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HOW TO NAVIGATE THE AGENDA

  • Use the drop down menu or the tabs below to access each day's program.
  • Hide or display session speakers and descriptions by clicking on [+] and [-] below. 
This will enable you to look at the schedule more easily.
  • Abstracts, times, faculty profiles, and CE credit information for all sessions can be found in the descriptions below.

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS

  • Most sessions are eligible for ASWB, NBCC, APA, and/or ATCB credits. Most of the Play Therapy sessions also qualify for APT credits. To be certain, always refer to the list of "eligible credits" located below each session description in the daily schedule.

    For details regarding Continuing Education Credits and Clock Hours CLICK HERE



TO SEE THE WHOLE SCHEDULE OFFLINE — OR WITHOUT ABSTRACTS

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  • Closed  Closed
  • Optional  Optional
  • Fee  Fee
  • Thursday, June 28, 2018
  •  

    Thursday Afternoon Supervision

    4:00 pm  -  6:00 pm
    Play Therapy Group Supervision

    Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFT

    This 2-hour session will provide Group Supervision continuing education contact hours that can be used towards an RPT credential. To structure our time, two pre-registrants will be invited to present a case with a play therapy primary approach that features a consultation question specific to the play therapy process. Participants are encouraged to bring video (with required signed consent forms) or artwork, slides of sand trays, or other play therapy work. After they present a concise consultation question, the group supervisor and peers will engage in focused discussion and feedback designed to advance treatment goals utilizing play therapy approaches. Countertransference issues will be highlighted.  Please submit a summary of your case presentation and consultation question to Eliana Gil <elianagil@me.com> as soon as you register for this 2-hour group supervision. First come, first served.

    Please Note: Cases will be selected based on the two criteria noted above, with priority given to those featuring salient issues relevant to a broader audience.  Once selected, participants who will be presenting cases to the group will be contacted directly by Dr. Gil.   

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.





    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
     

    Thursday Evening Workshops

    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Art & Drama Consultation for Play Therapists and Others

    Judy Rubin, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM
    Ellie Irwin, PhD, RDT, TEP

    After a brief presentation highlighting essential considerations for play therapists and other helping professionals using the arts with young people (including puppet play therapy), Drs. Rubin and Irwin, pioneers in the fields of art therapy and drama therapy respectively—both are also psychologists and child psychoanalysts—invite participants to share brief case vignettes and pose any questions they might have regarding the use of play therapy and other expressive arts in working with children and teens in treatment, aware that all can benefit from shared, open, and confidential dialogue. Creative play therapy and other expressive techniques for motivating and engaging reluctant clients will be highlighted. Feel free to bring your questions to the group, along with any supporting material you wish (artwork, photos, etc).

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.







    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Metaphor, Analogy & Myth, Oh My! The Healing Powers of Oz in Play Therapy

    Lisa Saldaña, MS

    We are natural storytellers. In play therapy, we experience our clients’ stories through the themes and metaphors of their play: externalized expressions of abstract concepts and feelings that allow us to sense—and make sense—of their experiences. In this 2-hour session, we will examine how the metaphors our clients present in play therapy facilitate meaning-making and connection with their experiences in a safe, yet powerful way. By staying in the metaphor, play therapists enable the difficult or painful experience or issue to be examined by providing a safe enough distance from related trauma or pain, and make it easier for the client to work through it without having to recount the details of the event itself verbally. Sometimes the metaphors are unique, created by the client, but often they are influenced by a story or a movie that resonates within them. In this presentation, we will examine the power of stories with a specific focus on metaphors and themes from the classic film The Wizard of Oz as they’ve been used in play therapy by children and adults. Appropriate for helping professionals in all disciplines.

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
    7:00 pm  -  9:30 pm
    Symbols in the Sand: An Interactive Exploration for Play Therapists and Others

    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!

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.


     



    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Termination Issues in Play Therapy

    David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S
    Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFT

    Even though play therapy treatment tends to be brief in today’s world of managed care, termination of play therapy services can still present numerous challenges and complexities. These include: Child is ready, parent is not; parent is ready, child is not; abrupt endings; closed- versus open-ended terminations; countertransference feelings; therapist pregnancy; termination of parental rights; premature terminations; and special considerations regarding children in foster care. While this is certainly not a comprehensive list, these topics reflect the need for play therapists and others who work with children to give sensitive attention to managing therapeutic terminations, even following clinical relationships of brief duration. In addition to exploring the aforementioned scenarios, we will discuss practical techniques for facilitating effective therapeutic endings in play therapy even in the face of the most challenging circumstances.

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.

     


     



    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
  • Friday, June 29, 2018
  •  

    Friday Morning Plenary

    10:00 am  -  11:30 am
    Animals in the Culture of Childhood: What Play Therapists Need to Know

    Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC

    Clinical experience and research have shown that children have a great affinity with animals. They relate to them, think about them, enjoy stories about them, and even dream about them. Play therapists can benefit from a more in-depth understanding of children's relationships with animals so they can more effectively incorporate animal images, stories, artwork, metaphors, themes—and even live interactions with them—into their play therapy work. The combination of play therapy principles and methods with animal concepts, toys, and live animals can enhance the play therapy process and the attainment of play therapy goals. This plenary lecture explores the importance of animal representations in play therapy with children and introduces practical tools that therapists can introduce immediately into their work. A short overview and videos of Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ will also be included.

