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135 Fort Lee Road, Leonia, NJ, Suite LL4
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Licensed Professional Counselor   

Registered Play Therapist 

Trauma Specialist

Sand Play Therapist 

Drug & Alcohol Counselor

Who Am I * Safe Place * The Healing Journey

Linda Diaz-Murphy, LPC, RPT, CTTS, LCADC

Translation into Spanish button on top left.  

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist, specializing in Trauma Focused Play Therapy and Sand Play Therapy for children, teens and adults.  I have my own counseling practice and offer effective outpatient, individualized, psychological care. I treat a number of mental health issues, and provide a neutral perspective to children, teens and adults. I provide individual, family, and couples therapy. 


I am a grief counselor for the Victim Witness Assistance Program Office of Military Commissions assisting 9/11 victim family members (VFM) who travel to GTMO, Cuba, to view in person the pretrial hearings of the five prisoners charged with the murder of over 4,000 people who died in the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11/01.  


I have been married for 40 years to Brian.  I am a mother, grandmother, and have two wonderful grandchildren who helped me write the book, "The Wounded Yellow Butterfly,” a story of a wounded butterfly and other insects and garden animals who rebuild their once peaceful garden after a terrible storm.  I am in the process of creating an animation based on "The Wounded Yellow Butterfly" book. 

 

I am providing an audio/video in Spanish and in English with captions of my book, The Wounded Yellow Butterfly  or  La Mariposa Amarilla Herida on this website and utube to children who have experienced a storm and/or other disaster or traumatic event in their lives.


Full Circle is when something "comes full circle", it completes a cycle, returns to its beginnings.  "We can go from optimism to pessimism and back to optimism again in our lives". It is also an “expression of the moment”.  

You may find these and other 

definitions on the Web and Webster's Dictionary


Wishing you all the best, Linda Diaz-Murp

Safe Place: The Waiting Room

The focus is to help children, teens and adults become aware of their inner strengths to help each individual grow from their struggles, heal from their pain, and move forward to where each person wants to be in their life. To achieve this, each person is provided a neutral safe space where trust can develop and healing can begin. 

The Healing Journey

I will be there for you every step of your healing journey.  Your journey may include feeling safe, expressing your feelings, learning to cope with anxiety, telling your personal story and making closer connections with others. 

Grief is a strong emotional response to loss.

Initial Response to a Traumatic Event

Initially children, teens and adults may feel shock. It may seem unreal and may cause a feeling of hopelessness or meaninglessness of life. They may ask, "Why did this happen to me?" We all need consistency in our lives. We want to feel in control and make sense of our lives and the world around us. When something tragic happens we want to know “Why?” 

Symptoms

After a tragic event, children, teens  and adults may have trouble functioning at home, work and/or school.  We may feel and/or experience  fear, anxiety, or depression.  We may have an inability to form or keep relationships, withdrawing from others.  We may experience terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks, and may avoid things or triggers that remind us of the traumatic event.  We may also regress and act out uncharacteristically. We may experience physical problems including fatigue, being startled easily, poor concentrating, racing heartbeat, edginess and agitation, aches and pains, muscle tension, nausea, and headaches.   


Recovery may take weeks, months and even years. Each person is different and his or her recovery time should be respected. 

Recovery & Building Hope

Guide children and teens through the stages of grief and toward the transformation to hopefulness by providing them with ways to regain trust, express and cope with feelings, tell their personal stories and reconnect with others to restore and rebuild their lives. The Wounded Yellow Butterfly book is a perfect story book for children to help understand  the process of grief and recovery and to instill hope.

life's Issues

Parenthood

Counseling will help define your role, find comfort, support, and confidence for the choices you make. 



Pregnancy choices, Pregnancy Loss and Grief

Counseling helps you make choices about pregnancy including deciding how many children to have. 


Counseling provides a safe place to share the loss of a pregnancy and to gain a better understanding of the normal grieving and healing process. 


Counseling provides a safe place for sharing your loss after an abortion and to gain a better understanding of the normal grieving and healing process. 

Safety

Counseling can provide you a safe place to explore what being safe is, who are the safe and unsafe people, and how to keep yourself and others you love safe. 

Empowerment and Independence

Counseling is beneficial to everyone seeking to empower themselves and strengthen their commitment in facing injustices i.e., domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, sexism, etc.  You may explore enabling behavior and find the courage to correct injustices, not tolerating, enabling or excusing them.  

Identity

Counseling can help understand "otherness" and establish a strong identity. 

