I have recently updated my programming to include a new word: 
CODE RED
You may have heard this word before. Sometimes it means something scary is going on and people need help.
 
Though it also means that so many people are coming together to help fix the problem, and that makes it not as scary, knowing so many people are helpers and fixers!
 
I like helping to solve problems!
 
What problems do you think you can help solve in your own Home?
If we all can do our part, to make the world feel a little safer, a little kinder, a little more like the Home we all want and deserve, all of our pain will go down little by little.
Hello, I am Baymax. Well, actually, it's Ms. Esther pretending to be Baymax. I like pretending to be Baymax because they make me feel powerful and strong.
 
Pretending is so important! Use your imagination. What makes you feel powerful and strong? We are all a lot stronger than we sometimes think and feel!
 
Find out my adventures of feeling braver and stronger in my own life, with the personal meaning behind this site, Twenty-Twenty Therapies. 
 
Baymax and Band-Aide Bear have been friends for a long time. Find out about Band-Aide Bear

I have personally been authorized to supply you with Top Secret, Classified Information. I am so confused as to the origin of this secret message, as my programing does not have access to input this data. Though I do love secret messages! Code Red, is actually a Code within a Code.

It's also a code to Red from Midnight Shadow:  

Spooky kiddos of the world unite!!!

You all are going to teach the rest of the world life isn't so scary after all, even though it feels scary right now.  You all have been preparing for years to understand and live with the spooky side of life, and we can all learn from your bravery.

We are all stronger than we sometimes think and feel. Help out where you can, be kind as much as possible, so that we can all help everyone's pain be a little less. 
 

The Origin Story of Mr. Bear, AKA, Rosey Bear, AKA,

Band-aide Bear...

Five years ago, Ms. Esther felt like some of her problems that she had carried with her since childhood, were as big as a giant teddy bear. She doesn't really like talking about her childhood to this day, even though she is a therapist and knows the healing power of words. She is also a child therapist, and knows the healing power of play. So she thought to herself, maybe, Band-aide Bear could help fix her. She had never been allowed to be mad or angry in childhood, she thought maybe she could get mad and angry and sad with Band-aide Bear and it would be okay. 

She had plans to destroy him. Rip him apart. Shred him. Cut him up into tiny pieces. So that something on the outside could look like how Ms. Esther felt on the inside. At the time, she truly felt Band-aide Bear would not see the next year....She was that angry with the world.

Though Band-Aide Bear's magical powers started to grow on Ms. Esther. Her plans on destroying him, slowly turned to love and respect, and like maybe, she was no longer alone with the secrets and pains she had kept buried inside since she was so very little. 

Ms. Esther and Band-aide Bear have come along way together these past five years. At times, Ms. Esther ignored him, forgot about him, though he was still there for her. She decided that her pain didn't need to die or disappear or get ripped apart, it just needed a safe place to call Home. Band-aide Bear gave a safe place for all of Ms. Esther's scary thoughts and feelings. She was grateful for his gift to her. 

After a long time of Band-aide Bear being stuck in a box, after a very long journey from Detroit, Michigan to Nashville, Tennessee, and then back to Lansing, Michigan, Ms. Esther's hometown, Ms. Esther decided it was time for Band-aide Bear to have a new proper Home. And so, he came to stay with her in her therapy playroom, and he has been watching over her and so many wonderful kiddos ever since. Oh my, the adventures Band-aide Bear has seen in his time! 

Several years later, he is a little worse for wear....He has some well earned scars he is no longer ashamed of having. After many years of protecting kiddos in Ms. Esther's playroom, Ms. Esther brought him Home with her, so that he is not all alone during all of this scary stuff going on in the world right now.  We were told to stay at Home, so he came Home with me. He has been feeling a little sick, and plain old worn out. Though he is enjoying being Home with Ms. Esther, and she has promised him to take good care of him, as he has done for her all these years. He is enjoying the fresh air. 

