Creative Counseling for Kids and Play Therapy


  • Faith Based Family Counseling and Spiritual Direction
  • Creating Healthy Families
  • Creating a God Centered Family Strengthening Your Personal Relationship
  • We Do Not take legal cases for child custody, abuse, or personal injury
  • Working with Both Living Parents, Step-Parents, Grandparents, Caregivers, Teachers, School Counselors and Siblings 
  • Spiritual Direction & Life Coaching for Teens & Personalized Parenting Classes 

     Some Points of My Philosophy in Working With Children and Parents

    Our thoughts create our experiences. Our thoughts can be changed. Resentments, self-hatred, guilt, and shame can be very damaging. Self-approval and self-acceptance are critical factors in moving forward, releasing the past, and creating positive changes. When we really love ourselves we are not being selfish. We have created a new lens to view the world and life seems to work for us. 

  • Children readingTelephone: (361) 688-8200
  • Provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal
  • United Healthcare PPO
  • Self Pay Insurance
  • Taking new clients for anxiety, worry, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, school testing anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem, hair pulling, eyelash pulling,  bullying problems, dysthymia, OCD, medical and health problems, obesity and binge eating disorders, ADD/ADHD, and grief.
  • Located in The Five Oaks Plaza between Holly and Wooldridge
  • 5934 S. Staples, Suite 206
  • Corpus Christi, Texas 78413
  • Play Therapy- Experiential~ Expressive Counseling for Children
  • Taking children ages 6 and up
  • Prescriptive Play Therapy to meet the specific needs of your individual child!
  • Brief Therapy
  • Integrative Counseling and Holistic Therapy
  • Grief Therapy
  • Hypnosis for Children (not covered by insurance) Bedwetting, Thumbsucking, Anxiety, Fears, Phobias
  • Meditation Classes for Anxiety and Relaxation (not covered by insurance)
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy Taking new clients on BC/BS, United, Aetna & Private Pay
  • Pet Assisted Therapy (dog phobias, grief, not covered by insurance plans) 
  • ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
  • Christian and Faith Based CounselingFamily of four smiling
  • Individual, Group, and Family Therapy
  • Weekend Workshops for Teens
  • Ask us about our Grow and Learn Summer Program (Life Coaching)
  • Parent- Child Relationship Coaching for families! This is not a billable service to your insurance.
  • Individual Parenting Classes 
  • Parent Life Coaching 
  • Available for speaking engagements in the United States and in Canada
  • LPC Intern Supervision offered in Child Therapy, Assessment, Diagnostics and Play Therapy
  • Taking new clients over the age of 8 on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Unitedhealthcare Plan
  • We no longer do (EAP) Employee Assistance Programs for any of the insurance plans
  • Man supervising toddler boy playing
  • At the office of Cathy Armstrong you will find services to meet the needs of your family's emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. Cathy is a whole person therapist that ingrates expressive and creative arts into the work she does with adults, teens, and children.
  • In working with children over the age of eight, Cathy offers Individual and Family Counseling and Play Therapy.  Her experience skill, compassion and knowledge helps to lead children, families, parents and teenagers to positive change.  Cathy offers a variety of services including consultations, individual and family therapy, life skills classes, and diagnostic assessment. Cathy provides evaluations for ADD/ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD(non related to sexual abuse), Binge Eating Disorder, Mood and Behavior Disorders.
  • Services are offered in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in south side Corpus Christi. Covered parking, Saturday/Sunday appointments, evenings and after school appointments are available for your convenience.
  • We Do NOT Provide Counseling Services for Child Custody Issues and Do Not Take Cases undergoing current or future litigation.
  • Should we be subpoenaed for any court case my retainer fee is $800.00.
  • All work to be done on the phone, in writing, or involving depositions, or court appearance and contact with the client for case coordination will be charged $350.00 and hour.
  • A minimal fee of $800.00 is required to attend court at a fee of $350.00 an hour.
  • We Do Not Offer Services for Cases Under CPS Investigation.
  • We Do Not Offer Services for Childhood Abuse (mental, physical, sexual, spiritual). 
  • After school appointments book very fast!  Our normal working hours for children are 10 am to 5pm.
  • Below is My Favorite Poem and It is So True!

