Sandra Schuster

Degree: Masters of Social Work
License: Licensed Masters of Social Work
Specialties: Children, Adolescents, Adults

Sandra obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Michigan State University. She was initially interested in pursuing a master’s level degree in psychology, however, found that her orientation was focused on the person in their environment. Upon Graduation, she continued her educational pursuits at Michigan State University, obtaining her Master’s in Social Work. During this time, she also began working with children at Child and Family Services and adults through Community Mental Health adult foster care homes. She found her true passion after doing foster care case management through Lutheran Social Services and went on to work with children at Catholic Charities of South East Michigan.  During her 29 years with this agency, she gained experience and knowledge through many hours of training both in practice and attending conferences and seminars throughout the United States. She has been trained by many of the founding members of the International Play Therapy Association. She has been practicing play therapy for many years and received her Registered Play Therapist credential in 2006. She went on to obtain training to complete the requirement to supervise other clinicians as they advanced their knowledge and pursuit of becoming a Registered Play Therapist.

Sandra’s primary treatment approach in working with children ages 4-11 is Non-Directive Play Therapy, utilizing Gerry Landreth’s theories and training. There are also additional play therapy theories utilized when a directive approach is necessary. It is Sandra’s belief that the best approach is Prescriptive Play Therapy. This allows for utilizing training from many different play therapy theoretical backgrounds to best meet the client’s needs. These treatment approaches are evidence based and include cognitive behavioral interventions. Sandra strongly believes in treating the child within the family system and has been trained in family interventions that help the parents to respond to their children in new ways, eliciting positive and lasting results.

Sandra has been involved in continued training for other professionals to learn more about play therapy both for children and adolescents, using developmentally appropriate tools and interventions. She is a member of the International Play Therapy Association and the Michigan Play Therapy Association.