    Eligible for 1.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
     

    Friday Master Classes

    1:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
    Altered Books with Origami for Adolescents and Adults

    Mindy Jacobson-Levy, MCAT, ATR-BC, LPC, DVATA HLM
    Laura Bauder

    Origami, which originated in sixth century Japan for use in religious ceremonies, became a recreational and play activity by the 17th century. Today we know origami as the art of folding paper sequentially to create functional and/or creative designs. In this process, the artist uses cognitive skills to carry out step-by-step directives that are simultaneously associated with the practice of mindfulness. The therapeutic creation of an altered book in outpatient clinical settings with adolescents and adults follows a similar process in which the therapist and client build rapport through the mastery of methods that are mindful, cognitively enhancing, and that foster creative play. In this master class, participants will learn how to use intention-based origami and altered book methods that will help them build therapeutic rapport with their clients, promote self-expression, facilitate self-reflection, encourage therapeutic play, and foster problem-solving skills. Clinical applications of this dual process in art and play therapies will be presented in lecture format and client artwork will be used to illustrate theory and practice. No previous experience with these processes is necessary.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.




    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    1:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
    Family Relationship Approaches in Play Therapy: Distinguishing Among Clinical Applications

    Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC

    Play therapy helps children grow, change, and overcome social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. Even so, its benefits can be seriously limited if parents and families are not involved in significant ways. Effective family play therapy comes in a variety of styles, yet most remain underutilized. This is partly because it can be challenging for even advanced clinicians to select the appropriate family intervention or determine how best to include parents or whole families efficiently and effectively in child treatment. This master class provides an overview of key family play therapy approaches and how to determine the best fit based on client, family, clinical, and situational parameters. We’ll also explore the clinical and evidence-based power of Filial Therapy, highlighting lesser-known features of this theoretically-integrative model and discuss variations of it. We’ll also consider how interventions such as Applied Behavior Analysis can work with individual and family play therapy for enduring benefits. The clinical skills developed in using these approaches can benefit play therapists and other mental health professionals working with parents and families in almost any context. Participants will leave with skills drawn from family play therapy that they can use immediately to enhance their work.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    1:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
    Healing Their Fury: Research-Informed Play Therapy with Aggressive Children

    David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S

    Aggression in children is multidetermined and not fully understood by play therapists and other child-serving professionals. Among the contributing factors are the threads of biology, including genetic factors and neurobiology, personality, family, social, and cultural issues that are woven together in a complex developmental tapestry. In recent years, considerable focus has been placed on the attachment and trauma histories of youth who commit acts of violence. This master class will provide play therapists with a summary of current knowledge about contributing factors and how this research foundation informs the play therapy interventions to be described and/or demonstrated. Concepts such as the “survival of the rage,” “betrayal trauma,” and “brain stem dysfunction,” as well as the key role of countertransference work in treating youth, are critical to understanding and treating the aggression in play therapy. There will be hands-on opportunities to try out some of the play therapy strategies and experiential learning activities to help ground these concepts. An integrative approach (inspired by the work of Helen Benedict and Eliana Gil), consisting of both Child-Centered Play Therapy (non-directive) and directive strategies will be explored, based on clinical experience in both private practice and residential treatment settings working with these “fawns in gorilla suits.”

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    1:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
    Integrating Somatic & Sensory Therapies with Play for Complex Trauma

    Session Full

    Jennifer Lefebre, PsyD, RPT-S

    Somatic psychotherapy is a holistic approach that incorporates the client’s mind, body, emotions, and spirit into the healing process. Play therapists often engage their clients in embodied play activities, incorporating aspects of somatic and sensory-based therapeutic approaches. This 4.5-hour master class will explore how trauma affects the development of the brain and body, emphasizing the use of body language and non-verbal cues to understand the "somatic narrative" in treatment rather than relying on verbal communication alone. Participants will learn sensory and embodied play therapy interventions to help decrease trauma symptoms and increase resiliency, adaptive meaning-making, and new competencies in children, adolescents, and adults with complex trauma histories.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional  Closed 
    1:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
    Sand Therapy Competencies: Principles & Practices for Play Therapists and Colleagues

    Dee Preston-Dillon, MA, PhD

    Sand therapy is a three-dimensional projective process appropriate for clients across the lifespan, often practiced by expressive arts and play therapists. In clinical work, it is especially important to be attuned to the psychic impact of the symbolic aspects inherent in sand therapy. Understanding theory, contexts, and the construction of meaning that occurs in sand work are critical factors in grasping a client's process. Play therapists must remain aware of projections, attitude toward symbols, sense of boundaries, and an understanding of the unique play therapy client-clinician relationship with sand, 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 participants will have the opportunity to work with peers to explore the core principles and practices that will be featured. Volunteers are invited from among the group to help demonstrate play therapy approaches with sand.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    1:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
    The Extended Play-Based Developmental Assessment (EPBDA) with Children & Their Families

    Myriam Goldin, LCSW, RPT-S

    This master class is designed to provide an overview of a structured and manualized assessment process developed by Eliana Gil that uses play therapy principles and techniques as its theoretical framework for working with children who have histories of trauma. Characteristically, these children do not volunteer information and may not be emotionally or cognitively capable of formulating accurate perceptions—or communicating those perceptions. Deeply reliant on play therapy and the expressive arts, the EPBDA invites children to use play, art, and sand therapy techniques in order to externalize whatever is on their minds. Workshop participants will practice documenting thematic material in children’s play and art, listen and invite metaphors, and craft comments and questions that can help children amplify important themes in their play. The EPBDA is best learned experientially, and participants will practice both its directives and assessment tasks. Case illustrations will be used to illustrate theory and guide discussion of clinical issues.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
     

    Grab & Go Lunch - Friday

    Attending a Friday Lunch & Learn Session or Want to Sit Outside?

