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Thursday Evening Consultations
Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFT
This 3-hour supervision group will be primarily instructional, using live clinical supervision as a way of expanding participant understanding of supervision issues in play therapy. Specifically, the didactic material will cover how play therapy supervision is unique, models of supervision, and incorporating play therapy activities into supervision. Several supervisees will make case presentations and observers will participate by implementing strategies designed to enhance the play therapy supervision experience. Group participants will learn to guide supervisees with a sequential list of relevant questions for presenting cases and take notes in a structured way so that the supervision question informs the supervisor’s creation of organized, succinct feedback. In addition, both supervisees and supervisors will process the supervision questions utilizing experiential activities that expand understanding of countertransference and self-care.
This is an innovative model that will demystify supervision and make it more collaborative between supervisees/supervisors. Those supervisees presenting will have the benefit of the contextual feedback of the larger group as well as the specific feedback from the group supervisor. The overall goal of this supervision course is to enhance the play therapy supervision experience for both supervisees and supervisors and to provide written materials to encourage a more structured and clearly documented process of supervision for play therapists.
The 3-hour session will include two live case presentations that will be carefully structured and processed and provide an implementation of didactic/instructional material presented by the course instructor.
Please note: There is an additional $89 fee for this session.
Eligible for 3.0 Credit/Clock Hours: APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Dee Preston-Dillon, MA, PhD
Sand therapy encompasses varied theoretical approaches that support the child or play therapist's reflective practice and ways to understand a client’s inner world. Also a type of projective process, sand is a powerful modality for working with trauma clients in play therapy and other types of treatment, especially with youngsters unable to speak frankly about their experiences. This evening consultation session will focus on understanding sand scenes through a communal examination of case material. Topics include: the symbolic nature of sand scenes, the ethics of using sand with trauma themes, and developmental and cultural implications. We will touch briefly on three different models for case conceptualization: Jungian, Client-Centered, and social constructionist’s Narrative Therapy. Recommended for counselors, play therapists, social workers, expressive arts therapists, and clinicians of all persuasions!
Eligible for 2.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Please note: There is an additional $79 fee for this session.
Friday Morning Keynote
Terry Kottman, PhD, NCC, RPT-S
In Adlerian play therapy, therapists use concepts from Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology to “conceptualize" children and their parents and teachers, while using toys, art, and metacommunication to connect with them. This process of co-creating a relationship with the child allows therapists to communicate—mostly through metaphor, but sometimes through direct verbal interaction—in a way that facilitates exploration of the child’s patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving; helps the child gain insight into those patterns; and invites the child to make changes in any patterns that are self-defeating or destructive. Play therapists and those with child practices will learn about these techniques for establishing relationships with young clients, reorienting and reeducating them, as well as exploring their lifestyles with them and helping them gain related insights.
Eligible for 1.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Friday Master Classes
Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR-BC, LCPATPeggy Kolodny, ATR-BC, LCPATThis master class focuses on experiential collage for trauma-focused therapists who are often hesitant to treat the symptoms arising from intense grief. Participants will learn how to discuss these issues with their clients through didactic and mindful art experiential approaches. The neurobiological effects of complicated grief as they relate to van der Kolk's and Perry’s trauma theory will be briefly reviewed. Images created by an art therapist in response to the suicide of her seventeen year old daughter will be presented as visual representations of complicated grief and complex trauma. This case study is grounded in the grief and bereavement work of Neimeyer's Constructivist Theory of Meaning Making, Worden's Task Model of Bereavement, and Stroebe's Dual Process Model. Trauma and grief work supports the effectiveness of nonverbal creative interventions to address the somatic impact on mind and body.
Eligible for 3.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, NursingNot eligible for APT credits
Daniel Blausey, MA, ATR-BC, LCATIn order for therapists to improve their clinical work with children and families within the LGBTQIA community, it is critical that they learn to use proper terminology within a cultural context to assist clients as they differentiate between sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. This recognition is an essential component for therapeutic engagement, as well as attunement, in the therapeutic relationship. Together, we will reflect on the unconscious bias of the therapist, and address its potential impact in treatment. Additionally, we’ll consider the importance of the client/family’s journey to integrate a fitting identity leading to self-acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity. Arts and/or play based therapy interventions for nurturing a positive and empowered sense of identity will be explored through lecture, discussion, and creative activities that can be used by clinicians working with clients of all ages and abilities in a variety of settings.
Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, NursingThis session not eligible for APT credits
Terry Kottman, PhD, NCC, RPT-SIn Adlerian play therapy, the client's lifestyle is the basis for treatment planning and developing intervention strategies. By formulating hypotheses about such factors as the client's assets, personality priorities, mastering of life tasks, psychological birth order, family atmosphere, lifestyle convictions, mistaken beliefs, private logic, and others, the Adlerian play therapist creates a foundation for the unfolding process of therapy. Just as each client is unique, so each treatment plan must reflect that, taking into account where the client is currently functioning and where the client needs to go, therapeutically speaking. Using "example" children for study cases, participants will learn how to assess the presenting problem, the client’s preferred modalities of expression, goals of misbehavior, Crucial Cs, life task, personality priorities, lifestyle convictions, mistaken beliefs, and private logic. Based on their conceptualization of these clients, participants will be able to deepen their understanding of the process of custom-designing play therapy interventions to help their clients gain insight and make behavioral, cognitive, attitude, and affective changes to enhance their progress in treatment.
Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Katerina Evans, MA, LCPC, ATR
Just Added!Altered books begin with a hardbound book and through the process of changing, crafting, removing, painting, journaling, and more, the maker is empowered to take ownership, becoming both author and creator of a new and customized work of art. In this master class, we'll explore aspects of identity formation that are facilitated by using this process in clinical and educational settings. We'll work on our own altered books, and we'll learn about different populations that can benefit from this empowering process. Examples of altered books will be shared and explored, featuring themes of empowerment, permission, play, growth, freedom of expression, containment and safety, community, and rebellion. This versatile artform can be used with most ages and populations, and is an effective technique with individuals, groups, in supervision, as well as for self-care and personal growth. No art talent required! Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, NursingThis session not eligible for APT credits
Susan Taylor, CMA, LCSW-CCarole Norris-Shortle, LCSW-C, RPT-SKim Cosgrove, LCSW-C Mindful awareness skills are instrumental in developing a strong parent-child bond, increasing the likelihood of a healthy attachment and improved outcomes, and can be implemented with a wide variety of ages and populations. This experiential master class will offer play therapists and others an opportunity to learn "by doing" as we review the theory and benefits of training high-risk parents in Mindful Awareness Play and Family Music Time techniques. Clinical case examples will be discussed as part of an overview of an inner-city therapeutic nursery program for high-risk homeless children and their parents that incorporates both attachment and mindfulness interventions through music, movement, and play in dyadic and multiple family group work. Experiential exercises that can be incorporated into play therapy will allow participants to explore body awareness practices, mindful awareness practices, uses of musical tone and rhythm, and mindful play. Relationship-based activities integrate development of the dyadic capacity for creative play in therapy and communication to strengthen the parent-child relationship thereby promoting age-appropriate functioning for the children by increasing their self-regulation, creativity, and problem-solving.
Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, A ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFTPost-traumatic play, which can occur naturally in many traumatized children, will be defined in this master class, including a description of its three stages and the expected outcome for children. Most importantly, play therapists and other clinicians who attend will be provided with a clear understanding of when post-trauma play is clinically useful and when it is potentially dangerous and contraindicated. Play therapists and those with child practices will learn to identify signs of health and/or distress in traumatized children by observing the evolution of their play. Finally, clinician participants will be encouraged to allow their young clients to share their post-trauma play with their protective parents, and to provide opportunities for the creation of dyadic narratives to help children gain meaning and mastery of their traumatic experiences.
