Business Profile
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • February 2015
Written by 

A little about Meridith Starling and Valley Wellness & Referral, LLC

Meridith Starling is a Certified Independent Social Worker in Wisconsin, and holds licenses in Ohio and Tennessee. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in human development and family studies within three years at Samford University and her Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW) in clinical social work at the University of Tennessee in 2004. Her designation of CISW means that she has completed a master’s degree program in an approved school along with at least two years of supervised practice (no less than 3,000 hours), and passed a national exam (she passed the Association of Social Work Board’s Clinical Exam in 2008).

Her passion for working with children and families led her to an internship, followed by a full-time position working for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the foremost children’s hospitals in the country. After relocating, she worked at a local hospital as a social worker, helping individuals and families in times of sickness and crisis. She has been living in the Fox Valley for over four years with her family.

Her company, Valley Wellness & Referral, springs from her desire to help people on a day-to-day basis. Valley Wellness was launched in the summer of 2013 and moved into its current location in The Marketplace at 124 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Neenah early in 2014.

Her focus

Meridith’s passion for working with children has led her on a pursuit to expand her training and techniques in an Ed.S. program that she will complete in 2015. She is now able to offer play therapy as part of her counseling services in the Valley. Her new Play Therapy Program has integrated well with her past play-based therapy techniques, and has provided her with even more training and education, which she is using to improve her therapy sessions with the children she meets.

Play therapy is an approach to counseling that allows children to use toys, art and other play items to express their thoughts and feelings. In a play therapy session, children “talk” through their play, showing the counselor what they are thinking and feeling. Most children under the age of 12 frequently have difficulty talking about what is bothering them. This difficulty is not because they don’t want to discuss their thoughts and feelings, but because they haven’t yet developed the vocabulary or the thinking skills that they need to be able to do this. Through play, art, games, music and other mediums, children are able to engage in meaningful conversations and work through their concerns. They can practice problem solving, gain self-confidence, work out their feelings and discover new skills in a safe and accepting environment. Children who are coping with an illness, family changes, trauma and developmental and learning needs can benefit greatly from play therapy. Children who are nonverbal or have speech issues can also benefit.

Her philosophy

Asking for help is the first step to a better life. Meridith’s goal is to provide children, adults and families the tools to move forward with their lives, and to empower them to make changes for the better. There is no cookie-cutter method to her counseling and she adapts her methods to best fit each client.

Meridith will help you find understanding, and work through stress, anger, doubt and worry on your path to becoming a healthier and happier person.

Her wellness focus can encompass many issues, such as grief and loss, depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral issues, living with medical illnesses, navigating family changes such as a new sibling, step-family and divorce, identity and self esteem issues, and stress management. She will help you find additional resources and referrals when needed as part of her treatment plan.

Please contact us and check out our office and new play therapy playroom today!

Valley Wellness & Referral, LLC

Located in The Marketplace, 124 W. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah


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