Couples Counseling

Relationship counseling can be beneficial to all couples looking to strengthen their emotional connection, in all stages of their relationship. Therapy sessions are held with couples in a supportive environment to discuss issues and solutions to better strengthen the relationship.    

Therapy for Children, Teens and Families

Sand Play Therapy

Depression, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common and uncomfortable emotions that children, teens and adults may experience at some point in their lives. Through sand play therapy, children, teens and adults may recover motivation, perspective, and joy that they once had in their lives. 

 

Trauma Focused Play Therapy For Children

Many children and teens can experience symptoms associated with painful and traumatic circumstances. Anxiety, fear, and hopelessness are a few emotions that can linger after post traumatic events. Children and teens can overcome these symptoms and helped with caring guidance through the process of grief and healing. 

 

Family Counseling

Family counseling can be beneficial to all members in the family looking to strengthen their emotional connections. Therapy sessions are held with family members in a supportive environment to discuss issues and solutions to better relate to one another.     

Therapy for First Responders, 9/11 VFM's and Veterans

Police & Firefighters

9/11 Victim Family Members

Veterans & Family Members

The Five Themes of Trauma Focused Play Therapy

Understanding Therapy

Therapy helps you find hope and balance in your life! 

#1 Safety

Therapy can help you feel safe again.

#2 Coping

Therapy can help you cope with your loss.

#3 Expressing Your Fellings

Therapy can help you express your feelings.

#4 Connecting With Others

Therapy can help you feel closer to others.

#5 Telling Your Story

Therapy provides a safe place to tell your story. 

"What is Play Therapy?"

Play Therapy helps your child find his or her balance in life! 

After Therapy & Reading The Wounded Yellow Butterfly story, I felt validated

Testimonials

School Bullying

Mother and child said, "Attending therapy helped us feel as if we had built a kaleidoscope as the animals and insects in the story had done after the storm.  We have picked up the pieces of broken glass, built our kaleidoscope and saw a new way to care for ourselves 

by attending another school which helped us move on with our lives."  -Karen and Fran

Sexual Abuse

I realized in therapy, "I may be wounded like the wounded yellow butterfly, but I too can still fly even after the abuse." - Anne

Divorce

"Therapy helped me find peace living in two homes just like the butterfly, the animals and insects rebuilt and found peace in their garden." -Joanna


Loss of a Pet

"Losing my pet was like going through the terrible storm in the story. But I feel better today. Therapy helped me through the sad days and to remember the happy days just like the garden insects and animals remembered things in the past."  -Marco

Unloved

"In therapy I learned I am lovable and have value even if both of my parents neglected and abused me. I am with a new family now and it is a new day just like the new day in the peaceful garden where the the wounded yellow butterfly, the 

rainbow butterflies and bird family live. 

I got a second chance just like 

the wounded yellow butterfly." - Pedro

Mother has a Mental Illness

"I can love my mother and rebuild my relationship with her just like the animals and insects in the story when they built loving friendships. Therapy helped me understand my mother better.  She is a lot like the wounded yellow butterfly and I am too." -Mary

Store

The Wounded Yellow Butterfly Book

$12.00

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card


La Mariposa Amarillo Herido

Children and Teens Nonviolent Peace and Justice Program

Program offered to individual child or teen, schools, agencies, and organizations. Classes are held at my office, as well. You may choose one or more themes (five classes per theme) to present to students or clients. The cost is $10.00 per child or teen in a group or $25.00 per individual child in a private training session.

Seven Themes: 5 classes of each theme: 

Safety

Affirmation

Communication 

Cooperation 

Diversity 

Conflict Resolution 

Justice


Safety

Learn what being safe means, who are safe people, who are unsafe people, and learn to protect yourself.  If a child claims they have been bullied, assaulted and /or discriminated against, believe them and remove them from the unsafe environment.  


Believe your children when they report to you they are suicidal and remove them from the source of their distress and call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency room. You may also call 201-262-HELP for a suicidal screening.  


Unsafe school environment includes child on child physical assault and/or sexual assault.  These are serious crimes and should never be excused or ignored, but reported to the police and the Institutional Abuse Department of Children Protection and Permanency (DCPP), formally known as DYFS or call your local child protective services.


Diversity

We respect all people including people of faith, economic background, national origin, race and ethnicity, education, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, age and disability. 


Racism 

Racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.


Prejudice 

A person of any racial group can be prejudiced towards a person of any other racial group. Also can be a person of any group prejudice towards a person of any other group. There is no power dynamic involved. 


