Meyleen Velasquez, LCSW, RPT-S, specializes in play therapy with young children and families. She serves as the Chair of the Florida chapter of Postpartum Support International, on the Broward committee of the Florida Infant Mental Health Association, and on the Viola Brody FAPT committee. She has trained in an array of modalities including StoryPlay®, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, EMDR, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, and is a supervisor for FirstPlay®. She co- authored a chapter in the book “Touch in Child Counseling and Play Therapy: An Ethical and Clinical Guide” on the considerations of touch with an abused infant. Having worked as part of the Miami Child Well-Being Court Model, Meyleen has served as an expert witness in the areas of infant mental health and play therapies. She is passionate about creating positive communities through the use of age and population appropriate interventions and hopes to continue advancing the field of play therapy.
Tara Moser, LCSW, RPT-S, CAAPT-S, owns Delta Family Counseling, LLC in Southwest Florida where she specializes in play therapy and animal-assisted play therapy with kids 2 through 18. Tara is the founder of Pawsitive Kids Camp, a non-profit integrating play therapy and animal assisted play therapy. Tara has created play therapy courses for local universities and taught as adjunct, as well as traveled the country teaching on play therapy and animal assisted play therapy, most recently with Cross Country Education. Tara and her husband have co-authored a children's book to help children overcome fear. Tara is a graduate and past chair of APT’s Leadership Academy and has served on numerous APT committees, including Ethics and Practice, Nominations Board, Conference Program, Leadership Program, and Key Awards. Tara has served locally and most recently as Vice President for NASW- Florida in which retaining members was a goal along with retention. Her professional excellence has been recognized by both the SW Florida Unit of NASW as 2009 Social Worker of the Year and 2017 Field Educator of the Year, as well as FAPT in being awarded the 2009 Viola Brody Award. Tara and her team of therapists are often called for debriefing through animal assisted play therapy across the state as the only credentialed therapists in this modality.
Heather Payne, LMHC, RPT, CAAPT, CT, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Registered Play Therapist, a Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapist, and a Certified Thanatologist. She is currently applying to become a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, and is a graduate of the 2016 APT Leadership Academy. Heather works in private practice at Delta Family Counseling, LLC in Southwest Florida where she practices play therapy and animal assisted play therapy with her canine co therapist Griffin. She works with children and families from age two years on. She is also the Pediatric and Pregnancy Bereavement Coordinator for Lee Health, the region’s largest hospital system and provides grief support and education to families who have lost a child from pregnancy through eighteen years of age. She facilitates support groups for pregnancy and infant loss, and for parents of critically ill infants in the Golisano Children’s Hospital NICU. She is active in staff education and has presented at the local and national level on topics of self-care, ethics, and grief and loss.
Dr. Dalena Dillman Taylor, LMHC, LPC, RPT is a tenure earning Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida in the Department of Child, Family and Community Sciences/Counselor Education Program. She earned her doctoral degree in Counseling and completed her master’s degree in Counseling from the University of North Texas. Dr. Dillman Taylor is the Director of the Center for Play Therapy Training and Research at UCF, the play therapy certificate coordinator, and was the past president for the North Texas Chapter of Texas APT. She is a certified child-centered play therapist supervisor, a certified child parent relationship therapist supervisor, and a trained Adlerian play therapist. She currently is serving on APT’s research committee and served on the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling’s conference and position statements committees. Dr. Dillman Taylor is active in scholarship with over 20 publications and her primary research interests include: advancement of Adlerian Play Therapy field towards evidence-based practice; counseling and educational services for high need children and families; and counselor development and supervision.
Aimee Jennings, LMHC, RPT-S has been in the field for 25 years. Aimee has worked in a variety of settings throughout her career. For the past 17 years she has worked for the CHILL Program, a non-profit grant founded program that delivers free counseling services to children and their families in the Winter Park school system. Originally she started with CHILL as a school-based counselor and is now the Program Coordinator of the highly successful and recognized program. Outside of the CHILL Program, Aimee runs a successful private practice in which she conducts play therapy and expressive arts therapy with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. She provides counseling as well as supervision for fellow mental health professionals for licensure and play therapy. Aimee, along with her husband Sean, co-founded the Institute of Playful Healing and co-facilitates a certification program in Sand Tray Therapy in conjunction with and based upon the work of Dr. Theresa Kestly from the Sand Tray Institute of New Mexico. Aimee and her husband often speak locally to agencies and universities on the benefits of play therapy.
Elizabeth Muniz, LMHC, RPT-S, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and is co-founder of Thrive Therapy in Fort Myers and Naples, FL. Elizabeth has been working in the counseling field for over 7 years and has specialized in working with children since she began her counseling career. She was introduced to Play Therapy during her time in community mental health and was very intrigued and impressed by the efficacy and the research of this theoretical model. Elizabeth has presented on play therapy topics at the Florida Association Play Therapy Conference and at the FGCU’s Annual Children and Youth Mental Health Conference and has been featured in publications for the SWFL Parent and Child Magazine. She served as co-chair on the FAPT Public Awareness Commitee and is also a 2016 APT Leadership Academy graduate.
Michelle-Ann Rhoden-Neita, LCSW, RPT is a Florida Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Supervisor, Registered Play Therapist, and a Certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) Provider. She is currently a member of the Florida Association for Play Therapy (FAPT) and was a member of the team that restarted the Broward-Dade Chapter of the FAPT in 2014. Michelle worked over six years in the child welfare system where she provided psychotherapy and play therapy services, and clinical supervision. Michelle is currently a PhD student, and a Teaching/Research Assistant at Florida International University (FIU). She initiated and facilitated the first play therapy workshop for the School of Social Work at FIU in 2017 and has been an advocate for play therapy. She hosted several outreach activities for students and professionals about the “therapeutic power of play.”
The Florida Association for Play Therapy
President - Meyleen Velasquez, LCSW, RPT-S
Vice President - Tara Moser, LCSW, RPT-S, CAAPT-S
Secretary - Heather Payne, LMHC, RPT, CAAPT, CT
Treasurer - Dr. Dalena Dillman Taylor, LMHC, LPC, RPT
Member At Large - Aimee Jennings, LMHC, RPT-S
Member At Large - Elizabeth Muniz, LMHC, RPT-S
Student At Large - Michelle-Ann Rhoden-Neita, LCSW, RPT
Past President - Norma Bonet, LCSW, RPT-S
The Florida Association
for Play Therapy