Licensed Professional Counselor
Registered Play Therapist
Sand Play Therapist
Drug & Alcohol Counselor
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. Let us all pray for the 40,000 survivors who are in need of our prayers and support.
I have visited Puerto Rico and shared my book, The Wounded Yellow Butterfly and La Mariposa Amarilla Herida with the children affected by Hurricane Maria. I offer children affected by Hurricane Maria grief counseling.
I have donated copies of my Book, The Wounded Yellow Butterfly and La Mariposa Amarillo Herida, to victims of natural disasters in Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina and New Jersey. I have donated books to families of police officers killed in the line of duty and children who lost a family member due to a police shooting. I have donated toys and copies of my book in English and in Spanish to organizations helping children who have suffered trauma and/or witnessed unchecked aggression and undue community violence.
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 free downloads for children, parents and counselors experiencing natural disasters and other traumatic events of my books and audio/videos in Spanish and in English with captions of my books, The Wounded Yellow Butterfly or La Mariposa Amarilla Herida on this website and utube.
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”.
Wishing you all the best, Linda
You may find these and other definitions on the Web and Webster's Dictionary
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
Counseling will help define your role, find comfort, support, and confidence for the choices you make.
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.
Pre Abortion Counseling
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.
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. Victims of crimes are strongly advised to seek medical, psychological and spiritual support as well as filing a police report. I provide referral to counseling, safety education, and assistance to police departments to file sexual assault charges and will accompany you to the hospital to complete a rape kit exam. All are welcome and safe here regardless of your political or religious beliefs or affiliation. Please feel free call me. I understand. All calls are confidential.
Counseling can help understand "otherness" and establish a strong identity.
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.
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.
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 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 helps you find hope and balance in your life!
Therapy can help you feel safe again.
Therapy can help you cope with your loss.
Therapy can help you express your feelings.
Therapy can help you feel closer to others.
Therapy provides a safe place to tell your story.
Play Therapy helps your child find his or her balance in life!
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
I realized in therapy, "I may be wounded like the wounded yellow butterfly, but I too can still fly even after the abuse." - Anne
"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
"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
"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
"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
Seven Themes: 5 classes of each theme:
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.
We respect all people including people of faith, economic background, national origin, race and ethnicity, education, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, sex, age and disability.
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.
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 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. Humiliating you because of your political views and affiliations based on your race, gender, religion, economic background, etc.
Artistic expressions may include using "God" and/ or "Jesus" in your poem or other art work.
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.
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.
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 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: 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.
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, degrading language to shame you, 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 she 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
The use of drugs without a prescription is illegal. Using street drugs is a sign of a problem! Teach your children and teens that there is no such thing as "experimentation". Abusing prescription drugs is abuse. Illegal drugs and the abuse of medication causes medical problems, coma and/or death.
Using alcohol is a sign there is a problem! Teach your children and teens that there is no such thing as "experimentation". Drinking causes medical problems, coma and/or death.
Early sexual behavior may be a sign of sexual abuse. Early sexual behavior is not "experimentation" but a sign there is a problem. If you suspect sexual abuse of children or teens, report immediately to the police and/or your local children's protective services.
Photography and videos
Copyright 2017 Linda Diaz-Murphy
Contact Linda Diaz-Murphy for an appointment , referral, for assistance and accompaniment to the police department and/or hospital, with questions. comments and/or concerns. Remember you are welcome here regardless of your political affiliation and/or religious beliefs.
135 Fort Lee Road, Leonia, Suite LL4, NJ 07605
Fridays: 10am - 2pm
Saturdays: 830am - 5pm