    Grab & Go lunches are available daily. They include a sandwich, beverage, and snack. Pre-order one during the online registration process, pick yours up at the start of the lunch break, and go!

    $16 ticket required

     Optional  Closed 
     

    Friday Lunch & Learns

    Nature as Co-Therapist in Eco-Play Therapy

    12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

    Janet Courtney, PhD, LCSW, RPT-S

    Session Full 

    This 50-minute lunchtime session will explore ways that the metaphorical aspects of natural objects such as stones, shells, and feathers can be incorporated into play therapy. Easily crossing cultural barriers, the benefits of using an eco-play therapy approach for working with issues of multicultural diversity will be illustrated through case vignettes. Participants will also engage in a brief stone-based activity called “I KNOW MY YES’s and NO’s!” that helps to empower children with decision-making, boundary setting, and other important life choices. To complete the activity, we expand the metaphor by wrapping a “blanket” to protect and contain the stones. This simple and fun intervention is an effective one to use with play therapy clients who have a wide range of diagnoses and problem areas. Attend this session to discover how to make nature your “co-therapist” in play therapy and learn nature-based tools that you can immediately put into practice in your therapeutic work with young clients.

    Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.





    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional  Closed 
    Play as Therapy with Refugee Children: Creative Interventions for Posttraumatic Dissociation

    12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

    Mary DeRaedt, PhD, LPC, NCC

    This 50-minute lunchtime session will focus on how trauma is manifested in refugee children and provide suggestions for how to effectively use play interventions in supporting this special population. Results of research with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon will illustrate the behavioral expressions of dissociation resulting from the refugee experience and the factors that affect their severity. Interventions that target the specific needs of this group when emigrating to any country will be suggested for working with children in play therapy, in schools, and individual treatment. The power of narrative and meaning-making will be explored.

    Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.







    Speakers:
     Optional 
    Play Therapists in the School System

    12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

    Andrea Driggs McLeod, LCSW, RPT-S

    This 50-minute lunchtime lecture will explore the benefits of adding play therapy to school-based services. Participants will be given ideas of how to convey the value of these services to other school personnel, how to create a physically welcoming play therapy environment, and how to foster a supportive environment for helping children to manage difficult thoughts, emotions, and behaviors while at school.

    Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.






    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
     

    Friday Evening Workshops

    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Expressive Writing and Journaling for Self-Care for Play Therapists and Others

    Deborah Ross, CJT, LPC

    Journaling/Expressive Writing, is both an ancient art and an evidence based paradigm that can be used across a wide range of healing challenges, to cultivate self-awareness and lean into a self-authored future. For play therapists and other clinicians it can be a valuable tool for self-care and self-supervision. Utilizing the newer findings from neuroscience research, including those that demonstrate that well-being is skill that can be learned, play therapists and clinicians will learn how writing is an example of self-directed neuroplasticity. And how to utilize this knowledge to create a journal for self-supervision and self-care.

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    This session is not eligible for continuing education credits or hours.




    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Play Therapy for Sexual and Gender Identity Exploration

    Quinn K. Smelser, MA, NCC, LPC, RPT

    As part of the growing emphasis on social justice and diversity within counseling and play therapy, attention to best practices with gender diverse adults has increased, but little of this attention has focused specifically on providing play therapy in working with children. More research is needed in the area of best practices to allow children to safely explore their sexual and gender identity in play therapy. In this 2-hour session, the speaker will facilitate a conversation about this emerging area of need and discuss ideas for play therapists to better advocate for children experiencing gender nonconformity and other issues. Play therapy techniques for working with child clients and their families will be showcased as well as gender neutral considerations for playroom items. Participants will be given educational resources for themselves in addition to materials to place in their playrooms. Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.

    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Play Therapy Supervision: Addressing Parent and Caregiver Issues

    Robert Grant, EdD, RPT-S

    Play therapists typically treat children more than any other population even though their work can also be implemented with adults and couples. When working with a child client, however, play therapists often find themselves working with parents or adult caregivers as well. This interaction can produce awkward moments, challenging situations, opportunities, and compounded processes. Play therapists need to learn how to handle working with parents successfully, just as they learn to manage limits and boundaries when working with their child clients. This evening supervision session focuses on helping play therapists gain awareness and tools for interacting with parents and caregivers, including: handling challenging situations, setting limits and boundaries, making the most of opportunities, and dealing with legal issues. Participants will have the opportunity to address questions and concerns, as well as explore resources and successful outcomes.

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Suicide Prevention & Risk Assessment: What Play Therapists Need to Know

    Leslie Baker, MA, MFT, NCC, RPT-S
    Mary Ruth Cross, MS, MFT, NCC, RPT-S

    According to the CDC, the suicide rate for children ages 10-14 doubled between 2007 and 2014. Understanding how to prevent suicide among our younger clients, assess for suicide risk, and assist those who are touched by the loss of a loved one from suicide, are increasingly essential skills for play therapists and other mental health professionals. This 2-hour workshop for play therapists, counselors, psychotherapists, and school counselors will provide an overview of suicide prevention techniques, assessment of suicide risk, and the use of play therapy interventions to help children and teens to decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviors, as well as cope with the unique issues that affect child and teen survivors of suicide loss. Participants will learn to apply guided imagery, mindfulness, and play therapy interventions in individual and group treatment with these difficult, hidden, and volatile populations.