Dee Preston-Dillon, MA, PhDSand therapy is a three-dimensional projective process appropriate for clients across the lifespan, often practiced by expressive arts and play therapists. For clinicians, it is especially important to be attuned to the psychic impact of the symbolic inherent in sand therapy. Understanding theory, contexts, and the construction of meaning that occurs in sand are critical factors in grasping a client’s process. Clinician awareness of projections, attitude toward symbols, sense of boundaries, and an understanding of the unique client-clinician relationship with sand is essential for an ethical practice. In this master class, the speaker will provide an overview of the core principles and practices for safe, ethical, and empowering sand therapy by play therapists, expressive arts therapists, and others. Relevant research and case examples will be offered and complemented by an experiential component during which registrants will have the opportunity to work with peers to explore the core principles and practices that will be featured. Volunteers are invited to help demonstrate play therapy approaches with sand.
Friday Lunch & Learns
Tammi Van Hollander, RPT, LCSWChildren are naturally drawn to both books and play, making bibliotherapy a powerful approach to pair with play therapy. This lunchtime session will give child and play therapists the tools to create a therapeutic library for the office and playroom, and demonstrate how books can be coupled with other creative and playful interventions that can enhance the healing experience in counseling and treatment. Bibliotherapy can strengthen the relationship between clinician and client as well as between client and family members. Most importantly, it empowers young clients to work out what is troubling them in a safe context and metaphorical format that fit perfectly with other play therapy approaches and techniques.
Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hour: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Friday Evening Event
Saturday Morning Keynote
Jeffrey Ashby, PhD, ABPP, RPT-SReluctant to work with pre-teens or teens because they can be resistant, uncommunicative, or otherwise difficult? Be prepared to have some fun while learning play therapy interventions to help preteens and teens gain a sense of belonging and positive identity, increase self-esteem, build relationships, and learn to share power. Keeping in mind the primary issues and challenges in working with latency and adolescent age clients, you will also learn strategies for helping families of tweens and teens improve communication and interactional patterns through creative play therapy techniques.
Saturday Master Classes
Myriam Goldin, LCSW, RPT-SThis master class will feature the core elements of the Extended Play-Based Developmental Assessment (EPBDA, Gil), an integrative play-based model for assessing children that uses both directive and non-directive play therapy approaches. The EPBDA enables clinicians to assess general functioning in child clients, including their perception of their primary relationships. Several play-based activities will be demonstrated, including specific art techniques, play genograms, sand therapy, and other creative strategies that can be incorporated into the process. There will be opportunity for clinical discussion as well as experiential work. Participants will also be taught the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM), a parent-child dyadic play therapy method that can be used to assess unique aspects of the parent-child relationship. The MIM is a key component in the work of Theraplay and a valuable tool to guide overall family treatment. Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT**
**APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Flossie Ierardi, MM, MT-BC, LPCDawn Morningstar, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, LPC Michele Rattigan MA, ATR-BC, NCC, LPC Creativity and resilience share characteristics such as flexibility, optimism, and self-efficacy that fit well with the treatment goals of expressive arts and play therapy. During this highly interactive master class, the presenters will offer expressive arts-based experiences that promote the therapeutic relationship, encourage creative responses, and reflect strength-based methods that can be used with a wide variety of populations in the play therapy office, art studio, and therapist’s office. Participants will have the opportunity to experience how art, movement, and music can help clients of all ages and abilities to access resilience through creativity. Specific attention will be given to ensuring psychological safety when integrating these disciplines into trauma treatment. Guidelines for the therapeutic use of creative arts techniques vs. referral to, or collaboration with, creative arts therapists will be discussed. Participants will also be able to identify and develop creative arts approaches for clinician and client self-care.
Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing, APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Rosalind Heiko, PhD, ISSTEliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFTIn this 4.5 hour master class, the presenters will demonstrate how to incorporate sand and play therapies in treatment, highlighting the varied uses of sand work in a larger play or family therapy practice. They will also discuss when and how to select indirect and direct methods to meet a young client's needs. Several clinical sand therapy cases will be pre-selected from participants for live consultation, and examined in small group discussions. Finally, the co-presenters will demonstrate the use of sand work when doing group supervision or consultation. Special emphasis will be given to countertransference and co-transference, and how this informs therapist-client experiences. Video presentation, mindfulness and symbol exercises, reflective discussion, and didactic presentation of related case material will illustrate theory and practice. In this way, participants will have ample opportunity to deepen their understanding of this clinical approach in assessment, treatment, consultation, and supervision, and its potential for healing.
