On Learning to Stay in the Room
Two afternoons a week, I drive through twisting mountain roads in rural Appalachia to arrive at a community mental health agency that provides a variety of services to families living in poverty. For the past four years, I have worked part time at this agency doing play therapy with children ages three to thirteen years old, many of whom have experienced serious trauma or profound loss. As I work with these children in the playroom, I frequently have my own feelings of being lost and at a loss for how to understand what they need and how to help them. These oftendiscomfiting afternoons sit along my comfortable life as a professor of education at a large university, where I work as a curriculum theorist and provide classes to preservice teachers preparing for careers in early childhood and elementary classrooms.