As an experienced counselor and family advocate, Meridith Starling founded Sandbox Family Counseling to fulfill needs in the Fox Valley community that weren’t being met. She saw a need for a more personalized approach for treating kids with behavioral challenges. Timely care was also needed. Parents often had to wait weeks and even months for their child to be evaluated, let alone treated. She knew that children and families would benefit by having another option for timely counseling and treatment.

Using Play Therapy methods, Meridith develops a personalized plan for each client, and guides parents each step of the way. Resources are also available for other family members – both kids and adults – as needed.


Play Therapy: Why it works

If your child is feeling overwhelmed or frightened, it can be difficult to focus and learn. It can also be especially difficult to find the words or verbally express their feelings. Play Therapy is effective because playing is a natural way children express themselves. When relaxed and playing in a guided session, your child is able to focus on a fun activity and express their emotions in a non-verbal way.

Play Therapy sessions uncover the ‘why’ behind your child’s actions and feelings. Once this is understood, a developmental plan is made to address the real issues affecting your child. As you see progress and realize there are solutions, you will have hope for the future!

Click here to learn more about Play Therapy!

Meridith Starling, Owner and Principal Counselor

About Meridith Starling,
Owner and Principal Counselor

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 3 years at Samford University and Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW) in Clinical Social Work at the University of Tennessee in 2004. She completed her Ed.S (Educational Specialist Degree) in Counseling Education with Play Therapy as the emphasis from The University of Mississippi in August 2015. She has been approved as a Registered Play Therapist by the Association for Play Therapy. Her designation of CISW means that she has completed a Master’s Degree program at an approved school, along with at least two years of supervised practice (no less than 3000 hours), and passed a National Exam (She passed the Association of Social Work Board’s Clinical Exam in 2008). Meridith completed over the 3000 hours of supervised practice prior to passing her boards and has remained current with continuing education requirements.

Her passion for working with children and families lead 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 and then onto the University of Michigan. She has been living in the Fox Valley for over 5 years with her family.

Her Philosophy

Asking for help is the first step to a better life. Meridith’ s goal is to provide children, adults and families with the tools to move forward with their lives and empowered to make changes for the good. 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, work through stress, anger, doubt and worry on your path to a healthier and happier person/family.

Her wellness focus can encompass many issues such as grief and loss, depression, anxiety, ADD/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 her Play Therapy playroom today!

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