Community Engagement

New Opportunities for School & Community Engagement

At Gestalt Columbus, we are grateful to be connected to the greater Columbus area through our school, community center and corporate partnerships.

We believe that supporting children, their families and school districts is an important part of a healthy society and we are passionate about this work.

Through the Gestalt Family aspect of our practice we are actively presenting, teaching and connecting, both in person and via zoom. In addition to the range of topics below we are happy to create meaningful and collaborative presentations suited to individual institutions.


If you’re curious how we might work together please contact us here or email


Navigating Transitions with Small Children

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Albert Einstein once said that, “Play is the highest form of research.” I couldn’t agree more. When we allow little minds and little hands to create, magic happens! Children expertly use play to communicate and process many of life’s hardships, but the real key is- Are we listening?

“[For children], communication is largely non-verbal and through play. Where adults talk things out, children act them out. Therefore, in order to truly listen to children, you have to listen to their non- verbal communication and to their play.”- Jodi Ann Mullen

There are so many times that the stress of adulthood and the tasks of our daily lives interfere with the families ability to connect. So often we dread hearing “play with me,” from our children, knowing there are dinners to make, emails to send and laundry to fold. We envision hours of make believe or tedious board games. In reality, there are so many ways to have a playful connection with our child as we navigate life together. Some examples of quick play activities:

  1. Silly songs while we put on our shoes
  2. Knock-Knock Jokes on the way home from school
  3. Secret handshakes
  4. Hide and Seek for a limited amount of turns
  5. A quick race around the yard or playground before heading out
  6. Making up stories together

Play is an opportunity for connection and growth with our children. Remember, children don’t come to us and say, “I’ve had a hard day can we talk?” They say, “Will you play with me?”

Continue reading “Navigating Transitions with Small Children”

Navigating Sibling Relationships, and some tips for surviving while they sort it out…

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Navigating Sibling Relationships, and some tips for surviving while they sort it out…

By Libby Steele, LPCC


As the world continues to navigate a “for now” normal, there have been many adjustments to be made in the family dynamic. The schedule is off, or constantly evolving. Any alone time is long gone and the adults are wearing way too many hats all at the same time. It’s a perfect storm for some emotional and highly charged sibling interactions, usually the final straw in parental patience.


In my work as a child and family therapist I often hear comments such as:

They’re so competitive. They act like they hate each other. They have nothing in common.

Highly polarized statements, all. My work with families is always to help them maintain their emotional connection and that extends to siblings. The goal is always: We are on the same team. (And by the way, parent(s), you’re team captain. Always. Full stop.)


Here are some tips for building a strong family team:

Continue reading “Navigating Sibling Relationships, and some tips for surviving while they sort it out…”

Fall Sports, Parenting and No Verb Coaching…oh my!

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As fall sports roll out in varying degrees, many of us parent’s are back on the sidelines cheering for our little superstars. In our community parenting programs, we often talk about the importance of the parent child connection, but did you know the way you “cheer” for and motivate your child in sports might be breaking that connection? Studies show that children whose parents remain calm and supportive play sports longer into adulthood, perform better and enjoy the game more.

Here’s a helpful hint I recently learned from my own child’s soccer coach: No Verb Coaching. If I’m yelling a verb from the sideline, I’m overstepping, probably distracting my child and generally confusing things. How can I show my child I’m their biggest fan? By calming down, enjoying the game and supporting them to make their own mistakes.

Maintain the connection with your child, encourage them to relax and have fun and help foster a growth mindset and a love of sports by “daring to chill.”