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Technology & Play Therapy: Innovations, Integration & Impact

    Rachel A. Altvater, PsyD, LCPC, RPT

    Children, teens, and their play habits have transformed over the past decade or more, largely due to a broad-based sociocultural shift towards technology. For this reason, it is important that play therapists understand how these changes impact their child clients’ lives—and play therapy treatment with young people in general—regardless if they decide to welcome technology and innovative techniques into their playrooms. We'll begin with a research literature review about current technological trends, including the benefits, detriments, challenges, and other considerations regarding introducing technology into play therapy. Additionally, we will review current standards and ethics of using technology in play therapy practice.

    Please Note: There is an additional fee for this session.

    Eligible for 2.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
  • Saturday, June 30, 2018
  •  

    Saturday Morning Plenary

    9:00 am  -  10:30 am
    Creating Safe Circles: Helping Play Therapists Hold "Hard Stories" from Traumatized Children

    Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S

    Children who have been neglected, maltreated, or otherwise traumatized need to have kind, human "containers" to help hold their difficult and painful stories. Play therapists help children with extra-linguistic aspects of their trauma stories, but the real win is when the daily caregivers—the "safe bosses" of these children—can hold these stories for them. Play therapists are in a unique position to enhance attachments between caregivers and kids from hard places, to become playful containers for both the parents and the children, to enable caregivers to augment the narrative, and to help them to hear a child's hard story in ways that build coherence within the narrative and connection within the family.

    Eligible for 1.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
     

    Saturday Master Classes

    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    A Neurosequential Art Approach for Working with Kids

    Session Full

    Peggy Kolodny, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT

    Developmental trauma affects children impacted by chronic and complex traumatic events. This didactic and art/play experiential master class will describe and demonstrate how neurodevelopmental approaches to trauma such as Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Therapy (NMT) can be integrated into stages of art development leading to appropriate art and play therapy interventions for each stage. A brief overview of how trauma impacts neurodevelopment and results in trauma responses in children will be presented. The Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) and the benefits of bilateral drawing will also be considered. Art/play therapy experientials will highlight the Neurosequential Model to deepen understanding and provide art and play therapists with effective and creative therapeutic interventions in trauma–informed treatment for clients of all ages. Participants will be engaged in joint art activities such as bilateral scribbling leading to The Squiggle Story and the Clay Squiggle techniques. These highly playful creative directives that can be used in play therapy, art therapy, and counseling settings, promote the organization of chaotic trauma experiences by offering structured meaning, attunement, containment, and affect regulation, while following the tenets of the Neurosequential Model.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional  Closed 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    Auto-Regulation and Play Therapy: Healing the Body

    Jennifer Lefebre, PsyD, RPT-S

    Many of our young clients are referred for play therapy due to rapidly shifting states of arousal, affect, thinking, and/or behavior. Affective disorders, ADHD, sensory processing issues, and developmental trauma may all lead to these dysregulated states. Knowing how to accurately read these cues and provide appropriate interventions is key to working with these challenges. Adapting to the environment—and the constantly changing needs and demands on the nervous system—requires very complex processing in the brain, which is not always possible. Depending on the neuro-behavioral state of the brain, a child may need an increased or a decreased amount of sensory input. In this 4.5-hour master class, participants will be introduced to movement, sensory, and play therapy interventions to help them learn to strengthen the regulatory capacities of the children with whom they work. They will learn the importance of coregulation in developing a child’s ability to self-soothe, and how to determine which sensory strategies and play therapy interventions are appropriate for differing levels and types of dysregulation.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    AutPlay® with Children on the Autism Spectrum

    Robert Grant, EdD, RPT-S

    Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders often struggle with emotional regulation, social skills, and relationship connection. Play therapy approaches hold many benefits for children and adolescents with ASD, especially in treating social and emotional issues they typically struggle with. Play therapy can be uniquely designed for and responsive to the individual child and developmental needs of each child. The complexities and various manifestations along the autism spectrum require play therapists and other clinicians to attune their treatment to evidence-based approaches and special considerations. AutPlay® Therapy is a family-focused play therapy and behavioral therapy approach specifically designed for working with children and adolescents who have ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This master class presents a basic overview of AutPlay®, including the phases of treatment. Theoretical underpinnings of play therapy and behavioral therapy will be explored, and primary and secondary target areas of treatment will be covered. Structured play therapy interventions designed to target typical skill deficits in children with ASD will be presented. Participants will have the opportunity to view treatment session vignettes and learn about AutPlay® Certification options.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    Beat the Odds®: Social-Emotional Skill Building through Drumming in Play Therapy

    Ping Ho, MA, MPH
    Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFT

    Beat the Odds® is a trauma-informed program that integrates the power of contemporary drum circles with play therapy and group counseling to build core strengths such as focusing and listening, team building, positive risk taking, self-esteem, awareness of others, leadership, expressing feelings, managing anger/stress, empathy and gratitude. UCLA research has shown that drumming within the context of mental health counseling can reduce a spectrum of behavior problems in children, such as those related to withdrawn/depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, and sluggish cognitive tempo (all common presenting problems in play therapy). In addition, this program has been shown to be particularly effective with children in special education classrooms. Beat the Odds® emphasizes process and not performance. It includes familiar therapeutic strategies such as positive affirmations, emotional coping strategies, and guided interaction with rhythmic activities serving as a metaphor for life, followed by reflection and dialogue—without the stigma of therapy. The scripted curriculum, well suited to the skill sets of play therapists, enables sustainable delivery and does not require musical experience on the part of facilitators or children. This inclusive and culturally relevant program accommodates diverse abilities as well as family participation. The training will also offer guidelines on adapting the curriculum to both younger and older groups of children in play therapy settings.