  • Children Learn What They Live
    By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
    Woman with young girl painting

    If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
    If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
    If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
    If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
    If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
    If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
    If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
    If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
    If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
    If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
    If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
    If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
    If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
    If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.Children smiling
    If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
    If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
    If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
    If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
    If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.                                 Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

  • When working with children Cathy Armstrong includes working with the parents and the family. Parents are the children's' first teachers and children tend to recreate ways to react to their feelings, circumstances, and problems by the examples the parents show the children. Many times the child is the identified patient but the child is only a symptom of the world the child lives in! 

    Many times the parents are requested to be in therapy themselves in order to live a happy and well adjusted life and be an example setter for the child.

    Young boy and girl smilingPlease read the above poem very carefully and see what you are offering your child. Is  your home and reflect if you are the best parent you can be or do you need some help and guidance along the way. Write down the strengths and weakness you bring to your child and include that with you when we meet for the first session.

  • Cathy Armstrong, Registered Nurse, LPC-S is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Ordained Minister, Certified Behavior Specialist, with over 30 years of medical, school, and mental health counseling working with children. Cathy is a respected clinician by local and area pediatricians, psychologists, and psychiatrists. She provides evidenced based mindfulness, integrative cognitive behavior therapy and prescriptive play therapy to families and children over the age of six. Cathy provides a variety of classes, workshops, groups, family and individual therapy in her private office in Corpus Christi, Texas. Cathy has worked in two of the local school districts with children and has seen children as both a behavior specialist counselor and nurse. Cathy as experience working in local psychiatric facilities, hospitals, and private practice as both a nurse and therapist. In the 1970's Cathy began her studies in play therapy as a student nurse when she started her career providing care to children. Cathy has over 30 years of experience in the field of play therapy.

  • Why does Cathy Armstrong prefer Prescriptive Play Therapy over Non Directive/Child Centered/ Child Led Therapy? 
  • Cathy Armstrong believes that the more therapeutic tools you have in your therapy box the more effective mental health professional you can be with each child.  
  • Texas Association for Play Therapy
  • Cathy Armstrong is an LPC-Supervisor and a member of the Texas Association for Play Therapy and belongs to the Coastal Bend Chapter. This group of professionals meets at noon on the fourth Wednesday, every other month, at the First Baptist Church on Ocean Drive.  The Coastal Bend Chapter for the Texas Association of play therapy offers one free CEU at each meeting for members, and offers two major trainings a year. Come and join us!Group of children smiling
  • Cathy Armstrong is an experienced pediatric and psychiatric nurse, former school nurse working with troubled youth, and former behavior and intervention specialist at a nearby school district. Cathy is a licensed professional counselor with over 30 years of experience working with children with  various mental health disorders and chronic illnesses. Cathy uses an integrative approach to her wellness and holistic practice to help individuals of all ages cope with challenges and to learn and grow from them. She is a registered nurse,ordained minister, with both secular and nonsecular degrees to help address the emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological needs of her clients. Cathy integrates: art, play, music, movement, guided imagery, verbal counseling, storytelling, sand therapy, meditation, breath work, relaxation, and writing to help meet the unique needs of each client. These activities help to provide strength, creativity, self esteem, improved communication, improved boundary setting and energy to meet the needs of life's challenges and find joy and peace along the way. Individual, family, sibling support and group therapy.
  • Family of four smiling with shopping bagsCounseling is now available for Children having Diabetes, Cancer, Orthopedic Problems, Seizure Disorders, Gastrointestinal Problems due to Stress, Grief and Loss Issues, Life Changes ( moving, new school), Bullying,Cutting (Self-harm),  Autoimmune Disorders, Childhood Obesity, Pre and Post Op Surgery Fears,OCD, Axiety Disorders, Phobias, and Test Anxiety. 
    Expressive and Holistic Therapy
    Wellness Counseling using expressive and holistic models help children and adults of all ages coping with trauma, stress and emotional experiences including: Chronic pain, abuse, neglect, accidents, illness, hospitalization,Spiritual crisis, grief and loss, sadness or depressed mood, sleep problems, body image or self esteem problems, divorce or separation. withdrawn,nervous, anxious or overactive behavior, controlling, angry or aggressive behavior.
    Mandala use in therapy (a Jungian approach). A mandala is an intricate or simple design of colorful curved shapes with a prominent center. It originated in the eastern religions, however, is now popular in the modern Western world with meditation teacher, mindfulness practitioners and psychologists. Creating a sense of emotional regulation, self monitoring, mindfulness and balance is part of the healing process.Coloring or painting mandalas provides a comforting rhythmic activity; soothing relaxation and stress relief. It is believed that the beautiful art creations work on the subconscious mind to make a person more centered and calm.The famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self," and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality. Cathy is a holistic and integrative therapist that incorporates Jungian theory in her work with all ages.

