The childsavers staff standing on a hill.

Workshop Facilitators

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In partnership with the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and ChildSavers, VCU Continuing and Professional Education offers a variety of APT-approved play therapy workshops.

Our workshop facilitators are experienced and passionate about play therapy.

Meet our lead instructors

Katie Francis, LCSW, RPT-S, CTP-C

A photo of Katie Francis.Katie Francis is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S) and Certified Trauma Practitioner-Clinical (CTP-C). She has been working for ChildSavers for over 10 years providing outpatient therapy to children, teens and families. Katie is also the program manager for the Mental Health Services Outpatient Program and Immediate Response Program and provides clinical supervision to staff. Katie has extensive training in providing trauma-focused treatment to children, teens and families as well as training in the use of play, art, sand and attachment-based treatments. She has previously taught for the play therapy training workshops on Group, Family and Filial work. Katie thoroughly enjoys supporting our community’s children and families by helping them to find healing and build resiliency through the use of play and expressive therapies.

Bob Nickles, LCSW, RPT

A photo of Bob NicklesBob Nickles is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT) who lives and works in Richmond, Virginia. Bob has practiced clinical social work since 2009 with a variety of populations across the lifespan and especially enjoys seeing families find new ways to solve old problems. He presently serves as a school-based services manager with the non-profit agency, ChildSavers. Outside of work, Bob enjoys cooking, exercise, and theatre.

Meet our instructional team

Lindsey Hershner, LCSW

Headshot of Lindsey HersherLindsey Hershner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and holds a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She serves as an outpatient therapist at ChildSavers and previously served on the ChildSavers Immediate Response team supporting families through community based crisis and intervention work. Lindsey has over five years of experience promoting early childhood development in the community. She is bilingual and has worked professionally with members of the Spanish-speaking community in Richmond for ten years. Lindsey enjoys working with all ages of children and teens and is passionate about helping clients find the way to express themselves most authentically in therapy. Lindsey provides opportunities for symbolic expression through expressive therapies or sand tray therapy, and allows clients to choose their preferred language for expressing themselves in therapy. Lindsey believes in the power of therapy to heal and empower our community’s youth to develop into healthy adults and is grateful for the opportunity to partner with clients and caregivers in that process.

Katy Reynolds, LPC, RPT, CTRP-C

Headshot of Katy G. ReynoldsKaty Reynolds is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Registered Play Therapist(RPT), and a Certified Trauma and Resilience Practitioner (CTRP-C). She is a supervisor and trainer for ChildSavers’ School-Based Services. Katy has worked with children and families in different roles for nearly 15 years and has been licensed as an LPC since 2018. She has a background in fine arts, and enjoys holding space for clients to express themselves through creation and play. Katy believes in the power of relationships, movement, and nature in therapy. She is passionate about working to prevent future trauma and helping systems become healthier.

Jan Williamson, LCSW, RPT-S

A photo Jan Williamson.Jan Williamson serves as the lead instructor with the VCU Play Therapy Program. She also serves as a clinical trainer and supervisor. For eight years, Jan served as the clinical supervisor and a mental health clinician providing trauma-informed mental health services for the non-profit agency, ChildSavers in Richmond. In addition, she worked for the Child Advocacy Center and has also been an adjunct professor for the VCU Graduate School of Social Work. She has a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work. First licensed as a family therapist, she has over 40 years of experience in the mental health field working with families, adults and children. Jan worked internationally with refugee children and families in Southeast Asia and in Africa in areas of armed conflict and mass displacement. Jan is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor™ (RPT-S), and a past member of the board of the Virginia Association for Play Therapy.

Meet our instructional support staff

Dee Jackson, M.S.W.

A photo of Destinee JacksonDestinee (Dee) Jackson is masters level social worker and is currently under supervision and working toward becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She has served in a variety of mental health settings, including outpatient, intensive in home, therapeutic day treatment, and crisis stabilization/intervention over the past 5 years. Dee is a clinician on ChildSavers' Immediate Response team in which she provides trauma informed individual, group, and family therapy to children, teens, and their caregivers while also providing psychoeducation on grief through the facilitation of grief groups within select Richmond Public Schools. Her clinical specialty interests include trauma, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and parenting support. Dee finds joy in facilitating the healing process for children and families by equipping individuals with coping skills that foster resiliency. 

Want to find out more? Get in touch.