Please Note: Participants will have the opportunity to submit sandplay-oriented play therapy cases to the speakers in advance of the Institute for in-session review and group consultation.
Tammi Van Hollander, RPT, LCSWCherie Spehar, CTC-S, RPT-S, LCSWThis master class will focus on techniques for nurturing the wounded heart and soul by taking participants on a healing path of resilience through creative arts and play therapy. These creative play-based interventions are designed to awaken your senses and cultivate a mindset for resiliency that can be used by clinicians with a child or play therapy practice. Exploring new ways to enlighten clients on their journey, we’ll engage in the ancient practice of walking a large-scale labyrinth for spiritual restoration. We'll also paint, write, play, and leave this session with innovative tools to cultivate resilience ... and more. We are sharing our most beloved methods that are effective for use with children, teens, adults, groups, and families, both at home and in clinical practice. All are welcome!
Ken Schwartzenberger, LCSW, RPT-S, EPT-DNeuroscience has shown that motivational play circuits located deep in the subcortical areas of the brain come online during repeated sensory play interactions with a child. This master class begins with a review of sequential neurodevelopment and a closer look at the interpersonal neurobiology of play and the importance of sensory attunement in the child-parent attachment dyad. Information about a child’s developing sensory systems, central nervous system and emotional brain connection will be presented. Experiential Play Therapy theory (Norton & Norton), sensory-based practice methods, and translation of metaphorical themes in the child’s play will be introduced. The neurobiology of childhood trauma will be examined and video of play sessions will be shown that illustrate experiential play therapy techniques, trauma re-enactment, and self-soothing responses initiated by the child in pretend play. Trauma-informed neurosequential play therapy activities that target specific areas of the brain impacted by trauma to calm/soothe a child’s nervous system and provide patterned neural activation necessary for reorganization and the formation of new neural systems will be taught. Participants will learn and practice neurosensory play skills that build neural circuitry to promote healthy development, improve self-regulation and social emotional functioning, mitigate the effects of trauma, and enhance secure attachment.
Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Jennie Kristel, MA, REAT, APTT, RMTJason Jedrusiak, CYTPlayback Theatre was developed in the 1970s as an art form integrating sound, movement, and theatre improvisation for creative exploration of the personal moments of individuals within a community. With the actors functioning as conduits, the audience gains broadened perspectives and deeper insights related to the story’s theme, much as might occur through play therapy and expressive arts therapy. In this highly experiential master class, we will explore the uses of Playback Theatre with children and adolescents in a format that can be extended to child and play therapy practice. Participants will explore how different elements of the Playback Theatre process lend themselves to community building. Self esteem in youngsters can also be enhanced when they tell their stories and have them witnessed and performed by others in the group. This is achieved by understanding roles other than their own, thereby developing empathy for another person's experience. Play therapists and others participating in this master class will be encouraged to discuss how they might incorporate the tenets and techniques of Playback Theatre in their daily clinical work.
Matthew Bernier, MCAT, ATR-BCTherapeutic puppetry combines techniques and principles from art therapy, play therapy, psychodrama, and puppetry in which puppets serve as animated symbols and intermediary objects. Thoughts and feelings are projected onto the puppets and are worked through, allowing for the dramatic release and resolution of emotional conflict. Puppetry stimulates memory and provides a safe opportunity for creative and imaginative expression of past experiences. Puppetry stimulates storytelling, fostering language development and providing useful diagnostic information. Puppetry offers the opportunity for clients in child and play therapy to express and explore a range of emotions, experiences, and relationships with limited anxiety, fear, and guilt. This hands-on and didactic master class will introduce the rationale, goals, and techniques of therapeutic puppetry. Clinician participants will learn how several types of puppets recommended for therapeutic work can be created, and they will be introduced to several therapeutic puppetry techniques including client-directed puppet play, object puppetry, and Puppet Playback Theatre. No previous puppetry experience is required.
