GivingTree Counseling, LLC

Giving Tree Counseling, LLC was opened by Joelle Harrison, LPCC, RPT-S in 2015 to serve the needs of children ages 3 - 11 and their families. She helps clients manage Anxiety, Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as develop coping skills for issues such as trauma, grief, and divorce. The office is located in the North Sandia Heights near several neighborhood schools including Double Eagle Elementary, North Star Elementary and Desert Ridge Middle School.


Joelle Harrison, MA, LPCC, NCA, RPT-S

specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral health issues in children.  Joelle received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado and a Master's degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico. She also has a specialization in children ages Birth - age 6 and in Mindfulness Based Play Therapy. Joelle is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of New Mexico and is also a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. She has been practicing child therapy for 20 years in the Albuquerque community including outpatient, partial treatment, residential treatment and inpatient settings. Joelle has also served on the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Play Therapy Association.



Giving Tree Counseling, LLC in Albuquerque utilizes the power of  PLAY, a child's natural form of expression, to teach children how to communicate with others, identify/express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem solving skills, and foster personal growth.

Services include: play therapy, sand tray therapy, parent education, and skills training.  Play room design consultation and Registered Play Therapist Supervision are also available.

"In play therapy, toys are a child's words and play is their language." - Dr. Gary Landreth 

Coronavirus Notice

Response to COVID-19 and Policy Changes

Given the recent "Stay at Home" order from Governor Lujan Grisham and recommendations from the American Psychological Association, I am making a few relevant changes to comply with these guidelines in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These changes are temporary – I plan to resume normal services in June.

For your protection, please note these relevant changes:

Until further notice, I am now only offering telephonic and virtual telehealth therapy services. When you schedule an appointment, I will provide detailed instructions on how to connect for our therapy session. I’ve transitioned to using Doxy as my virtual counseling platform. All services will be covered by your insurance company and copay/deductibles will apply as a typical session in most cases. 

Increased email exchanges with current clients – I will be providing any parent/child handouts and activities that are recommended or discussed during our session through email. You are welcome to request materials on any specific topics that you are interested in.


Lenient cancellation policy. Though I ask that you do your best to cancel appointments with 24 hours notice when possible, I will waive the charge for canceled session due to illness for as long as I keep this noticed post to my website. 

I am not accepting new clients at this time to allow ample time to meet with current clients. 

For more information on precautions for COVID-19, please refer to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf  If you are concerned regarding symptoms, please contact the Coronavirus Hotline: 1-855-600-3453. Please refer to www.nmhealth.org for isolation/social distancing guidelines.


Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) - CDC


Play Therapy

Most Common Questions About Play Therapy

1.      What is play therapy?

Play therapy is a therapeutic approach to counseling, specifically aimed at helping children with emotional, social, and behavioral problems. Play therapists use children’s natural means of communication, play, to foster a safe and accepting environment where children can heal and grow. Toys in a playroom are carefully selected to allow children opportunities for creativity and imagination, mastery of skills, nurturing, and real-life processing through play.

"In play therapy, toys are a child's words and play is their language." - Dr. Gary Landreth

2.     What does a play therapy session look like?

I like to describe a play therapy session by using an analogy of adult therapy. When most people think of an adult getting counseling, they imagine someone sitting on a couch, talking to a therapist. The therapist may point out patterns in the client’s life, help reframe certain ideas, reflect feelings, and even teach the client therapeutic techniques to help manage symptoms. The client feels this is a safe place to express himself or herself, talk about intimate details of his or her life, and process events that have, or are currently, happening.

When children come to play therapy, it is very much the same. Sometimes children use words and other times they use play or art to communicate and express thoughts and emotions. Similar to working with adults, the play therapist will reflect children’s feelings and point out patterns, likes, and dislikes that they notice. They may also teach children techniques to help them identify feelings, cope with their anger, or socialize at school. And most importantly, the playroom is set up to be a safe place for children to express themselves and process various things in their lives. As in adult therapy, a safe and accepting therapeutic relationship is key to the client’s success.

3.     Who can be helped by play therapy?

Play therapy is intended to help children with a wide range of social, emotional, and behavioral problems. These include adjustment to trauma or major life changes, hyperactivity and attention disorders, anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and social skills. The techniques in therapy will vary, depending on the age of the child, so often there is no age limitation for those who can benefit from play therapy.