Bigotry 

Bigotry is stronger than prejudice, a more severe mindset and often accompanied by discriminatory behaviors, i.e., refusing to hire you based on your political affiliation, race, religious, artistic expression, ethnicity, etc.


Artistic expressions may include using "God" and/ or "Jesus" in your poem or other art work. 


Discrimination

Discrimination is understood as a practice or action, whether intentional or not, and based upon prohibited grounds of discrimination, that imposes burdens, obligations or disadvantages on an individual or group that are not imposed on others, or that withholds or limits access to opportunities, benefits and advantages available to others.


Soft Bigotry

Low expectations, women and/or men in "power" speaking for "others" when they can speak for themselves, transferring "minority" children to a “slow” class and/or having you place your child on medication for ADHD. Only a licensed mental health professional may diagnose a child.  ADHD may be a misdiagnoses for PTSD. 


Hard Bigotry 

Are forms of bigotry which were common in the pre-Civil Rights era, such as Black students not being allowed to attend White schools at all.  


Sexism

Sexism affects women, men, boys and girls opportunities. Sexism is both discrimination based on gender and the attitudes, stereotypes, and the cultural elements that promote discrimination.  It is the belief that one sex is superior to the other and should dominate important areas of political, economic, and social life.  


You may find these and other 

definitions on the Web and Webster's Dictionary

Place, Time, Cost and Facilitator

Place: My Office

Time: 9 am-10am  

Cost: $10.00  per person per class 

Facilitator: Linda Diaz-Murphy, Conflict Resolution Specialist 

You must register your child or teen before attending training. You may also consider registering for individual sessions for your child. 

Bullying

Social bullying may include leaving someone out on purpose, telling others not to make friends with someone, spreading rumors, embarrassing someone in public, calling someone "stupid".


Social Bullying may escalate to criminal behavior i.e., racial or religious or political related assaults, sexual harassment & assault, stealing, destroying property, domestic and dating violence and other forms of violence.  


Physical "bullying" or violence includes hitting, kicking, pinching, tripping, spitting, pushing, punching, slapping, destroying property, etc. 


Verbal "bullying" or violence includes threats of harm, using racial insults, etc. 


Sexual "bullying" or violence includes making inappropriate sexual comments, inappropriate unwanted touching, sending sexually related photos by text, child on child sexual abuse, etc. 


Psychological "bullying" or violence includes using  "gas lighting", telling your friends that you hate them, telling you your friends hate you, telling you to kill yourself, preventing you from being friends with someone, preventing your freedom to move about freely, etc.


Believe your child and/or teen when he or she reports to you any physical, verbal, sexual and/or psychological violence or criminal behavior toward them. Parents have a responsibility to call the police and file a complaint with the police and file a school complaint in WRITING when their child reports they have been socially, physically, verbally, psychologically and/or sexually attacked. 


If necessary, hire a lawyer and/or move to another school to protect your child from further abuse and violence. Your actions can prevent further harm to your child and to another child.  


Contact your child's school, local police and child protective services for information on "mandated reporting" on social bullying, physical, verbal, sexual and psychological violence.  


Check to see if your school is mandated to report the bullying and/or violence to parents and protective services i.e., child on child sexual contact and other forms of violence in a school environment.  


If your child's school is not responsible to report or have a "duty to warn" students and parents incidents of violence by other students and/or adults, consider removing your child from the school for safety reasons.  There are other options. Move your child to another school or  "Homeschool", a legal option in the State of NJ.  You may also support the  "School Voucher Program". The school voucher program provides parents with financial support to place a child in the school of your choice. Be proactive and an informed parent. Ignoring and/or tolerating abuse is neglect and never OK.  


Many years ago, I removed my daughter from a public high school, after my daughter told me that the school allowed a student to return to classes after he attempted to kill his mother by placing a rifle up to her head provided by the father. He had also planned to bomb the home.  After removing my daughter from the school, I wrote a letter to the Board of Education outlining my requirements for a safe school and that my daughter would not return until this teen was removed and kept out of the school environment. The school complied and my daughter returned to school. 


Peace, safety and courage!


You may find these and other 

definitions on the Web and Webster's Dictionary

Send me a message in English, Spanish or any language

Send Message

Counseling helps you find balance in your life!

Photography and videos 

Copyright 2017 Linda Diaz-Murphy


Contact Linda Diaz-Murphy with questions. comments and/or concerns

Full Circle Mediation and Counseling Center

135 Fort Lee Road, Leonia, Suite LL4, NJ 07605

201-320-9907

Hours

Fridays:  10am - 8pm
Saturdays:   9am - 3pm