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Joy in the Morning Counseling and Play Therapy

Online or in San Marcos, TX

Interested in becoming a client? Click here

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You are here because either you or your child is hurting, and you're seeing this expressed in difficult behaviors, negative thoughts, distressing body sensations, or painful relationships. Maybe something happened in your past, something that is hard to forget about, and now you're finding it hard to "move on". You might be feeling guilty and taking that out on yourself or your family. If it's your child, maybe they've been asked to leave a school or daycare this year over it. Counseling is here to help with that.

We hold our memories, our pain, and our negative experiences within our body. If you've experienced intimate abuse you might notice that as great difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight no matter how hard you try. Children survivors of trauma often seem to have ADHD, though it's actually a survival skill called hypervigilance. Most people find pain or tension carried somewhere like the back, or shoulders. Play Therapy and EMDR both allow us to release the memory from our body and relieve these symptoms.

Dissociation is another issue that can result from our past. For parents, you probably see this when your child goes into "zombie-mode" and seems to completely disconnect from the world. For yourself it might look like gaps in your memory, or losing hours playing on your phone. This is an issue I specializes in treating, that way you or your child can feel fully connected to the here-and-now.

Please explore the website or contact me for more information. I'm happy to answer any questions you have as well as offer a free 20-minute phone consultation. 

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Mental Health Services

Madison uses a variety of techniques to get you to your healing goals.
All my services are currently available online.
Session fees are $150 per 50 minute session.

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Life coaching

Play Therapy

Play therapy is to children what counseling is to adults. Play therapy utilizes play, children’s natural medium of expression, to help them express their feelings more easily through toys instead of words. Play therapists often use the phrase, “Toys are the child’s words, play is their language.”

Read the Play Therapy tab to learn more!


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is one of the most well researched types of counseling that deals with distressing memories. Sometimes we get "stuck" in our past, and EMDR uses the brain's natural processing abilities to get us unstuck. We can take a memory from a reliving the experience to remembering it.

Check out the EMDR tab to learn about how I serve those currently in crisis, like medical staff on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Talk Therapy

Some clients prefer this more traditional type of therapy, and talk therapy flows in and out of everything I do. This type of counseling is much more conversational. While I may bring in activities, like a decision making model, this is where we sit with things and discuss them. I tend to operate from a Person Centered approach, and research supports this. The amazing thing about talk therapy is that by talking about distressing things in a safe environment, we can bring healing and wellness to you.

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Parenting (CPRT)

We often feel overwhelmed in the role of parent, and many of us didn't have great parent role modals. Maybe we've adopted a child and our old ways of parenting aren't enough anymore. Child Parent Relationship Therapy Training (CPRT) is a 10-week curriculum to give you, the parent, the same tools I use as a play therapist. You will be able to develop the most important part of parenting, your relationship!

EMDR Intensives

Are you limited on time? Discuss with me the possibility of an EMDR Intensive. In an intensive we will work through as much of your presenting issue as possible in one or two 8 hour therapy days.

Public Speaking

I also speak on a variety of mental health related topics, especially the intersection of mental health and Christianity. 
Reach out to me about your event for a consultation.

Looking for help for a teen? I work closely with Macy Pawelek, LPC and recommend her at Recover and Rebuild Counseling:

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Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5b

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Your next step

Contact me to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation


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Curious to find out who I am?

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Privacy Practices for Joy in the Morning LLC



Client Rights & Therapist Duties

This document contains important information about federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), that provides privacy protections and patient rights with regard to the use and disclosure of your Protected Health Information (PHI) used for the purpose of treatment, payment, and health care operations.

HIPAA requires that I provide you with a Notice of Privacy Practices (the Notice) for use and disclosure of PHI for treatment, payment and health care operations.  The Notice explains HIPAA and its application to your PHI in greater detail.

The law requires that I obtain your signature acknowledging that I have provided you with this.  If you have any questions, it is your right and obligation to ask so I can have a further discussion prior to signing this document.  When you sign this document, it will also represent an agreement between us.  You may revoke this Agreement in writing at any time.  That revocation will be binding unless I have taken action in reliance on it.


The law protects the privacy of all communication between a patient and a therapist.  In most situations, I can only release information about your treatment to others if you sign a written authorization form that meets certain legal requirements imposed by HIPAA.  There are some situations where I am permitted or required to disclose information without either your consent or authorization. If such a situation arises, I will limit my disclosure to what is necessary.  Reasons I may have to release your information without authorization:

  • If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for information concerning your diagnosis and treatment, such information is protected by the psychologist-patient privilege law.  I cannot provide any information without your (or your legal representative's) written authorization, or a court order, or if I receive a subpoena of which you have been properly notified and you have failed to inform me that you oppose the subpoena.  If you are involved in or contemplating litigation, you should consult with an attorney to determine whether a court would be likely to order me to disclose information.