4.     How long will my child need to be in therapy?

The length of therapy varies for every child, and there is really no way to judge how long the process will take. Many factors can play a role in how long an individual will require therapy or benefit from therapy. These include willingness to participate in the therapeutic process, consistency with attendance, past and current environmental factors, support systems in place, and the nature and duration of the symptoms.

5.     What qualities should I look for in a child therapist?

Knowledgeable: Your therapist should be knowledgeable in child development as well as in the problems and concerns you present. Specialized training in working with children, such as a certification in play therapy, is also important. Children are a very special population and require a treatment approach geared towards their developmental level.
Loves Children: This sounds obvious, but it is too important not to include. A therapist who claims to work with children should love children! Trust me when I say that your child will know if their therapist is not enthusiastic about them or their play.
Parent Involvement: Your child’s therapist should show a willingness to communicate with you regularly. This communication can include feedback from the child’s treatment, parenting techniques, and suggestions for helping your child outside of the session. Parents should also feel open to asking a therapist questions and sharing regular updates on how things are going at home and at school.
Coordinates Care with Other Professionals: Children who attend school or daycare are likely exhibiting their behaviors in the classroom. In fact, many parents seek counseling because their children’s teachers have expressed concerns and want help as well. It may also be important for a therapist to communicate with your child’s pediatrician, especially if medication is involved. A willingness to collaborate with your child’s teachers, doctor, or other providers can further foster their success outside of the playroom.
Establishes Good Rapport: Just like any other relationship, you will connect with some therapists and not with others. Especially in a field where you are entrusting this professional with intimate details of yourself and your life, you want someone you trust and are comfortable with. Your child will feel the same in their sessions, so be sure they enjoy being with that individual.

Learn More

As a Registered Play Therapist, I believe in the power of play to foster a child’s growth and healing. For more information about play therapy, please go to the website for the Association for Play Therapy www.a4pt.org or our local chapter www.nmapt.org.


Supervision and Consulatiation

Become a Registered Play Therapist

  • Play Therapy Supervision Group- 6 meetings, 1.25 hrs. each
    Limited to 6 participants (4 participants minimum), every other Friday morning from 9-10:15 AM
  • Fee of $175.00 for series of 6 sessions.
    Half of fee due prior to start of group, with the remaining half due prior to 4th session.
  • Individual Supervision - includes review of play session video and role play in play room setting.


Joelle Harrison, LPCC, RPT-S provides consultation to individuals, community agencies and schools in the following areas:

  • Playroom design and function
  • Staff training for specialty subjects including Anxiety, Tantrums, Play, and Parenting Skills.

*Call for rates and available times. 





  • $145 per 55-minute individual/family session 
  • $170 initial evaluation/session
  • $75 per 50-minute group session
  • $100 per consultation/school meeting (out of  pocket)

Rate is negotiable if not using insurance.

Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
What is my deductible and has it been met?
How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
Is approval required from my primary care physician?

It is very important for you to understand Authorizations, Pre-certification and Referral policies so you can obtain the maximum insurance benefits. Every insurance plan is different so I encourage you to become familiar with your plan. If your plan requires "pre-authorization," "pre-certification" or a "referral" for treatment, it is your responsibility to ensure this is completed and the associated authorization information is provided to me before your visit. I may need to re-schedule your appointment if I do not have this information.

Giving Tree Counseling currently accepts Presbyterian Health Plan, Presbyterian Centennial Care, True Health, Multiplan, NM Medicaid, Molina, BCBSNM, and BCBSNM Centennial Care. Please note at this time, Giving Tree Counseling unfortunately does not accept Tri Care.


It is your responsibility to pay the deductible, copayment or coinsurance amount specified by your insurance plan, at the time of service. Any medical services not covered by your insurance plan are your responsibility. We require payment-in-full for these services at the time of the visit.

If your insurance company later denies a claim, you are fully responsible for paying for the charges within 30 days of receiving our statement.

Cash, checks and all major credit cards accepted for payment - VISA, MaterCard, American Express and DISCOVER.

If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and you have not notified my office at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session. If you have three no shows, you may lose you appointment slot and/or be discharged from care.


The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission through a Release of Information​ form.

Exceptions include:

Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.

Contact Information

Send Message


Office is located on North side of the property.  Park in front of the arch in private parking lot.  Walk up path toward tennis court.  Take spiral staircase to upper level/office entrance.

Giving Tree Counseling, LLC

44 Tierra Monte St NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122, United States

(505) 933-6615