Dedicated to Creating Healthy family Attachments 

Meet the certified FirstPLay® Practitioners

About Janet A. Courtney, PhD

Janet Courtney, PhD, LCSW, RPT-S, is Founder of FirstPlay Therapy®, to include FirstPlay® Infant Storytelling Massage and FirstPlay Kinesthetic Storytelling®. She is Executive Director of Developmental Play & Attachment Therapies, Inc. in Boynton Beach, Florida, an Adjunct Professor at Barry University, Miami Shore, Florida, a TEDx Speaker, Chair of the Association for Play Therapy Ethics and Practice committee, and former President of the Florida Association for Play Therapy. 

Dr. Courtney is Author and Co-Editor of the book, Touch in Child Counseling and Play Therapy: An Ethical and Clinical Guide (2017). Her research into practitioner experiences of training in touch and Developmental Play Therapy is published in the American Journal of Art Therapy and the International Journal of Play Therapy

She offers a Certification to practitioners in FirstPlay® Infant Storytelling Massage and FirstPlay Kinesthetic Storytelling® [].She specializes in the Clinical and Ethical Competencies of Touch, Infant Play Therapy/Mental Health, Attachment in trauma treatment, and Ecopsychology play Therapy. and offers Therapeutic Storytelling Consultations to practitioners all aspects of writing healing stories and self-publishing. 

Contact Dr. Janet A. Courtney to speak at your next event. Click below to learn more

find a Certified FirstPlay® Infant & Child Therapy Practitioner in your state 

Florida Practitioners
             Miami                                                           Venice                                             West Palm Beach                                    Boca Raton
Meyleen VelasqueZ, LCSW

Meyleen is a Registered Play Therapist and a Certified FirstPlay® Therapy Supervisor. As an Infant Mental Health Specialist, Ms. Velasquez’s work is focused on strengthening the attachment between parents and their young children. 

Viktoria B. Toth, LMHC

Viktoria is a Registered Play Therapist and a Certified FirstPlay® Therapy Supervisor. She is also the Vice-President of the Suncoast Chapter of the Florida Association for Play Therapy.

Helya Ortiz, MS, LMHC

is the CEO and Founder of Center for Trauma Counseling, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit mental health counseling agency in Lake Worth, FL providing services to children, adolescents, adults, and families. She is a Certified  FirstPlay Infant Therapy AssistantPractitioner.

Patti Baris, LCSW

Patti is a Certified FirstPlay® Infant Therapy Practitioner. She has a private practice in Boca Raton, Florida where she specializes in infant, child, and adolescent play therapy, as well as individual and group psychotherapy.

Chelsea Johnson, Ms, MT-BC, LMT

is a Certified FirstPlay® Infant Practitioner and works with The Children’s Healing Institute as Program Coordinator of the innovative TEACUP Preemie Program®.   Chelsea is a Board Certified Music Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Breastfeeding Counselor. Palm Beach County, Florida

ANDREA VARGAS is a LMHC, Certified FirstPlay® Infant Practitioner, Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider, a Qualified Supervisor for MHC Interns with a private practice in Weston, Florida, serving children, families and college students. She obtained her Master’s degree (M.S.Ed.) in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Miami. Andrea specializes in child and adolescent trauma and has a passion for attachment and bonding in adoption, and is delighted to offer FirstPlay® Infant Story-Massage.

Karen Baldwin, LCSW, RPT-S

is a Certified FirstPlay Infant Practitioner and is a doctoral candidate at Florida Atlantic University, Florida and is a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. She also works for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Behavioral Services Division Her research interests include infant mental health with an adolescent mother-infant population focusing on the maternal-infant attachment relationship.


Around the U.S. 

Lamoille, Vermont                            West Virginia                                     Tacoma, Washington                    Ardmore, Pennsylvania  
Kacey Burakowski, M.A.,

Kacey has a Masters in Speech and Language Pathology(CCC-SLP) and is a Certified FirstPlay® Infant TherapyPractitioner. Kacey specializes in early intervention with ages birth to three in Lamoille County, Vermont.

Michelle Comer, LCSW,-E®

Michelle is an Infant Mental Health Mentor (IMH-E® )and a Certified FirstPlay® Infant Therapy Practitioner. She is the founder of Xylem Family Resources, an organization that provides support to families through the life transitions of pregnancy and parenting. 

 Natasha Williams, LICSW

Natasha is a Perinatal and Child Psychotherapist and owner of Mommy & Me Therapeutic Services, PLLC. She is a Certified Clinician of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Certified FirstPlay® Infant Therapy Practitioner, Certified Triple-P Practitioner and a Certified Lactation Consultant.

 Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT

Tammi is a Certified FirstPlay® Infant Therapy Practitioner and owner of Main Line Play Therapy in Ardmore, PA. She is an international speaker and play advocate, and a certified trainer of The Nurtured Heart Approach® where she provides trainings and coaching

New York State

Jamesa Staten, is a licensed New York State Social Worker and a Certified FirstPlay® Infant Therapy Practitioner.  A great deal of Jamesa’s career has been dedicated to supporting families through difficult times. She also has an exemplary reputation for providing quality services to individuals & families that are in need of advocacy. Jamesa believes in the power of positive touch and she is honored to have the ability to help reinforce the bond between parents and their children. 


Carmen K Jimenez-Pride is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and Certified FirstPlay® ClinicalPractitioner. Carmen is the owner of Outspoken Counseling and Consulting LLC where she provides clinical services to children, individuals and families. Carmen is a published author of the Elizabeth the Adventure series and creator of educational resources for children.




International Practitioners

Panama City, Panama
Maria  Alejandra Palacios M.S, MFT

María is a licensed psychologist in Panama City, has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Certified FirstPlay® Infant Therapy Practitioner. She works at a private practice and co-founded “Relaciones” a consultant company dedicated to promote healthy relationships.



Copyright Janet A. Courtney, PhD and Developmental Play & Attachment Therapies, Inc.