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Child/Play Therapy (infants - teens) 

Sometimes children, like adults, can benefit from therapy. Therapy can help children develop problem-solving skills and also teach them the value of seeking help. Therapists can help children and families cope with stress and a variety of emotional and behavioral issues.

Many children need help dealing with school stress, such as homework, test anxiety, bullying, or peer pressure. Others need help to discuss their feelings about family issues, particularly if there's a major transition, such as a divorce, move, or serious illness.

Significant life events — such as the covid-19 pandemic, death of a family member, friend, or pet; divorce or a move; abuse; trauma; a parent leaving on military deployment; or a major illness in the family — can cause stress that might lead to problems with behavior, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning.

In some cases, it's not as clear what's caused a child to suddenly seem withdrawn, worried, stress, sulky, or tearful. But if you feel your child might have an emotional or behavioral problem or needs help coping with a difficult life event, trust your instincts.

At Oceanside Family Therapy & Assessments, we have a specialized play therapy room for our clients aged 12 and under. This play therapy room is equipped with art therapy materials in addition to specialized play therapy toys, board games and books, in a fun, inviting and age appropriate environment. We are trained to work with all ages of children and babies. 

Animal Assisted Therapy or PAPT (Pet Assisted Play Therapy) is also available when requested, as part of Walk and Talk Therapy.

We have 3 trained assistance dogs or clients may opt to include their own animal when appropriate.

Sophie the Pappillion is great with children who are not too rough and has helped several children overcome a phobia or fear of dogs; Maggie the Havanese is shaggy, sweet, sturdy and huggable like a teddy bear; and Teddy the standard poodle is mellow, huggable and playful.

Our Play Therapy Room has transitioned to 

Teletherapy and/or Walk and Talk Therapy!​

Perfect options for issues developing from the pandemic including social anxiety, general anxiety, depression, self-esteem, inertia, body image and video game addiction.

Methods of treatment for children/teens may include:

Expressive art therapy services employ art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork as therapeutic and healing tools.

Clients from all walks and stages of life are able to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem, and generally improve their sense of well being.

Art therapy is a powerful treatment for children and adults experiencing developmental, medical, educational, social, or psychological impairment. Self discovery, increased well being, and freedom from destructive behavioral patterns are all positive results of art therapy. 


A case where the registered MFT intern worked directly under clinical supervision with this supervisor for several years.

The children entered the system due to severe abuse and neglect and parental rights were terminated.

Through years of intensive trauma therapy they both started thriving and became adoptable.

Nicole Story, Ed.S, M.Ed, LMFT, LMHC, NCC, QS-FL, Psychotherapist and Clinical Director, is dually licensed in

Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling and is a clinical member of the Florida Assoc. for Infant Mental Health; the Theraplay Institute; and the APA (American Psychological Association) and served as the President of the NE Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (7 years).

Originally from Ireland/UK, she offers a culturally sensitive approach to therapy with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds in a supportive, secure, non-judgmental environment.

Her vast experience includes serving as the Clinical Director of an adolescent inpatient program, children's outpatient programs (11-21) and detox; and as a child therapist with the Child Guidance Center and Beaches Resource Center, Hope Haven Child & Family Clinician.

Over the past 20 years she has supervised over a dozen local agencies and numerous private practitioners as a Qualified Clinical Supervisor for Masters and Doctorate level therapist interns.

She is also an active mother of two, offering both extensive clinical and invaluable personal experience.

If cost is an issue, please inquire for the rates for one of our private practice Masters level interns!

She is often quoted by the media and interviewed as an expert on child, parenting and family therapy issues and has provided licensure supervision to the clinical staff for the Youth Crisis Center, DJJ, Daniel Kids, Camelot Behavioral, US Naval Hospital, Veterans Administration, Family Foundations, Breakthroughs, River Region and contracted with Hope Haven.

She and her husband live and share a office in Jacksonville Beach. With 2 active children she served as President of both of their schools' PTSAs and contracted at the Beaches Resource Center (at Fletcher High) for 7 years, also serving as the President of the Foundation.


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