Peggy Kolodny, ATR-BC, LCPATArt making is a natural component of almost any play therapy work with children. Art therapy, when provided by a trained clinician, is recognized as best practice for treating survivors of traumatic events. Trauma’s impact on young children can result in developmental trauma and attachment issues, limiting the use of verbal expression to disclose, process, and resolve the trauma history. Art’s ability to “tell” the trauma narrative, calm the brain’s survivor reactions, foster healthy attachments, support resiliency, and promote recovery will be illustrated and demonstrated in this master class through hands-on art activities and case presentations. Theoretical overviews from the work of Bruce Perry, Dan Siegel, and Bessel Van der Kolk, mindfulness and art-making will be reviewed. Ethical aspects and safety issues for using art with traumatized children in child and play therapy will be examined, including recommendations for non-specialists.
Jeffrey Ashby, PhD, ABPP, RPT-SThis master class is designed to help child and play therapists understand the internal dynamics of the angry child. Using an Adlerian approach, participants will learn how to conceptualize the child’s lifestyle and resulting behavior. Session participants will also have the opportunity to learn and practice a variety of techniques that can be used in their play therapy and other clinical practices to help clients gain insight about their lifestyles and resolve underlying issues that result in angry and defiant behavior. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to learn and practice a variety of art, expressive, experiential, and play techniques to appropriately express and manage their anger.
Saturday & Sunday Intensive
Anne Mills, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, LCPAT
Barry M. Cohen, MA, ATR-BC
2-Day Training Intensive
Participants must register for both days to attend
The Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS) is a standardized three-picture art interview developed in 1982 by art therapist Barry M. Cohen. Not tied to any particular psychological or theoretical model, the DDS was the first art assessment to be systematically correlated with the nomenclature of the DSM. It can be administered individually and in groups with psychiatric and medical populations, where its use has been recommended or required by JCAHO and other authorities. The varied task structure of a DDS elicits valuable content, structural, and process information that, together, can inform clinicians as to the strengths and psychopathology of the subject.
Each of the pictures in the Series is rated for the presence of a total of 23 attributes that lead the trained rater toward an evidence-based assessment. DDSs have been collected and grouped according to the DSM diagnoses of subjects. Studies of the pictures in the diagnostic groups have revealed statistically significant graphic profiles. These graphic profiles show specific commonalities within each diagnostic group and specific distinguishing differences between diagnostic groups. After 30 years of international clinical use and empirical research, evidence has accrued that the DDS and the DDS Rating Guide are highly reliable and valid instruments. The DDS also provides a rich source of material for treatment planning.
The DDS is designed for use only with people 13 years and older.
Open only to mental health professionals.
Please Note: There is an additional $20 notebook fee for this 2-Day Training Intensive.
REGISTRANTS: Please CLICK HERE to download important DDS collection instructions (Review at least 2 weeks prior to training).
Eligible for 6.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, NursingNot eligible for APT credits
Saturday Evening Consultation
David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S
In this 3-hour small group supervision session, participants will be asked to present play therapy cases that have been most challenging
to them, and the presenter and group will share observation and clinical insights about those cases. We will pay particular attention to the reactions of the therapist, identifying ways
that these most difficult cases can arouse strong reactions in us. We will also discuss healthy ways for the play therapist to use reflective supervision in order to work productively with
Eligible for 3.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT****APT CE only available to mental health practitioners
Saturday Evening Event
Jennie Kristel, MA, REAT, APTT, RMTJason Jedrusiak, CYTPlayback Theater was developed in the 1970s as a method for exploring the concerns and experiences of a community—or a group in need of connection. During a Playback performance, audience volunteers are asked to describe stories from their lives. In response, Playback actors empathically and respectfully improvise using movement, song, dance, and spoken word to create a focused, yet multi-layered, embodied narrative that represents the heart of the storytellers’ experiences.As the actors bring to life the stories offered up by our community, we’ll discover more about ourselves as story tellers and as story changers. Join us for an exciting and enlightening evening — and learn how Playback Theater can help participants attain broadened perspectives and deeper insight related to any issue or theme, much as might occur through play and expressive arts therapy.The evening will conclude with a brief talk back with the actors following the performance. No theater experience, nor active participation in sharing, is required. Last year's Playback performance received stellar evaluations!
This session is not eligible for continuing education credits or hours.