    Please Note: An introduction to the session will be provided by Dr. Gil, who will also serve as discussant.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    Dollmaking in Art & Play Therapies to Help Children and Teens Process Grief

    Sarah Vollmann, MPS, ATR-BC, LICSW

    In this master class, we will explore an attachment- and creative arts-informed approach to grief therapy with children and adolescents. The developmental stages of grief for children and teens will be reviewed, and an art therapy/play therapy study of a bereaved child will be presented. An overview of the use of dolls in art therapy will be discussed, as well as the practice of therapeutic doll making and play with bereaved children and adolescents. Participants will then have the opportunity to create their own dolls using a variety of collage, drawing, and sewing materials; they will be able to tailor the doll making directive as they see fit, perhaps to commemorate a lost loved one or to create a symbol of self. The group will then discuss this process and explore the potential for using dolls in therapeutic art making and play therapy to facilitate the healing process in the treatment of bereaved young patients.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    Ecopsychology & Play Therapy: Nature as Co-Therapist with Clients of All Ages

    Janet Courtney, PhD, LCSW, RPT-S

    It’s no longer just children who are absorbed — mind, body, and spirit — in the world of video games, internet, Instagram, and other technological diversions. Our obsession with smart phones, digital tablets, and even cable television are leading us into an ever-increasing disconnect from the natural world around us. A number of medical and mental health professionals have suggested that some behavioral disorders may very well be, in part, a consequence of this disconnect. Journalist Richard Louv named this phenomenon Nature Deficit Disorder, and most any play therapist can identify this among her clients, regardless of age: the profound effects resulting from decreased access to the benefits of being in nature. In this master class we will explore how shells, gemstones, rocks, botanicals, clay, feathers, and sand can be used in play therapy sessions to tap more deeply into metaphors and storytelling, as well as broaden multisensory healing. This highly experiential session will illustrate and demonstrate how to integrate a variety of nature-based interventions within both the playroom and outdoors (including labyrinth journey walks) to enhance the efficacy of play therapy with clients of all ages, diagnoses, and challenges. Case examples will be presented to demonstrate the use of nature as co-therapist in action. Play therapists and their colleagues will be introduced to a variety of practical, earth-based interventions that they can immediately put into practice. Participants are requested to bring a favorite natural object to share! 

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.




    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    Play Therapy with Children Who Have ADHD: Essential Techniques for Success

    Heidi G. Kaduson, PhD, RPT-S

    Play therapy is the treatment of choice for children of all ages, and when it comes to children who have ADHD, referrals to play therapy are even more common. Not only do these children actually love their play therapy sessions, but is in them that their parents also learn how to find and focus on the positive attributes of their children. In this 4.5 hour session, participants at all levels of experience will discover how the therapeutic powers of play can specifically aid in the treatment of children with ADHD through creative play therapy techniques and games particularly suited for this population. In addition, guidelines for parent training will be provided so that the play therapist can promote a multimodal approach to this disorder. Play therapy theory and techniques for working with young clients who have ADHD will be demonstrated through hands-on experiential activities. Video and other case material will further illustrate these concepts and enhance the learning experience.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.




    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    Tech Gone Wild: Managing Cyberbullying, Sexting & Porn through Play Therapy

    Leslie Baker, MA, MFT, NCC, RPT-S
    Mary Ruth Cross, MS, MFT, NCC, RPT-S

    As possibilities in social media and mobile technology continue to expand, the 21st-century family must confront a whole new set of challenges that include online pornography, excessive texting, gaming and computer use, sexting, cyber-bullying, and other inappropriate and harmful uses of technology. Now, play therapists are increasingly sought out to assist families in managing these issues. This master class will provide an overview of the various technology-related behaviors that can lead to a higher risk of victimization and conflict. Participants will learn about assessment tools, play therapy, and creative art play-based family and individual therapy interventions to help play therapists address these issues safely and effectively. Participants will create two assessment tools and three family or individual play therapy interventions during the session. We will also review current research, laws and ethics, diversity issues, and prevention skills to work with parents and assist families to guide their members toward the healthier use of technology in play therapy and daily life.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    Theraplay to Promote Attachment with Families and Groups

    Myriam Goldin, LCSW, RPT-S

    In this master class, we will explore a number of playful, physical, and creative experiential activities designed to enhance attachment and energize connection between people in larger systems, such as families and groups in play therapy settings. We'll begin with the basics of Theraplay and focus on the primary goals of this effective approach. We will also have a chance to observe Theraplay being used with groups and families through videotaped clinical vignettes. Participants will be able to return to their practices having learned a variety of Theraplay activities that they can implement in the playroom and other clinical settings. They will also be directed as to how to obtain formal Theraplay training.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    11:00 am  -  5:00 pm
    Titration of Trauma Narrative Work in Play Therapy: Respecting the Dance

    Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S

    In this master class, we will explore the glimpses and snapshots of the trauma that children show us through their art, sandtray work, thematic play, and somatic content. This dance towards and away from the trauma content constitutes a continuum of disclosure that must be honored and contained while these children are invited to expand their exploration. We will look at the ways in which our play spaces allow children to self-titrate their exposure to anxiety-provoking content; how to facilitate movement during post-traumatic play; how to expand healing metaphors by introducing a variety of expressive media to children over the course of treatment; how to mitigate the approach to the trauma content by enhancing the child’s attachments; and how to extract the emotional toxicity from traumatic memories. Grounded in the prescriptive approach to play therapy, multiple ways of working with trauma content will be explored. Extra-linguistic narrative work in a variety of mediums will be examined. Play-based somatic approaches will be demonstrated and experienced. Case examples from play therapy, augmented by video clips and artifacts, will illustrate theory and augment experiential learning.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
     

    Grab & Go Lunch - Saturday

    Attending a Saturday Lunch & Learn Session or Want to Sit Outside?


