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To the Stars Through Difficulty: A Welcome

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

“Ad astra per aspera.” The Kansas state motto. The Latin roughly translates as “to the stars, through difficulty.” This quote has always been meaningful. As children we were often obsessed with space, spending hours hunched over books about NASA, stars and planets. Evenings spent lying in the grass, trying to pick out constellations as the sky turned from dusk to dark. The mystery and beauty of stars are engrained in us as children. Classroom posters often read “reach for the stars.” And we see stars as this metaphor for perseverance, determination and GRIT.


Now as social workers and play therapists, “ad astra per aspera” means more than ever. “To the stars, through difficulty.” The idea that resilience, healing, perseverance and hope continue in the midst of trauma, adversity, and pain. This is the perfect representation of the healing process, of the therapy process, of life. The beauty is, in itself, the difficult journey to the stars.


This quote continues to be an inspiration: personally, and professionally, and of course inspired our name, Ad Astra Play Therapy & Counseling. “To the stars through difficulty.” We hold this at the heart of all we do at Ad Astra Play and we hope it inspires you as well.


A Welcome


Welcome to Ad Astra Play Therapy & Counseling. We are so happy you are here!

Ad Astra Play was created by Ragan Snyder-Smith and Bea Burchill. Ragan and Bea met several years ago as they were completing their play therapy certification. They bonded immediately over a deep love for all things play therapy AND all things nerdy. Ad Astra Play was born from a dream of combining these two passions and providing high quality and fun play therapy trainings.


Combined Ragan and Bea have over 30 years of experience in the social work field in areas such as school social work, domestic violence and trauma work, medical social work, community mental health and much more. Throughout their time working with people of all ages, they recognized the incredible power and importance of things like popular culture, play, nature, and music in connection the healing process.


Ad Astra Play specializes in play therapy trainings, clinical / play therapy supervision services and mental health support for parents and mental health professionals.


We invite you to take some time to dig into our new website where you can find information about upcoming trainings, testimonials from past participants, resources and where you can sign up for our free monthly newsletter.


We look forward to playing (and geeking out) with you in the future. Feel free to reach out with any questions, comments or concerns. And always remember to keep your eyes to the stars.


“Ad Astra Per Aspera.”


With love,

Ragan and Bea

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