Sunday Morning Keynote
Scott Riviere, MS, LPC, RPT-SThis keynote will review common anxiety disorders in childhood ranging from Separation Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Simple Phobias. We will cover several Play Therapy techniques that can be put into practice immediately. We will review assessment methods that help children communicate their symptoms and develop appropriate coping skills. Experiential activities to help the child express feelings in a safe and effective manner will be used to help the participant gain insight into the child’s world.
Sunday Master Classes
Scott Riviere, MS, LPC, RPT-SChildren with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are a common reason for a referral to a mental health professional. These children often struggle at home as well as in the school setting. Both parents and professionals need an effective treatment program that builds on the strengths of the child rather than his or her weaknesses. This master class will review diagnoses that often accompany disruptive behaviors. Assessment tools and diagnostic criteria will be presented to assist the clinician in confirming a diagnosis. A review of Directive and Nondirective techniques will be explored with an emphasis on basic behavior modification principles. Experiential activities will be used to help participants gain insight into the child’s world. Play Therapy interventions to help build trust, teach self-discipline, and develop positive social skills will be demonstrated.
Dawn Burau, LMHC, ATRDaniel Reinstein, PhD Neuropsychological and psychological evaluations give clinicians a better understanding of a client's relative strengths and vulnerabilities in daily functioning. In this master class, a psychologist and art therapist, co-authors of two books on integrating neuropsychological and psychological evaluations, will explore the various neuropsychological functions that are accessed and influenced by play and creative activities, and identify ways to integrate their results into creative, strength-based treatment. The Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) is a multidisciplinary model that provides a framework for selecting types of interventions (kinesthetic, symbolic, sensory, etc.) and related media qualities (fluid, resistive, etc.) based on a client’s level of functioning and the clinician’s treatment goals. Using the ETC to bridge assessment and treatment, the speakers will explore ways to develop customized art and play therapy interventions for clients that align with their neuropsychological assessment results. This session will combine case studies, discussion, and hands-on creative activities to illustrate and demonstrate how neuropsychological functioning influences art making and play activity in children, and how individualized art making and play interventions can be used to promote healthy functioning in young people. No previous experience of neuropsychology or psychological testing is required. Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; APT**
Dee Preston-Dillon, MA, PhDAlong life’s journey there are many stories, big and small, nested deep in the heart. Narrative Sand Therapy, developed by the presenter, encourages clients to use symbols to represent their experiences and reclaim parts of the self previously left behind in trauma and shame, re-shaping their stories through a heart-healing process. Narrative Sand Therapy is a collaborative process between play therapist and client wherein developmental stories, personal myths and histories can unfold by using therapeutic metaphors, symbol amplification, and respectful exploration. In this master class, participants will explore poetry, personal letters, dialogues, and mini-dramas to animate the symbolic, while mindful of the role of silence and subtle engagement to deepen client work. Child and play therapists will also learn four primary tenets—permission, protection, empowerment, and presence—that guide the clinician and support the client's explorations of stories in the sand. It is this approach to exploratory process that distinguishes Narrative Sand therapy from Sandtray and Sandplay.
David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-SAs play therapists, we always learn from the children we treat, and our young clients often prove to be our best teachers. In this primarily didactic master class, the speaker will share valuable lessons learned from cases that enriched his work as a play therapist with a number of child clients. Lessons learned, and to be discussed, include: issues of pacing, timing, safety, windows of affect tolerance, resilience, countertransference, the impact of trauma, and the complexity of termination. In addition to theory and case illustrations, small group discussion will engage participants more actively in the learning process.
Christine Frydenborg Dargon, PhDPeople struggling with eating disorders often find it difficult to communicate their emotions, perceptions, and experiences in treatment—adding to a tendency toward secrecy in those with a history of sexual abuse. For this reason, play therapy can be a vital tool in facilitating and transforming the underlying issues. These typically include poor self-esteem, heightened anxiety, and other challenges seen when working with trauma-related symptomatology. In this master class, participants will learn the significance and benefits of using directive vs non-directive play therapy techniques, as well as the advantages of creating stationary images versus fluid ones, such as the difference between using art techniques vs sand tray as an adjunct to play therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy. Focus will be placed on control issues for traumatized eating disordered clients in play therapy, and how certain play therapy interventions can trigger the brain’s limbic system to enhance outcomes. We’ll also discuss which tools and techniques are most effective in treating this population, including sand tray, coloring, storytelling, and role play. Participants will be able to return to their offices and implement these tools in their work with clients of all ages.