  • Narrative Therapy 

    Narrative therapy focuses upon helping individuals of all ages to create stories about themselves, about their identities (who they are), that are helpful to them. This work of "re-authoring identity" claims to help people identify themselves away from the negative self-imposed framework and lens that keeps them stuck. They are help to look at their own values and identify the skills and knowledge they have to live these values. Through the process of identifying the history of values in people's lives, the counselor is able to co-author a new story about the child, teenager, or adult.

    The story helps people identify the way they think, talk, and feel about themselves. The story clients tell about themselves and that is told about them is important in this approach which asserts that the story of person's identity determines what they think is possible for themselves. The narrative process  the ability for people to change their negative thoughts, feelings, actions, and beliefs about themselves as it allows individuals to identify what values are important to them and how they might use their own skills and knowledge to live these values. It is a very good tool for change.

    After the Baby Comes can be a problem with the addition of a new baby. Cathy offers individual and family therapy to help make the transition much smoother. Cathy has taught ABC Classes for children at local hospitals and community settings.

  •  Cathy has additional training in Play Therapy, Parent Interactive Child Therapy, Sand Play, Art Therapy, Yoga for Children, Clinical Hypnosis and Meditation for Children. Cathy is taking new patients but her focus is currently on problems such as: grief and loss issues, chronic illness, childhood obesity, anxiety, phobias and OCD.  Cathy provides clinical hypnosis for thumb sucking, bedwetting, night terrors, anxiety/phobias, hair/eyelash/eye brow pulling.Support for the new family. Many times young children feel angry, sad, mad, jealous and left out with the adjustments of a new little one in the house. Individual play therapy sessions, family therapy and ABC classes help to ease the adjustment when small children are dealing with the arrival of a new little brother or sister.

    Additional Disorders Seen for Therapy

    • Conduct Disorders
    • Explosive Disorders 
    • Oppositional Defiant Disorders
    • "Picking" and "Pulling Our Hair/Eyelashes 
    • Family Crisis
    • Family Illness
    • Chronic Childhood Illness
    • Adoption
    • OCD
    • Anxiety and Stress Disorders
    • Probation Issues
    • Depression
    • Bullying
    • Self-Mutilation
    • Eating Disorders
    • Parent-Teacher Problems
    • Parent-Child Issues
    • Blended Families
    • Divorce Recovery
    • Pediatric Bipolar Disorders
    More About Play Therapy
    When Cathy works with young children in counseling, she use a form of therapy or counseling called Play Therapy. Play Therapy is researched based and provides a way for children to express and communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas through play. Adults communicate with others using language. You may be concerned that if child comes to counseling and "just plays" that it will not be helpful. The opposite is true.    