    Grab & Go lunches are available daily. They include a sandwich, beverage, and snack. Pre-order one during the online registration process, pick yours up at the start of the lunch break, and go!


    $16 ticket required

     

     Optional  Closed 
     

    Saturday Lunch & Learns

    Creative Engagement & Connection through the Arts: An Experiential Session

    1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

    Ping Ho, MA, MPH

    In this largely experiential lunchtime session, participants will first learn about the unique ways in which the creative arts can further enhance play therapy in addressing symptoms of trauma. Next, they will experience several simple activities in a variety of art forms and then process them as a group. These activities will be used to illustrate the main elements involved in integrating the creative arts with mental health practices including play therapy to maximize social-emotional outcomes. All techniques learned during this session can be easily integrated into play therapy practice.

    Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.




    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional  Closed 
    Introduction to FirstPlay Kinesthetic Storytelling® for Healing Attachment & Trauma Issues

    1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

    Janet Courtney, PhD, LCSW, RPT-S

    This 50-minute lunchtime lecture will provide a very brief introduction to FirstPlay Kinesthetic Storytelling®, an attachment-based model of play therapy for children ages three to six or older. Play therapists will learn about the Magic Rainbow Hug©, an interactive storytelling approach in which parents are taught to tell and draw a story on their child’s back. It is important to note that play therapists do not touch the child, but learn how to ethically guide, facilitate, and supervise respectful touch between parents and children through this metaphorical storytelling approach, known to the children as "back" or "hand" stories. Attendees will be introduced to the basic foundations of Kinesthetic Storytelling® including developmental play therapy (DPT), the neurobiology of touch, and peer-to-peer massage. Play therapists, counselors, expressive therapists, and others are invited to come and learn about this play therapy intervention that is effective for working with issues related to trauma and attachment. 

    Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.






    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional  Closed 
    Introduction to Laughter Yoga

    1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

    Jason Jedrusiak, CYT

    Laughter 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 play or creative arts therapies. Join us to experience a joyful form of yoga!

    This session is not eligible for continuing education hours or credits.




    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
     

    Saturday Evening Workshops

    7:00 pm  -  9:00 pm
    Ecstatic Drum Circle: A Playful & Creative Community Celebration

    Ping Ho, MA, MPH

    You don't need to be a drummer to join our evening Ecstatic Drum Circle! Release stress and tension from sitting all day by expressing yourself freely with drums, percussion, or creative movement — always within your comfort zone, even if you are a bonafide introvert. We’ll warm up slowly with some fun rhythmic games, build toward a vibrant experience of creative connection, and then wind down to embody the mindful, centered presence that follows. Light refreshments and simple materials for making your own egg shakers will be available. 

    Not included with Saturday registration.

    $25 ticket · $40 at the door

    This session is not eligible for continuing education hours or credits.

    Faculty Bio(s):
    Fee  Optional 
  • Sunday, July 1, 2018
  •  

    Sunday Morning Plenary

    8:30 am  -  10:00 am
    Play Therapy & Expressive Arts Principles for Working with Grief & Loss

    Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFT

    Mental health practitioners are often in the position of providing therapeutic services to adults, teens, and children who have experienced expected or unexpected losses of family members, friends, or pets.  These traumatic experiences can affect general functioning in a variety of negative ways:  Clients may feel unable to work, experience depression and/or anxiety, and find themselves struggling with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.  Play therapists and other clinicians must be fully prepared to deal with overwhelming emotions, provide concrete supportive services, and help clients decrease these debilitating symptoms that might otherwise overwhelm their daily lives.  Drawing upon her own her recent experiences in coping with a number of such losses, the speaker address will identify explore how loss and grief can have traumatic impact, discuss different ways that people can grieve at different stages of the lifecycle, and most importantly, provide a broad array of therapeutic approaches drawn from play therapy and the expressive therapies that have unique application for clients challenged by shock and grief.  

     

    Eligible for 1.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
     

    Sunday Master Classes

    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Attachment-based Play Therapy with Very Young Children and their Families

    Susan Taylor, CMA, LCSW-C, RPT-S
    Carole Norris-Shortle, LCSW-C, LCMFT, RPT-S
    Kim Cosgrove, LCSW-C

    Based on the presenters’ 20 years of experience creating an attachment-based, trauma-informed, play therapy model serving homeless babies and their parents, their recent guidebook, Wee Cuddle and Grow, forms the foundation of this highly experiential master class. This session will offer play therapists and other mental health professionals opportunities to experience the mindful play therapy critical in promoting self-regulation, co-regulation, and engagement in parent-child dyads. Experiential exercises will illustrate the regulatory power of music and movement with this population.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Bead Making with Teens & Adults for Managing Anxiety, Substance Abuse, and More