Jodi Cobb, PhD, LCMFTChildren on the autism spectrum struggle with communication and connection to the outside world. This master class will explore ways to help parents and caretakers establish and enhance a warm, structured, playful, and connected relationship with their children who are diagnosed with ASD. Drawing on relationship-focused, developmental, and play therapy approaches, we will focus on an integrated approach designed to support and enhance parent-child dyadic interactions. Based on a synthesis of research identifying the core deficits of autism underlying outward behaviors, we will examine how these challenges disrupt the guided participation relationship between parent and child, which reduces opportunities for playful engagement and learning. Additionally, we will emphasize how play therapy techniques and other relationship-based strategies can move families beyond crisis toward an improved quality of life.
Katerina Evans, MA, LCPC, ATR JUST ADDED!
SoulCollage® involves a process of creating imagery-rich cards that represent different aspects of the maker’s personality. Working with these images facilitates access to deeper self-knowledge, bypassing the commonly used (verbal) defenses clients employ to avoid dealing with otherwise uncomfortable or shameful feelings. In this master class, participants will learn a number of ways to use this collage making process, dialogue with the resulting images, and investigate the world of archetypes as they relate to personality and parts work. SoulCollage® techniques can be used with individual and groups of clients and students, from children to adults. Typically, this process becomes a welcome addition to the practice of wellness and growth—even for the clinician or educator—since the SoulCollage® process is accessible, its materials are inexpensive and readily available, and it's fun! Participants will leave the session with a great start to building their own deck of cards.
Janet Courtney, PhD, LCSW, RPT-SPlay therapists acknowledge the importance of touch toward children’s healthy growth and development; however, the topic has rarely been addressed within the literature or professional trainings. This master class will provide an overview of this topic, including ethical and clinical considerations of touch from birth to adolescence as viewed from the context and mediating factors of children’s presenting situations, and from the standpoint of each practitioner's professional and personal experience. Participants will be invited to participate in discussions (including a Child Professional Touch Questionnaire) and experiential activities that can help to clarify comfort levels and professional awareness related to touch in the practice of child and play therapy. Case vignettes will be presented as well as some cutting-edge and emerging therapies that use touch as an intervention. Participants will gain new skills about how to manage challenging touch and boundary-setting within play therapy sessions, as well as novel ways to teach kids about their own personal space boundaries. Suggested guidelines and competencies of touch will be presented to address risk management concerns including informed consent examples.
Myriam Goldin, LCSW, RPT-SThis master class will present a number of playful, physical, and creative experiential activities designed to enhance attachment and energize connection between people in larger systems, like families and groups. Participants will also learn the basics regarding Theraplay and the primary goals of this approach. They will also have a chance to observe Theraplay applications within groups or families through videotaped vignettes. Participants will be able to return to work with an array of Theraplay activities that they can implement in a variety of play therapy and other types of settings.
Sunday Lunch & Learns
Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFTXanthia Johnson, LPC, LCPC, RPT-SCross racial dynamics are common in the playroom. But when they arise, how does the play therapist know? What does the play therapist say? What does the play therapist do? In this interactive session, two culturally aware play therapists with decades of hearty experience in navigating such situations share their stories. They want to hear yours too! Culturally considerate guidelines, toy considerations, transference, and countertransference are explored.
Jason Jedrusiak, CYTLaughter Yoga is for everyone. If you can laugh, you can do it (regardless of fitness or mobility level). In this method, “fake” laughter soon turns into real, contagious laughter, releasing stress-relieving endorphins and effecting wonderful physiological and psychological benefits–similar to traditional yoga, but with less demand on the body. This lunchtime workshop will blend yoga breathwork with laughter exercises for a process that builds community, inspires playfulness, and that can paired with any kind of creative arts therapies. Join us to experience a joyful form of yoga! No poses, mats, special outfits (or comedy skills) necessary.
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