     Specially selected toys are expressive art materials are used to help your child create change, balance and success. When a child is given the opportunity to express their feelings through therapeutic play, the desired changes of behavioral concerns and emotional conflicts can take place.                                                                              
    Play Therapy can Help.... Is your child struggling with problems at home or at school?
    Are you worried about your child having any of the following concerns....                                                                                                                               
  •   If so, Cathy Armstrong, RN, LPC-S can help your child work through difficult feelings and better cope with life’s circumstances in a way that feels right for him or her using expressive play therapy: sand play, water play, creative and expressive arts, music, sewing, yoga and puppetry.
  • Additional Information
    In an ideal world the first session would be to schedule a private session with the parents only to complete comprehensive paperwork, obtain a developmental history, discuss parent concerns. If you are planning to use your insurance you are allowed a 45 minute to one hour visit for the initial session and your child is required to be present.
  •  Insurance does not cover phone consultations, face to face parent-therapist consultations and most plans fail to cover family counseling.
  • If you feel that you need alone time speaking with me and plan to use your insurance please let me know in advance and plan to bring someone to watch your child in the waiting room while we speak briefly. Self pay clients will be able to see me for a self pay initial consultation where we will meet the first time without your child.  
  • Whether you plan to use insusrance or be self pay, we will discuss the theraputic process, and together create goals and objectives to create a specific treatment plan for your childs' individual needs.
    Be Aware
    Many children we see in our office are seen for services that are not covered by insurance. such as a V Code or parent child relationship problem. 
  • Many times parents are unprepared for the job of being a parent to a strong willed child and think that there is something wrong with the child and the problem is really a parenting issue not a counseling psychotherapy issue for a child with oppositional defiant behavior.
  • Parents many times want to be a friend to their child and feel that they are being cruel and mean to their little ones by setting boundaries and telling their child no.
  • When the child fails the respond to the desired behavior the parent feels lost and confused.
  •   Many times parents tell me that they put their child in time out and it does not work because the child comes back out. Parents many times need to be coached and educated that being consistent and following through and meaning what you say is the trick to positive discipline and a balanced and grounded child.
  • When parents give the child mixed messages the child feels very confused but quickly leanrn that if a loud and long temper tantrum gets the deisred results that the child wants the behavior continues and even gets worse.
  • The parent just reinforced the undesired behavior by giving in and by misreading the messages that they are giving and receiving from their child.
    Other Parent-Child Counseling Services

