Helping During Life's Transitions

Welcome to Transitions Coaching and Counseling PLLC

Welcome to Transitions Coaching and Counseling PLLCWelcome to Transitions Coaching and Counseling PLLCWelcome to Transitions Coaching and Counseling PLLC

Get to know your coach - counselor

‘Looking forward to getting to know you!
Mary Beth Ridderman, LMHC, LPC, NCC
Transitions Coaching and Counseling, PLLC

Mary Beth Ridderman, LMHC, LPC, NCC

I am a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor,  Georgia Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Certified Life Coach , Certified Clinical  Military Counselor, and Sand Tray Specialist, experienced in counseling  children and adults.  My experience includes providing individual and group counseling to survivors of domestic violence, with individual and family  counseling to  military families, elementary students,  junior high and high school students. I have almost 20 years' experience in the dependency and family court system as a Guardian Ad Litem supervisor, custody evaluator, social investigator and child advocate.  I am very proud to have been recognized  the Fourth Judicial Circuit for a Lifetime of Child Advocacy. Currently, I  provide parenting coordination,  social investigations and guardian ad litem servics. I am a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and use those skills to help families resolve contentious issues.  I am a Board Certified Tele-Mental Health Counselor, offering telehealth virtual counseling to clients in  Florida and Georgia.

Registered Play Therapist and Proud Member of the Association for Play Therapy

Treatment Focus

My focus is YOU - assisting you with your needs.  Even positive changes or transitions can create stress and behavior changes. I am here to help adults and children energize, become aware of their inner strengths, recognize challenges, create and achieve personal goals.  I provide a  safe, nurturing space where I carefully  listen to your concerns and goals. Together, we  will develop a plan that works best for you.

A quiet, safe space for adults and children. Transitions Coaching and Counseling, PLLC

Practice Specialties


  • Play Therapy for adults and children
  • Sand Tray Therapy for adults and children
  • Children in high-conflict divorce
  • Parenting Coordination, Circuits 3,4,8
  • Social Investigations
  • Domestic Violence Survivors counseling 
  • Distance coaching or counseling


Play Therapy


Play Therapy

The Association for Play Therapy defines play therapy as "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."

More simply put, child play therapy is a way of being with the child that honors their unique developmental level and looks for ways of helping in the “language” of the child – play.  Licensed mental health professionals therapeutically use play to help their clients, most often children ages three to 12 years, to better express themselves and resolve their problems.

Play Therapy works best when a safe relationship is created between the therapist and client, one in which the latter may freely and naturally express both what pleases and bothers them.

Mental health agencies, schools, hospitals, and private practitioners have utilized Play Therapy as a primary intervention or as supportive therapy for:

  • Behavioral problems, such as anger management,grief and loss, divorce and abandonment, and crisis and trauma.
  • Behavioral disorders, such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism or pervasive developmental, academic and social developmental, physical and learning disabilities, and conduct disorders. 

Research suggests Play Therapy is an effective mental health approach, regardless of age, gender, or the nature of the problem, and works best when a parent, family member, or caretaker is actively involved in the treatment process.  For more information on play therapy including research citations we invite you to viewcustomers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.

Meet Andrew

Association for  Play Therapy.


Why Play Therapy?

Association for PlAy Therapy, 2020. 

Covid 19 Responses- Virtual On-line Sessions

Weekly Virtual sessions $62.00. 

Preparing for Fall School Transitions

Fears or concerns may be expressed in behaviors. Offering pre-kindergarten through high school students  opportunities to express  their concerns in preparation for transition  to or return to brick and mortar classrooms.

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Parenting Coordination

Parenting Coordination


Parenting Coordination

Parenting Coordination

Parenting Coordination

Qualified Parenting Coordinator

Assisting parents or legal guardians in implementing a parenting plan; resolving disputes; educating parties about the child's best interests;  making recommendations or decisions within the scope of the court order.  Court-ordered  in highly-contentious divorce, custody or visitation cases   that  are negatively impacting  children. 

Social Investigations

Parenting Coordination

Social Investigations

Social Investigations

Providing thorough investigations with detailed reports and clear recommendation for custody or visitation -always  in a child's best interest.  

Children in Divorce

Resources and References

Social Investigations

specializing in working with kids whose families are in high-conflict divorce.

Providing counseling and  coping skills for children affected by  their parents'  separation, divorce, or on-going  family disputes.  Communicating with parents in the child's best interests.

Counseling - Depression

Resources and References

Resources and References

Overwhelming sadness might feel like a fog - lost  - nothing is clear

  Providing cognitive  behavior therapy and other psychotherapies to identify and reframe negative thought patterns. Recommending medical evaluation. 

Resources and References

Resources and References

Resources and References

Resources and References Under Construction

Aspen  Sand Trays

Association for Play Therapy

Jurassic Sands

Toys of the Trade

Under construction

Anxiety and depression are common in adultscand children

Counseling to Cope with Anxiety

Anxiety is  a common, yet very uncomfortable emotion that  negatively impact the lives of children and adults.   Anxiety disorders are the most common mental issue in the U.S.A., affecting 40 million adults and over 2 million children each year. In counseling,  learn coping skills to manage behaviors and other symptoms related to anxiety. 

