Workshop Agenda

All workshops will run from 9am-4:30pm with morning, lunch, and afternoon breaks

Monday, June 17, 2019
Healing from the Effects of Interpersonal Trauma
Dr. Sue Bratton

The child’s complex and sometimes difficult journey toward healing will be explored in the context of an integrative humanistic play therapy/family play therapy approach. Allowing children with a history of interpersonal trauma and attachment disruptions to access and integrate their experiences in safe and manageable ways is essential to the healing process particularly for children who have experienced pre-verbal traumas stored as implicit memory. Case example and video vignettes will be used to examine attachment dynamics and the complexity of trauma play in terms of its personal meaning for the child and how that informs the critical work within the child’s system. Strategies and examples of when and how to effectively involve caregivers will be presented. Neurobiological and developmental aspects of interpersonal trauma will be discussed in support of an integrated humanistic approach to treating children who have experienced early interpersonal/relationship traumas. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Name three developmental considerations in providing play therapy interventions with children who have experienced early interpersonal/relationship trauma.
  2. Discuss three rationales for using an integrated humanistic play therapy/family play therapy approach for children presenting with early interpersonal/relationship trauma.
  3. Discuss two guidelines for clinical decision making regarding timing of play therapy and family work with children presenting with a history of early interpersonal/relationship trauma.
  4. Discuss considerations for the person of the therapist when working with this population.

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Attachment Centered Play Therapy
Clair Mellenthin

Through the lens of attachment theory, participants will gain a new understanding of how children and families interact and bond to one another in healthy vs maladaptive ways. We will be exploring how trauma, abuse, and neglect impact the bonds of attachment within the family system and how the power of Attachment Centered Play Therapy can help to heal these wounds. Participants will spend the day learning new and innovative play therapy techniques including hands on experiential activities, sand tray interventions, and expressive arts.  You will leave with a creative toolbox of tips, techniques, and a clear understanding of how attachment styles impact relationships.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify how attachment theory applies to play therapy and to view family systems through the lens of attachment.
  2. Conceptualize attachment patterns that impact parent-child relationships.
  3. Conceptualize generational attachment patterns and how these manifests in family-based play therapy.
  4. Analyze attachment theory as it applies to play therapy to provide integrated therapeutic treatment.
  5. Evaluate the four key concepts of attachment theory and how these concepts apply to attachment centered play therapy.
  6. Analyze various family systems through the lens of attachment theory to strengthen clinical assessment skills.

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Attachment Centered Play Therapy with High Conflict Families
Clair Mellenthin

Clinicians are often the “first responders” to families in crisis or when dealing with an unforeseen trauma taking place.  As our knowledge about trauma and the impact this has on an individual, a family, and the community grows, so does our understanding as to how these different life experiences play out in the family home and relationships.  High conflict families can be challenging to work with in play therapy, as parents and children tend to be highly reactive, yet also highly avoidant.  It is easy to only want to see the child and avoid the parent – however, engagement with the parents is a must in order for lasting change and healing to happen. 

Throughout this play therapy workshop, we will be exploring our clients through the lens of attachment theory, gaining a new understanding of how children and families interact and bond to one another in healthy vs maladaptive ways. We will be exploring how trauma, abuse, and neglect impact the bonds of attachment within the family system and how the power of Attachment Centered Play Therapy can help to heal these wounds in high conflict families.  Issues such as shame, vulnerability, and attachment centered engagement strategies will be addressed.  There will be plenty of time to explore difficult cases you are working with, ask questions, develop new assessment skills and explore your own personal style of attachment and how this plays out in your work with clients.  You will leave with a toolbox of play therapy interventions to put into practice immediately!

