuine listening, and a heartfelt approach.

Additionally, Virginia Satir also worked with Carl Whitaker using experiential therapy. Whitaker, a physician and therapist, was noted for being “in the thick of it” with his clients. Similarly to Satir, he helped other therapists view individual problems as relating to the whole, family unit. He embodied three important concepts: spontaneity, instinct, and emotional honesty.

Experiential therapists such as Satir and Whitaker believed that emotional suppression during childhood was directly responsible for a variety of presenting issues. Like both Satir and Whitaker, I also believe that soothing and nurturing these exiled emotions in creative, compassionate ways is the key to living joyfully.

A Free Gift For You

Enjoy these free items. I specialize with children, adolescents, teens, and young adults from the neighboring Connecticut towns: Lyme-Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Essex, Ivoryton, East Haddam, East Lyme, Niantic, Waterford, New London, Groton, Mystic, Pawcatuck, Westerly, Gales Ferry, Montville, Salem, Colchester, and Uncasville. I offer flexible office hours with weekends as well as TeleTherapy, Video Counseling to those who live in Connecticut as well as those living internationally, outside of the United States.

Learn More About Me, The Only Experiential Family Therapist In 06357

Here, on my Psychology Today Profile, my Facebook Page, my LinkedIn
 
My Pets

When I am at home, I enjoy relaxing with my three cats, Mini, Sarah, and Jasper.

My Favorite Exercise

I take and teach yoga classes to all ages (from preschool to seniors).

My Hobbies

I have fun playing with alternative flours in my homemade muffins. Hemp flour is high in protein and minerals. Buckwheat flour, is actually gluten free and part of the rhubarb family. Chickpea flour and teff have good fiber. I love playing with them in muffin recipes.

My Favorite Quotes

“Optimism is a force multiplier.” “Love for one’s self is love for all.”

My Favorite Thing To Do On The Weekend

On weekends, I love to go hiking outdoors as well as meeting new people and being social.

My Greatest Achievement

Getting my master’s degree and my 500-hour yoga therapy training. Plus, the best part is having a job I love!

Bucket List

Go hiking in all of our National Parks.

I look forward to meeting you and exploring your goals and magnificent life journey together!

Call Katie for your free 20-minute consultation to talk about how I can help your teen build self-confidence today (860) 451-9364.