    Sarah Pitkin, LCPAT, ATR-BC, MAC, CSAC

    Child, teen, and young adult clients who experience severe anxiety may use avoidance or escape (including substance abuse) because they have not yet developed successful coping strategies. This master class examines bead making as a form of mindful meditation that can help children to develop self-awareness and manage anxiety, “automatic negative thoughts,” and fear-based avoidant behaviors. With or without anxiety, many young clients can tolerate social interaction more easily while focused on an activity. Beading carries a “low risk for failure” for those suffering performance anxiety and, like play therapy, engages the creative process. It reveals internal narratives to both the maker and therapist through the selection of materials, colors, texture, and pattern. Further, bead makers may assign meaning such as beauty, clarity, purity, spirituality, the rhythms of nature, as well as affirming personal values and aspirations to their creations. Play therapists and others can use bead-making activities to facilitate affects and insights evoked by this inherently calming process that can be explored further in treatment. In particular, the selection, design, and creation of prayer beads connects the creator to the self, to others in the group, and to cultural/spiritual traditions throughout the world.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Complicated Grief, Collage & Trauma Theory: An Artful Integration

    Peggy Kolodny, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT
    Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT

    Trauma and grief work supports the effectiveness of nonverbal creative arts and play therapy interventions to address the somatic impact on mind and body. This master class focuses on a collage-making technique that trauma-focused play therapists and art therapists—who are often hesitant to treat grief—can use in their practices. 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 material is grounded in the grief and bereavement work of Neimeyer's Constructivist Theory of Meaning Making, Shear’s Complicated Grief Theories, Worden’s Task Model of Bereavement, and Stroebe's Dual Process Model. The impact of traumatic grief on the social, behavioral, emotional, and psychological development of children and families will be reviewed along with age-appropriate creative interventions for play therapists. Experiential activities will include diverse collage-making directives including containers and books. Jungian active imagination processing of collages will be demonstrated.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Integrating Play Therapy with Art & Drama to Foster Relational Strength

    Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFT
    Teresa Dias

    Play therapy is a clinical discipline that can be effectively integrated with other therapeutic modalities. The expressive arts therapies, in particular, have a number of goals in common with play therapy. These include: engaging in creative processes to help mobilize internal awareness and resources; providing the means and support to express and explore feelings, thoughts, problems, and options; and an emphasis on process versus product. In this highly experiential master class, the presenters will demonstrate how play therapy principles and approaches can be used in tandem with drama and art therapies approaches to promote and enhance children’s well-being and self-esteem, and assist in the therapeutic exploration of difficult emotions and/or situations. Participants will learn foundational activities designed to provide an integrated interdisciplinary approach that strengthens play therapy practices and fosters relational strengths in clients of all ages.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Integrative Attachment Informed Model (I AIM): A Tiered Play Therapy Approach

    Angela Cavett, PhD

    The Integrative Attachment Informed Model (I AIM) is a three-tiered play therapy approach that prescriptively addresses needs based on the child's attachment patterns and the relationship strengths/weaknesses of the parent-child dyad. Tier III addresses the needs of children with severe attachment concerns (i.e., RAD). Tier II is for moderate attachment concerns. Tier I is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with play-based interventions. As the parent-child dyad develops healthier attachment interactions, the treatment progresses from Tier III to II to I. This master class will describe the I AIM treatment components: Assessment, Parenting, Regulation/Relaxation/Relationship, Executive Functioning, Affective Awareness and Modulation, Cognitive Understanding and Strategies, Narratives, and Termination. Grounded in clinical and developmental research, this session will be extensively illustrated by case studies of children and adolescents across the three tiers of this play therapy model.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Narrative Sand Therapy©: Into the Heart of Healing with Children & Teens

    Dee Preston-Dillon, MA, PhD

    Along life's journey, children and play therapists alike develop many stories, big and small, nestled deep in the heart. Narrative Sand Therapy©, developed by the presenter, encourages clients of all ages 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. Play therapists and those who treat children will also learn four primary tenets--permission, protection, empowerment, and presence--that guide the clinician and support the young client's explorations of stories in the sand. This approach to exploratory process distinguishes Narrative Sand Therapy© from sandtray and sandplay therapies, and is eminently compatible with the work of play therapists.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Play Therapy for Children With Sexual Behavior Problems

    Jennifer Shaw, PsyD, RPT-S

    Play therapists often have opportunities to work with children who present with a range of dysregulated behaviors, including those that are sexually inappropriate. This master class will provide information on The Boundary Project, a research-informed assessment and treatment program that offers a comprehensive, family-based approach for helping children with sexual behavior problems and their families. Over the course of this session, we will explore play therapy strategies that can be applied in both assessment and treatment of young children, and provide a context for responding to sexually abusive youth in a purposeful way. Emphasis will be placed on using play therapy approaches to motivate parents and caretakers to provide careful supervision and engage children in their own treatment. Using this approach, they can learn to identify and master internal controls, regulate affect, and understand their unique cues of impending problem behaviors. A variety of play therapy techniques and strategies designed for children to use with their caregivers will be discussed, along with mindfulness, therapeutic art making, and CBT-based treatment strategies. Participants will learn through didactic and experiential opportunities including case illustrations, “mock” Boundary Project sessions, and clinical analysis of sample art and play activities.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    PT 101: Basic Principles and Theories of Play Therapy

    Andrea Driggs McLeod, LCSW, RPT-S

    This master class is designed to provide a basic understanding of the historical development of play therapy as a formal clinical approach, describing the major theories of play therapy and Axline’s foundational principles of child-centered play therapy. Participants will have opportunities to practice several play therapy principles and approaches and will be given guidelines for the active observation, documentation, and processing of play metaphors, symbols, and activities. We will demonstrate how directive and non-directive approaches in play therapy can be used separately or in unison. In addition, information will be provided on how play therapy strategies can promote and advance therapeutic goals when working with a range of behavioral problems and concerns. A rationale for the integration of expressive therapies and cognitive-behavioral strategies with play therapy will also be offered. There will be opportunities for group consultation based on verbal, audio, or digital video case vignettes or reports.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Trauma-Focused Integrated Play Therapy