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will learn how attachment theory applies to play therapy and to view family systems through the lens of attachment.
  2. Analyze attachment theory as it applies to play therapy to provide integrated therapeutic treatment.
  3. Conceptualize attachment patterns that impact parent-child relationships to further advance your clinical practice.
  4. Implement play therapy interventions to foster engagement with parents in family play therapy in order to repair and enhance the parent-child relationship.
  5. Determine the developmental stages of attachment needs and behaviors to identify maladaptive responses in children and families.
  6. Implement play therapy interventions to decrease conflict in parent-child relationships

 

Thursday, June 20, 2019
What Makes Play Therapy Work? Change Processes and the Therapeutic Powers of Play
Dr. Kevin O'Connor

In the time since Hermine Hug-Hellmuth developed the very first model of play therapy, theorists and practitioners have gone on to develop numerous additional theories and models, all in an effort to best describe how and why play therapy works.  Somewhat surprisingly, each new theory has met with some success as there is at least some research to support the effectiveness of virtually every one.  In spite of this successes, play therapists continue to strive to answer the question, "What treatment, by whom, is most effective for this individual with that specific problem under which set of circumstances." (Gaul, 1967).  Current research suggests the answer to this question may not lie within any one theory but found in the change processes and factors common to all mental health interventions.  These core change processes, including the therapeutic powers of play, are seen as one way of beginning to work across theories to develop effective play interventions targeted to the specific characteristics and needs of a given child.  In this workshop, we will review some of the major change processes.  We will then look at how these can be combined with the therapeutic powers of play to create a problem-driven, goal-oriented approach to play therapy.  Lastly, we will focus on using this approach to design a wide array of case, and problem-specific, play-based interventions.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define the concept ‘change process’ as it applies to psychotherapy, and describe how the concept cuts across many models/theories of play therapy.
  2. Identify at least 5 change processes common to all/most theories and models of play therapy.
  3. Define the relationship between change processes and the therapeutic powers of play and how these ideas can be used to enhance therapy outcomes.
  4. Match at least 5 of the therapeutic powers of play to corresponding change processes.
  5. Match specific types of play behavior to the corresponding change process and therapeutic power of play.
  6. Describe at least 2 play therapy activities or interventions that employ a specific change process as well as one or more of the therapeutic powers of play.

 

Friday, June 21, 2019
Expressive Arts and Play Therapy Strategies for Pre-Adolescents
Dr. Kara Carnes-Holt

Connecting with pre-adolescents often brings new challenges and excitement! Expressive arts and play therapy strategies can be a powerful modality in counseling to facilitate creativity, enhance self-awareness, and tap into one’s inner resources.  This workshop will provide a history and rationale for the use of expressive arts and play therapy in counseling.  Participants will join in experiential exercises to foster your own professional growth while also learning how to integrate the use of expressive arts and play therapy in your clinical practice with pre-adolescents.  Participants will leave with an understanding of how to facilitate and process a variety of expressive arts activities.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify two therapeutic rationales for the use of expressive arts and play therapy with adolescents
  2. Describe 3 developmental considerations when counseling adolescents
  3. Increase knowledge and skills related to processing expressive arts and play therapy in counseling sessions
  4. Integrate expressive arts and play therapy into counseling sessions with adolescents.

 

Saturday, June 22, 2019
Selling Play Therapy: Facilitating Adult Buy In to the Process
Dr. Brandy Schumann

You’ve read the books and know the research. You’ve got your degree. You’ve got your license. Heck, you’ve even got your play therapy credential. You know play therapy works. But, they don’t.  Come learn to translate the powerful language of play to adults and increase your grownup’s interest, understanding, and commitment to play therapy services for the children in their lives. When we bring play therapy concepts into the adult world, parents, teachers, doctors, judges, grandparents… can’t help but love it too.

Learning Objectives

  1. To expose attendees to explanations and metaphors for play therapy skills that laymen can easily grasp.
  2. To experience increased understanding of play therapy concepts in the attendee’s personal adult world.
  3. To practice delivering content that encourages adult participation and commitment to the process without betraying your client’s confidentiality.

 

 Due to the confidentiality and nature of topics presented, children (of any age) will not be permitted to any conference workshops.