About Jeannette

So what about Jeannette?  I’m passionate about teaching, mentoring and supporting kids and families, especially when things aren’t working due to stress or anxious or strong-willed behaviors.  As a child I had a lot of freedom to run, play and explore.  I needed a lot of space because I’m what parents used to call a strong-minded, or more kindly, “spirited” child.  While it’s true that kids in general learn a number of important life skills through unstructured play, it’s even more true–and necessary–for energetic, intense children.

My understanding of play was reinforced as my friends and I began having children for I noticed that our kids seemed to gain a great deal more out of play than just fun and relaxation.  They were learning and communicating. Play burned off excess energy. It taught collaboration and cooperation.  It taught leadership. Many times I found that “communication” didn’t use words but were instead delivered through behaviors that weren’t always understood. They were frustrated and so were the adults around them. I felt a lot of empathy and compassion for them – after all, I still remember times when my parents and I clearly weren’t on the same wavelength and my needs, wants and intentions – messages delivered through behavior – were misunderstood.

I’m curious by nature, especially about human behavior so I began to read about and study child and brain development. The more I learned about how the brain processes information at each stage of development, the more I understood how this impacts communication and other skills like frustration tolerance, impulse control and problem-solving. I began to look at child and teen behaviors differently. It’s not about “good” or “bad” behavior; it’s about not having the skills to problem-solve and behave differently.  As a result, I’ve become passionate about helping anxious, impulsive or strong-willed kids develop self-discipline and social skills and providing resources to help them do so.  I’m also passionate about helping their parents learn how to reach and teach kids through collaboration, problem-solving and natural consequence rather through takeaways and punishment.   It isn’t always easy to parent. However it’s a lot easier to work things through when you understand the language.

My curiosity led me to realize I wanted to work with children and their parents to help them understand each other’s language and, as a working mom, I earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. Because of my own love of play, and the way I saw children interact and respond to play, I chose to specialize in working with children, teens and parents. I want to support you in your journey by helping you move from frustration into positive action that makes a difference in your life.

For additional information on my education, training and professional activities please click here.

My Approach

I use play, sandtray and art as well as talk to connect with kids and teens and teach a variety of skills that help them identify and process feelings, cope with uncomfortable emotions like anxiety and anger and communicate or socialize more comfortably. I also work with parents and families in a variety of ways ranging from parental coaching and enrichment sessions focused on strengthening relationships and preventing problems to services addressing specific concerns or family issues. I work collaboratively and with an open, objective mind, listening actively and carefully to you and your child or teen in order to understand the complexities that are leading to the behaviors causing concern or distress. I respect my clients and their families and believe in the importance of involving and partnering with parents and kids to identify what’s keeping the concerning behaviors and lifestyle choices in place.

About Jeannette

Jeannette Harroun is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist/Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor in Lafayette, CA specializing in child, teen, parent and family support.
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Contact Details

3468 Mt. Diablo Blvd, #B301 (Mail: #B201)

Lafayette, CA 94549



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