    Myriam Goldin, LCSW, RPT-S

    Trauma-Focused Integrated Play Therapy, a relationship-based model, features principles of child-centered play therapy that permit children to access natural healing mechanisms such as post-trauma play. By giving children opportunities to work in a permissive yet purposeful setting, clinicians observe and document how children respond to gradual exposure, gain an understanding of traumatic experiences, discharge affect, and begin to manage experiences that might otherwise feel overwhelming or frightening. This trauma-anchored model integrates directive play therapy strategies as needed, deepens metaphor work by amplifying the child’s ability to explore the material that they externalize through play, and provides children with a safe, predictable environment for processing interpersonal trauma. Moreover, this model values children’s pacing, respects defensive strategies, and seeks to help them build alternative skills through play therapy to cope with difficult thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    10:30 am  -  4:30 pm
    Using Play Therapy with Children in High Conflict Divorce Cases

    Heather McTaggart Bryan, LPC, RPT

    Many children are referred for play therapy to help them adjust to divorce, which can leave them feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and vulnerable. Ongoing post-divorce conflict can make children feel as if they are caught in a bad game of tug of war. Up to a third of divorcing couples report high degrees of hostility and conflict over daily care of their children, even many years following their separations. High-conflict divorces can have a significant impact on children’s development and negatively impact their overall growth. Providing play therapy for children whose parents are experiencing a high conflict divorce or custody battle can be very challenging for play therapists and other mental health professionals. It is important to understand the impact that high conflict divorce has on children at different developmental phases. Similarly, it is also important that play therapists facilitate proper play therapy skills, policies, and protocols in order to avoid common mistakes and to prioritize children’s needs and their families' health. This master class will provide a foundation of practical knowledge, guidance, and hands-on play therapy interventions to help play therapists and other clinicians work more effectively with children who are experiencing the stress of a divorce, particularly one that is high conflict.

    Eligible for 4.5 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.



    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
     

    Grab & Go Lunch - Sunday

    Attending a Sunday Lunch & Learn Session or Want to Sit Outside?

    Grab & Go lunches are available daily. They include a sandwich, beverage, and snack. Pre-order one during the online registration process, pick yours up at the start of the lunch break, and go!


    $16 ticket required

     

     Optional  Closed 
     

    Sunday Lunch & Learns

    Nature as Co-Therapist in Eco-Play Therapy

    12:30 PM - 1:20 PM

    Janet Courtney, PhD, LCSW, RPT-S

    This 50-minute lunchtime session will explore ways that the metaphorical aspects of natural objects such as stones, shells, and feathers can be incorporated into play therapy. Easily crossing cultural barriers, the benefits of using an eco-play therapy approach for working with issues of multicultural diversity will be illustrated through case vignettes. Participants will also engage in a brief stone-based activity called “I KNOW MY YES’s and NO’s!” that helps to empower children with decision-making, boundary setting, and other important life choices. To complete the activity, we expand the metaphor by wrapping a “blanket” to protect and contain the stones. This simple and fun intervention is an effective one to use with play therapy clients who have a wide range of diagnoses and problem areas. Attend this session to discover how to make nature your “co-therapist” in play therapy and learn nature-based tools that you can immediately put into practice in your therapeutic work with young clients.

    Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.





    Faculty Bio(s):
     Optional 
    Reflective Practice & Supervision in Play Therapy: Being Truly Present

    12:30 PM - 1:20 PM 

    Susan Taylor, CMA, LCSW-C, RPT-S
    Carole Norris-Shortle, LCSW-C, LCMFT, RPT-S
    Kim Cosgrove, LCSW-C

    Supervisory sessions for play therapists can flow naturally, be filled with tension, get stuck, or become derailed. The informed play therapy supervisor can provide a structured framework for these sessions, creating the security needed to keep these interactions on track and productive. Mindful self-regulation can be useful in play therapy supervision for both supervisee and supervisor. It promotes the curiosity and self-awareness that facilitate the reflective process and clinical growth. Please join us for this interactive and didactic lunch-and-learn session suitable for play therapists as well as other mental health clinicians.

    Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**

    Note: This session approved for credit toward RPT-S status.
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.





     Optional  Closed 
    The Play Therapist Goes to Court: Clinical Preparation for Testifying

    12:30 PM - 1:20 PM

    Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFT

    It is not uncommon that play therapists and other mental health professionals are subpeonaed in the course of their professional lives.  Most clinicians agree that their education has not prepared them sufficiently to enter a courtroom with confidence, yet it is precisely due to their clinical acumen that their testimony is being sought. This lunchtime session will provide participants with basic guidelines for preparing court testimony stemming from the clinical relationship; will identify the differences between being a fact witness and an expert witness; describe how to qualify as a witness; and discuss how to work within the legal system in the best clinical interest of your client(s), particularly when they are children.  Specific "do’s and don’ts" will be highlighted so that participants feel better equipped to provide court testimony, especially when they believe that what they have to say will determine important clinical outcomes for their young clients.

     

    Eligible for 1.0 Credit/Clock Hours: NBCC, ATCB; ASWB, APA, MFT, Nursing; SWNYS, LCAT, NY-LMHC; APT**
    **Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.




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