Take time for self-care

Coaching and Counseling to address Trauma & PTSD

 In counseling, identify personal strengths and learn coping skills to manage symptoms  caused by triggers connected  to past trauma.

Families working together


Relationship counseling can be beneficial to couples, in all stages of their relationship,  who are facing challenges or who simply want to  strengthen  their emotional connection.  This is a neutral and supportive place to discuss issues and solutions.   I  sometimes refer to therapists who specialize in relationship counseling or sex therapy.  I invite you and your therapist to periodically meet at my office to experience  sand tray  as part of your treatment plan..

Contact me

Here for You

Transitions Coaching and Counseling,PLLC

5345 Ortega Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32210, United States

(904) 305-2853

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About Transitions

Life Coaching and Licensed Mental Health Counseling in Florida and Georgia

Take Time for Yourself!

 I offer life coaching or  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Soltutions Focused Therapy, complimented by play therapy and sand tray therapy, because I believe therapy can be relaxing, renewing and fun! Play Therapy helps break the ice -  using board games,  therapeutics books and toys to  facilitate communication during sessions.  Sand Tray Therapy is a deeper process, used in conjunction with coaching or counseling, believed to unlock  the unconscious mind, help  resolve past traumas,  cope with challenges, and achieve goals. 

Sand Tray Therapy: 48 inch Group Sand Tray filled with 300 pounds of dust-free Jurassic ®️Original Play Therapy Sand.

When Words Are Not Enough

Having problems talking about things? Try telling your story with symbols  from my  collection.  Use a traditional-size tray or  a 48” diameter group sand tray.  This tray was custom built by  Aspen Sand Trays in Los Lunas New Mexico and installed on a  matching table, custom-designed and hand-crafted by Sputt Tucker in  Georgia.   The group tray  holds 300 pounds of beautiful, Original Therapy Sand from Jurassic Sands®, in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am looking forward to seeing your sand tray expressions.  

Transitioning to new adventures!

Life is a Journey!

Making that first move towards your future self may feel pretty intimidating.  When you are ready to start your journey, let's talk.  Late afternoon , early evening  and  Saturday appointments are available for your convenience.  

Putting the pieces together in counseling


  • Is  play therapy  for adults?  Some adults dont like to play -and that’s okay! To reduce reduce stress and break the ice, some adults enjoy  familiar games like checkers or might like to unwind with story cubes.   Other adults are fascinated with my collection of sand tray miniatures and feel drawn to specific symbols  that help them express themselves. Vision  boards, soul-searching collages, sand tray,  crafts and creative  journaling support and encourage traditional talk therapies.  

  • Is sand tray therapy for me? Yes, try  it and see!

  • My child cries and acts out at his new school. Can you help? 

Do you remember the first awful days at a new school - or at a new job? You probablybwanted to cry and act out. Children simply react more strongly to the feelings we ALL feel when faced with new or scary situations.  Very young children seem to suffer more openly than older children. They often lack  verbal skills to communicate their fears, so they  show us with behaviors. Surrounded in a group effort that included teachers, paraprofessionals, staff, parents, administrators,  and school counselors, Military Family Life Counselors and custodians, students I worked with made very successful transitions,  improved reading, behavior and math grades. A number of students earned awards for positive character traits , improved grades or citizenship after they completed counseling. 

  • My husband deployed and my first grader is sad, angry and disrespectful  to me since his dad left.  He throws tantrums at home, in public, and at school. What can I do?

 Your son is expressing his feelings the only way he knows. Even the most articulate children typically lack the emotional and verbal skills to explain how they feel. Children,  even teens, often feel abandoned when a parent  deploys.  Parents don't feel so good, either, but adults usually have developed social filters to hide raw emotions.  Try creating a calendar, showing the deployment beginning and ending dates - mark off each day with a marker or sticker;  ask your son to make cards and pictures to send to his dad and ask his dad to send snail mail, so your son has something tangible to look forward to; have your son stay in regular phone with SKYPE or Face-time contact with his dad; have your son  help plan a welcome home party. Send copies of school work to his dad and ask dad for positive feedback.  Look for resources for your son: talk to his teacher, see if his school has a Military Family Life Counselor (free service), talk  to the school counselor, ask on the base for an appointment with a military counselor, check TriCare for a list of counseling providers- look for a registered play therapist. Please don't delay.  

  • Do you accept insurance? 

I do not accept insurance at this time. 

  • Is the first phone session free?

Yes! No strings attached. 

  • It is hard for me to leave my job to go to appointments. Do you schedule late afternoon or Saturday appointments ? 

Afternoon appointments  are available at 5, 6, and 7 pm. Monday- Friday at the regular rate. Saturday appointments are available for an additional fee. 

Telehealth/virtual sessions are available in Florida and Georgia.

  • I am getting a divorce. My kids need therapy with a counselor who will make recommendations and testify in court about what is best for them. Will you go to court?

No one wants to be subpoenaed to court but, if necessary, I will go to court, because I  believe children‘s best interests should be represented in all areas.  Parents have attorneys, but the most vulnerable are voiceless children. Judges do the best they can with the information presented by attorneys, but  children are rarely allowed to speak in court. I  will speak up for them. In counseling sessions, kids find  a safe place to talk and learn coping skills to adjust to the changes in their lives caused by divorce or separation. I always work to achieve children’s best interests