Meet our instructors!

Kristine Hughes MA, LMFT, RPT-S™ (she/her) 

Kristine is a Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Play Therapy. Kristine has 10 years of experience working in a variety of settings including in-home, private practice, day treatment and outpatient. She primarily utilizes Play Therapy, Art Therapy techniques, and Sand Tray techniques in work with children and families following a humanistic approach focused on the relationship with the client and accessing what they already have within them to heal. Kristine is also trained in TF-CBT, Yoga Calm, De-escalation and Crisis Management, and Permanency and Adoption. She is enthusiastic about helping other therapists grow as professionals and is a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and Board Approved Supervisor for MFT and LPCC. Kristine has been a presenter for Anoka Hennepin School Staff, MN Children’s Museum and MSSA. Her passion for helping mental health providers gain the tools they need to help children and families is what led to the development of Play Heals. Kristine is the Program Administrator and Reviewer for Relate, and has worked thoughtfully to create an education series to support fellow play enthusiasts. Kristine also has a dog, Sadie, who is in training to be a therapy dog and accompanies her daily at Relate.

Kaitlin Salscheider, MSW, LICSW, IMH-E® (she/her) 

Kaitlin is a Licensed Social Worker who has experience providing individual and family therapy for infants and early childhood-aged children and their families, as well as children ages 6-10 years old. She approaches therapy from a relational perspective, and her work is grounded in child development, trauma, attachment, family systems, and the caregiver-child relationship. Kaitlin has experience in Experiential Play Therapy, trauma, Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Circle of Security-Parenting, Conscious Discipline, and mental health consultation with childcare and preschool providers.

She also provides supervision to therapists seeking independent licensure and holds a certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. 

Sara McGee MA, LMFT, IMH-E® (she/her) 

Sara is the Early Childhood Mental Health Manager at Relate Counseling Center. She has over 13 years providing mental health services to children, adolescents, adults, and families in both in-home and outpatient settings.

Sara has training in client centered and filial play therapy and is certified in Trauma Informed Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Circle of Security and Reflective Supervision. She is endorsed as an Infant/ Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist and has a certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. 


Rachel Takazawa MSW, LICSW (she/her) 

Rachel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides psychotherapy for children and families in the School Linked Mental Health Program at Relate. She works from a relational, client centered and collaborative approach while incorporating a number of different approaches based on client’s needs, including but not limited to: play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, attachment, mindfulness, stress reduction and behavioral-change models.

Rachel’s approach is mindful of brain development and how life transitions/adjustment and mental illness affect a developing brain and body. Her goal is to work collaboratively while encouraging, challenging and empowering clients and their families. Rachel has completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the RPT™ process. 

Instructor Collaboration With:

Alexis Greeves MA, LPCC, RPT-S™ (she/her) 

Course taught in collaboration with Play Heals: Attachment and Trauma: The Theraplay® Model 

Alexis Greeves is owner of Hope and Healing Family Counseling & Save Haven. She is also Adjunct Professor at Gallaudet University’s Counseling Department and Bethel University’s Counseling Department, teaching play therapy.  She is also a Theraplay ® practitioner and trainer. Alexis has been providing psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, adults and families for over 20 years.

She is trained in EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Co-Active Coaching, and a great variety of play therapy modalities. Teaching and training is a great joy for Alexis as she enjoys raising up the next generation of therapists to carry on this healing work. Hope and Healing is an approved Provider #07-204 

Erica Wassenaar MS, LMHC, RPT-S™ (she/her) 

Course taught in collaboration with Play Heals: Foundations of Adlerian Play Therapy.

Erica Wassenaar holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Wayne State College. She specializes in play therapy, more specifically Adlerian Play Therapy.  She also holds a Level II certification in AutPlay Therapy, which is play therapy specifically for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is also trained in Traumatic Incident Reduction, Critical Incident Stress Management. EMDR.  She is a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Play Therapy, Iowa Association of Play Therapy, and Erica is also a member of the NWIA Crisis Intervention Stress Management Team in which she leads debriefing for area first responders and law enforcement.  She is also a coordinator for KIDS Hope USA program through her church.  Erica is an Approved Adlerian Play Therapy Consultant through LEAP.

Karen Fried Psy.D., MFT (she/her) 

Course taught in collaboration with Play Heals: Use of Sand Tray in Play Therapy.

Karen Fried, Psy.D., M.F.T. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an Educational Therapist in Santa Monica, California. She has a private practice in Psychotherapy and is Co-Director of the K&M Center. Inc., a learning center providing educational and remedial services to students ranging from 4 years old to college age. Karen uses the Oaklander Model of Child Therapy in her practice and is the President of the Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation. She trains child and adolescent therapists in this model in the US and internationally. Trainings, online tools, and many resources can be found at

Karen can be reached at

Nicole Lovald MS, LAMFT, RYT 500 (she/her) 

Course taught in collaboration with Play Heals: Self Care for the Play Therapist

Nicole Lovald is the owner of Healing with Heart Integrative Psychotherapy. She is also one of the co-owners of Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center in Shorewood, Minnesota. Nicole is a master’s level trained counselor, certified life coach, reiki healer, and registered yoga teacher. As a natural healer all of her life, she has worked with a variety of populations (at-risk kids, veterans, domestic violence and sexual assault victims and more) in various settings throughout her career. Nicole incorporates mindfulness, breathwork, guided imagery and relaxation, energy healing, as well as mind-body medicine techniques into her practice, when and where it is appropriate for clients.  

Rob Winkler- MA, LP, RPT-S™ (he/him) 

Courses taught in collaboration with Play Heals: Non-Directive Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy and Play Series – Legos 

Rob Winkler is owner of Playmore and Prosper, a collaborative community of health and wellness professionals providing unique experiential, evidence-based approach to counseling and wellness services for kids and families. He has been practicing therapy for over 15 years and states to have grown every year in appreciation for the therapeutic power of activity. He feels most confident in his efforts when witnessing a client experience something which changes them from the inside out. He works from a foundation built on Gestalt & Client-Centered principles; but also incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. Playmore and Prosper is an approved provider of Therapy Training #17-504.  

More About Play Heals Current Cohort Calendar Application
Course Descriptions + ObjectivesProposed 2023-2025 Cohort Calendar Meet Our Instructors