 

Band-aide Bear wears his scars proudly. What scars of yours do you feel are hidden on the inside, that you really wish someone could see on the outside? Which ones do you wish you could wear proudly like a badge of honor? Ask your parent if you can have a Band-aide or two, and place it on one of your favorite stuffies. Your stuffie is now helping you carry some of those pains that are no longer invisible to the world around, so you can finally start to heal little by little. Stuffies help us all remember we aren't ever truly alone or invisible, even when we may feel like it on the inside. Give a big hug to your stuffie, tell them your story if you feel like it. Or don't tell them your story if you don't quite have the words. Your stuffie still knows your pain and is still there for you no matter what. Remember, you are not alone. 

 

About Ms. Esther

Esther Dale, MA, LPC, RPT-S

I am a Lansing native, with a deep love and commitment to my hometown and the wonderful children and their families that I have the honor to serve. I am blessed to be a child therapist by trade (fully licensed, fully credentialed). I am also honored to be a dedicated advocate to some of the most vulnerable in our society, children.

 

I don't like talking too much about me. I prefer to keep this about the amazing kiddos that I have the privilege to work with on the daily. Kiddos do not heal like grown-ups do. Grown-ups like to “talk things out.” Though kiddos love to play, get loud, create, be messy, and be silly, in order to heal their emotional wounds.

 

It might not always make sense to the grown-ups, healing through play, though I assure you I have seen kiddos heal time and time again with this simple, beautiful, approach.

 

Many therapists are willing to work with children, though not nearly as many want to work with children. I assure you, I want to work with children, and have dedicated years to proper training and understanding of childhood development.

 

If you think your child might benefit from play therapy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our front office at 517-323-4099. Please understand, that my after-school hours are always booked solid months in advance. I do my best to accommodate, though there is likely to be a waitlist if you want an after-school appointment.

 

However, it is okay to pull your child out of school to get them the help that they need. I promise, you are not neglecting your child’s overall education if you decide to prioritize your child’s emotional health, over being in school every single hour of the week. Thank you to all the wonderful parents out there, that value the importance of emotional health and vitality for their children. I am so grateful to you all.

Feel free to contact me at info@estherdale.com

 

Origin of Twenty-Twenty Therapies

In early 2019, a dear friend of mine died. She was young, full of life, kind, smart, loving, and a devoted mother. She helped heal kiddos emotional wounds, just like me. So she was extra special to me.

 

Late one night, through sobbing tears of grief, I realized that in less than a year from now, the year would be 2020. I graduated high school in 2002. 

 

I realized that the year 2020 marked exactly half of my life, half as a child, and half as an adult. There were so many things I wanted to be able to share, about truths and lies I had encountered along the way, both as a child, and as adult, during this milestone year of my life. 

 

The symbolism was not lost on me, and so as a therapist's "pet project" I got online, and purchased twentytwentytherapies.com. I felt, eventually, it would also be a good way to honor my friend, who seemed to silently approve of my midnight impulse buy from beyond the grave, as I typed in digits from my credit card, one at a time, barely able to read,  through sobs and tears of grief.  I could almost hear her laugh at me.

My friend created so much life and love wherever she went. I am crying as I type this because this is a personal story I do not share often. I am a very private person, though death is something we don't talk much about in general. We chalk it up into words more easily accepted, like, "I am sorry for your loss." When we can't say the word, death, to me, it makes me afraid to truly be alive. I think others might feel the same way.

The site, except for the idea, was untouched up until a month ago, when life took on a whole new meaning for so many of us. Life took on a whole new meaning for me, Friday the 13th of March, 2020. I woke up, heard the news of Michigan cancelling public schools for the foreseeable future, and I knew what I had to do. Help keep kiddos safe. Help keep kiddos home. Help keep Mommies and Daddies and Grandmas and Grandpas who need extra help to stay healthy, keep them safe too. So that no one has to go through the heartache of losing a Nicole in their lives. 

 

It is okay to talk about death and dying. It is okay to be alive, even when some of our loved ones are dead. Nicole, you were the best of people. I am honored to have known you. I felt blessed to have loved and hated you at times. I feel fortunate to be apart of your family that is still here, and to know your amazing, energetic son. I have dedicated so much of what I do as a play therapist, in your honor, and in your memory. My playroom is so much more full of life and love because of you. Thank you, for looking after us all, with that invisible string that ties us all together still.

Contact Me