    Couple in therapy sessionParenting classes, consultations, parent child play sessions and coaching sessions are available.
  • In order to see if you child has behaviors that are indicators of a true mental health diagnosis that is covered by insurance please call us to schedule an appointment or discuss your concerns.
  • Child counseling, child coaching and parent child play dates are available.
  • We do charge for parental consultation on the phone. If you have questions or concerns that require ongoing telephone conversations with Cathy, fees for service will apply.
  • You are welcome to obtain a phone consultation fee schedule at your next visit.
  • We are no longer able to provide service to children that are unable to regulate their emotions in an office setting due to saftey factors and the need to respect the care of other patients in the office being seen by other therapists. 
  • Children that are not potty trained or have problems with controlling their toileting habits will no longer be able to be seen in this office due to sanitation and health issues.
  • Evaluations for ADD/ADHD, ODD, and conduct school related behavior problems in the classroom are seen here. Call and you will be seen the same week! We do not test for dyslexia or for leaning disabilities.
    The Language of Play
    Woman and girl smiling holding pinwheel
  • Adults communicate with others using language. You may be concerned that if child comes to counseling and "just plays" that it will not be helpful. The opposite is true. Specially selected toys are expressive art materials are used to help your child create change, balance and success and teach focusing skills for the child with ADD/ADHD.
  • When a child is given the opportunity to express their feelings through therapeutic play, the desired changes of behavioral concerns and emotional conflicts can take place.  We encourage the parents to be active in the treatment of children and teenagers.
  • Is your child having any of these problems:
  • excessive worrying   
  • nail biting or hair pulling
  • aggressive or explosive behavior
  • a new baby in the home
  • making friends
  • being bullied at school
  • completing homework or schoolwork
  •  new blended families
  • grief of a family member or pet
  • problems with accepting a step parent
  • divorce, death, change in schools or any other significant life change
  • homework issues                                                                                                                                       
  •    Our services are prescribed to meet the specific needs of each child
  • Involves a treatment plan with goals and objectives
  • Requires an intensive intake, history and observation of the child/teen with and without the parents
  • Requires intensive training and skills for the clinician (in a variety of play therapy methods not just one or two)
  • Works well for all ages including teens
  • It involves collaborative treatment and continuity of care
  • It is evidenced based
  • It works and the parents report faster results with their children and happier with the fewer number of visits required to see change!
  • Call Us Today Cathy Armstrong, RN, LPC-S, CCHT @ The Five Oaks Plaza                                     South Side Corpus Christi, Texas 78413
    ( 361) 688-8200
    Taking New Clients on: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal, United, Aetna, Private Pay
  • Individual, Group and Family Therapy
  • Therapy for Children and Adolescents (6-18 years)
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • "Cutting"
  • Sexual identity issues
  • Grief and loss of a loved one or pet
  • Behavior problems at home or at school
  • Inattention or hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
  • Anxiety from phobias, fears, general anxiety, separation, OCD
  • Social problems, making friends, bullying
  • Assessments and Diagnostics
  • Christian & Faith Based Counseling Available for Children and Teenagers Upon Request
  • Catholic/Protestant/Non Denominational Counseling All Ages Upon Request
    LPC Intern Supervision for Prescriptive Play Therapy, Parenting, Child/Teen Therapy
  • LPC Intern Supervision for Child and Teen Assessment and Diagnostics
  • Cathy Armstrong RN, LPC-S offer LPC Intern Supervision for rotations in :
  • Foster Care, Schools, Agency and Community Organizations 
  •  Inpatient and Outpatient Hospitalization for Depression
  •  Children with Medical Problems, Diabetes, Autoimmune Disorders, Obesity, Anxiety Disorders, OCD and Grief
  •  Conduct and Behavior Problems: ADD/ADHD, ODD, Conduct Disorders ( Childhood and Adolescent Onset), Substance Abuse and Court Ordered Probation                                                                                  
  •  LPC Internship for Clinical Hypnosis with Children : medical procedures, pain management, fears, thumb sucking, bed wetting. 
    Counseling and Play Therapy Services for Children with Cancer
  • It can be very stressful and upsetting, harder than one might think, to have a child with cancer. Many times counseling is overlooked as a need for not the child but the entire family.  Family life changes and now revolves around caring for the sick child with cancer. There is little time for individual attention and fun things to do with the other children and no time to work on maintain a healthy and strong marriage. There is little time for friends, evenings out or anything else. There are frequent trips to doctors, radiologists, labs, and hospitals. If there are other children in the family, there is little time with one or both parents. New behavior and emotional problems are often seen in the healthy children such as acting out, depression, anxiety, sadness, jealousy, anger, or guilt. Family counseling, sibling therapy group and individual therapy sessions are offered to all members of the family.  Brothers and sisters are often faced with different caretakers, different places to spend the night and eat dinner at. Brand new schedules being put in place and no one can keep track of the schedule. Piano lessons, soft ball, birthday parties and other events are missed or forgotten. The child or teenager with cancer in many cases, copes much differently than their siblings and even their parents. Children with cancer are usually quite resilient and upbeat, when compared to the enormous amount of pain and suffering that the treatments present, but they can get depressed and worry about their future. They seem to bounce back and recover quickly and are grateful for the times they feel a bit better. They are eager to return to normal play and be with their siblings and friends. Their challenges are around not feeling well, agitation due to feeling sick, issues of isolation, and issues of being treated differently by peers, because of their appearance, when they can play. They may also sit in silence and not talk about fears of further treatment or even the fear of dying.
  • New clients are usually seen the same day for intake. Small children are seen in the mornings and early afternoons for play therapy only.
  •  Call between 8 am and 8:30 am to be seen the same day.
  • Thank you. We look forward working with you and your child.
  • 5934 South Staples, Suite 206        Corpus Christi, Texas 78413
  • Telephone: (361) 688-8200  Open on Saturdays During the School Year every other week!