  • If a government agency is requesting the information for health oversight activities, within its appropriate legal authority, I may be required to provide it for them.

  • If a patient files a complaint or lawsuit against me, I may disclose relevant information regarding that patient in order to defend myself.

  • If a patient files a worker's compensation claim, and I am providing necessary treatment related to that claim, I must, upon appropriate request, submit treatment reports to the appropriate parties, including the patient's employer, the insurance carrier or an authorized qualified rehabilitation provider.

  • I may disclose the minimum necessary health information to my business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services if the information is necessary for such functions or services.  My business associates sign agreements to protect the privacy of your information and are not allowed to use or disclose any information other than as specified in our contract.

There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to take actions, which I believe are necessary to attempt to protect others from harm, and I may have to reveal some information about a patient's treatment:

  • If I know, or have reason to suspect, that a child under 18 has been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or any other person responsible for the child's welfare, the law requires that I file a report with the TX Abuse Hotline.  Once such a report is filed, I may be required to provide additional information.

  • If I know or have reasonable cause to suspect that a vulnerable adult has been abused, neglected, or exploited, the law requires that I file a report with the TX Abuse Hotline.  Once such a report is filed, I may be required to provide additional information.

  • If I believe that there is a clear and immediate probability of physical harm to the patient, to other individuals, or to society, I may be required to disclose information to take protective action, including communicating the information to the potential victim, and/or appropriate family member, and/or the police or to seek hospitalization of the patient.


Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information:

  • For Treatment – I use and disclose your health information internally in the course of your treatment.  If I wish to provide information outside of our practice for your treatment by another health care provider, I will have you sign an authorization for release of information.  Furthermore, an authorization is required for most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes.

  • For Payment – I may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services provided to you as delineated in the Therapy Agreement.

  • For Operations – I may use and disclose your health information as part of our internal operations.  For example, this could mean a review of records to assure quality.  I may also use your information to tell you about services, educational activities, and programs that I feel might be of interest to you.

Patient's Rights:

  • Right to Treatment – You have the right to ethical treatment without discrimination regarding race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability status, age, or any other protected category.

  • Right to Confidentiality – You have the right to have your health care information protected.  If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer.  I will agree to such unless a law requires us to share that information.

  • Right to Request Restrictions – You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information about you.  However, I am not required to agree to a restriction you request.

  • Right to Receive Confidential Communications by Alternative Means and at Alternative Locations – You have the right to request and receive confidential communications of PHI by alternative means and at alternative locations.

  • Right to Inspect and Copy – You have the right to inspect or obtain a copy (or both) of PHI.  Records must be requested in writing and release of information must be completed.  Furthermore, there is a copying fee charge of $1.00  per page.  Please make your request well in advance and allow 4 weeks to receive the copies.  If I refuse your request for access to your records, you have a right of review, which I will discuss with you upon request.

  • Right to Amend – If you believe the information in your records is incorrect and/or missing important information, you can ask us to make certain changes, also known as amending, to your health information.  You have to make this request in writing.  You must tell us the reasons you want to make these changes, and I will decide if it is and if I refuse to do so, I will tell you why within 60 days.

  • Right to a Copy of This Notice – If you received the paperwork electronically, you have a copy in your email.  If you completed this paperwork in the office at your first session a copy will be provided to you per your request or at any time.

  • Right to an Accounting – You generally have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI regarding you.  On your request, I will discuss with you the details of the accounting process.

  • Right to Choose Someone to Act for You – If someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information; I will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before I take any action.

  • Right to Choose – You have the right to decide not to receive services with me.  If you wish, I will provide you with names of other qualified professionals.

  • Right to Terminate – You have the right to terminate therapeutic services with me at any time without any legal or financial obligations other than those already accrued.  I ask that you discuss your decision with me in session before terminating or at least contact me by phone letting me know you are terminating services.

  • Right to Release Information with Written Consent – With your written consent, any part of your record can be released to any person or agency you designate.  Together, we will discuss whether or not I think releasing the information in question to that person or agency might be harmful to you.

Therapist’s Duties:

  • I am required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with a notice of my legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI.  I reserve the right to change the privacy policies and practices described in this notice.  Unless I notify you of such changes, however, I am required to abide by the terms currently in effect.  If I revise my policies and procedures, I will provide you with a revised notice in office during our session.


If you are concerned that I have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision I made about access to your records, you may contact me, the State of TX Department of Health, or the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


This notice went into effect on July 29th, 2023

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