Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor (RPT-S)
Marit Appeldoorn, MSW, LICSW, RPT-S is a psychotherapist, supervisor, and consultant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She holds a master’s degree in clinical social work from Smith College, and has over 25 years of experience providing mental health care to children, families, and adults. Marit loves teaching and training, and specializes in a reflective and integrative approach to both therapy and supervision.
My current titles are clinical social worker (LICSW), adult and child therapist, board certified supervisor/consultant and registered play therapist supervisor (RPT-S), teacher, writer and trainer. Within each of those roles, I am deeply rooted in an integrative, developmentally based, and playful approach! I have a solo private therapy and supervision practice in Minneapolis and teach at a couple of local universities in addition to my partnership with Sara and Alexis in Safe Haven.
As a play therapist, I generally work with children approximately ages 4-13 and their families. My main areas of focus are anxiety, trauma, attachment, and parenting concerns. My adult clients are often struggling with the same challenges, and I also work with creatives and academics navigating professional transitions.
As a supervisor, I provide pre-licensure supervision to social workers and clinical counselors as well as play therapy supervision for practitioners pursuing APT credentialing.
As a consultant, I provide clinical consultation to licensed therapists and fellow supervisors looking to deepen competencies and process cases, take brave new steps in their careers, or strategize about difficult professional situations.
I think the main words that describe my work are reflective, collaborative, supportive, flexible, integrative, and playful. Humor and lightness are a big part of my personality, but I also know how to hold painful or difficult stories in a safe, caring relationship.
Like my Safe Haven colleagues, I believe that healing and growth happen both in the nervous system and the “thinking brain”, relationships and connection are the engines of growth, and play is transformative in its ability to connect and heal.
All my work integrates somatic and play strategies, including my supervision and training!
The other main belief I have is that I am a developmental partner to my clients and consultees. This means that my role is to walk alongside people on their individual or family journeys and work with them to feel safe, connected, competent, and successful. The best work I do is helping people tap into their own strengths and resources for the answers they already possess inside them.
Even after 25 years of practicing play therapy, I am still continually awestruck witnessing the power of play for both children and adults. Whether it is facilitated in the therapy room or happening spontaneously outside of it–play is one of the most powerful tools for transformation and healing that we have!
In the past 15 years we have learned so much about the neurobiology of trauma and attachment, and I wish I knew then what I know now about how to “bring the nervous system into the therapy room!”
I started off my career in early childhood and infant mental health, and am still deeply influenced by that work. I am trained in Level 2 Theraplay and intermediate Somatic Experiencing, and am a certified YogaCalm instructor. I have also received training in Paris Goodyear-Brown’s TraumaPlay model, which integrates a wide range of child-centered, directive, and neuroscience-informed play therapy and parent counseling strategies.
I received my BA in Peace and Global Studies and Psychology from Earlham College, and my MSW from Smith College for Social Work.
In a word: amazing! Sara brings a sense of calm and groundedness to any conversation, and we call Alexis the “Campfire” because of her ability to bring therapists together in community. Both are deeply playful and wise clinicians and supervisors. The three of us complement each other really well, and I feel so lucky to have them as partners in Safe Haven!
Blue, or more specifically periwinkle (blue with a tinge of violet).
I studied abroad twice: once in Germany as a high school student, and once in Northern Ireland as a peace and global studies major in college.
Somebody Feed Phil. Food, connection with other people, and travel. Did I mention the food?
Pink Floyd at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a junior or senior in high school. I didn’t really know any of their music, but it was pretty epic nonetheless…
Little Marit, ready for the next adventure!
Marit completed YogaCalm™ certification as well as training in Somatic Experiencing® and Theraplay®, TraumaPlay®, and specializes in integrative approaches to healing family relationships. She is a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and is a former president of the Minnesota Association for Play Therapy (MNAPT).
Marit has been a play therapist since 1996 and a clinical supervisor since 2000. She is on the adjunct faculty of Augsburg University and St. Mary’s University, where she teaches courses on children’s mental health, assessment, adoption and foster care, and business planning for private practice. Marit also has a specialty working with depletion, secondary trauma, and burnout in front-line helping professionals and clinicians.
When not doing any of those things, Marit enjoys cooking projects, yoga, coffee, and spending time with her husband, son, and stepchildren.
She will always believe that Die Hard is a Christmas movie.
Marit Appeldoorn, LICSW, RPT-S