Workshop Descriptions

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

Monday, June 22, 2020
TraumaPlay: A Flexibly Sequential Approach to Trauma and Attachment Issues
Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S

TraumaPlay, is a flexibly sequential play therapy model, informed by our current understandings of the neurobiology of play and the neurobiology of trauma, and built on the power of one to heal the other. Grounded in attachment theory, the child or family is met moment-to-moment as therapeutic needs are assessed. The framework of seven therapeutic treatment goals serve as the umbrella under which clinicians have freedom to employ a variety of interventions. TraumaPlayallows room for both non-directive and directive approaches to be employed and incorporates clinically sound elements of other evidence based treatments such as Child Centered Play Therapy, Theraplay, and Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy, while offering original interventions that were developed in real-world clinical settings to maximize therapeutic absorption through every play-based learning portal. 

Learning objectives:

After the workshop, participants will be able to  

1) Articulate several self-directed ways in which children use the playroom to increase their sense of safety and security.  
2) Describe several play-based interventions that decrease a child's physiological arousal.
3) Explain several play therapy techniques that assist clients in creating trauma narratives. 
4) List the three roles of a TraumaPlay Therapist. 
5) List all seven components of TraumaPlay. 
6) Describe four play therapy interventions that assess for and augment coping. 


Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Delight In Me: Parents as Partners in Play Therapy
Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S

In TraumaPlay, parents play a critical role in the healing of the traumatized children in their care, but are often weary and worn down when they come to treatment. Parents often need support in shifting their paradigms to meet the needs of their children in trauma informed ways. This workshop will unpack the use of a dyadic assessment tool in focusing treatment needs and offer a multitude of ways to help parents become more connected co-regulators, stronger storykeepers, and safer bosses. Specific play therapy interventions aimed at helping parents and children delight in each other will be experienced. Come prepared to play! 

Learning objectives:

1) Explain how the goal of enhancing the role of Parents as Partners fits within the overall philosophy of TraumaPlay. 
2) Name three play therapy assessment tasks observed the Nurture House Dyadic Assessment. 
3) Describe the two main roles attachment figures play in the lives of children. 
4) List six co-regulation strategies codified in the acronym SOOTHE. 
5) Describe six play therapy interventions that offer parents and children in vivo experiences of delight in one another.  


Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Play Reveals What Words Conceal: Using Play Therapy to Confront What Families Avoid
Nick Cornett, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, RPT

Research suggests that play therapists and families agree: (1) when children are experiencing problems, families tend to be experiencing problems (Haslam & Harris, 2011; Tsai & Ray, 2011), and (2) effective therapy with children is inclusive of the family unit (Haslam & Harris, 2011; Sax, 2007). This emphasis on family involvement is supported by numerous research studies that suggest that family functioning and individual wellbeing are intertwined, not only for children and adolescents (Balistreri & Alvira-Hammond, 2016; Crandall, Ghazarian, Day, & Riley, 2016; Ferro & Boyle, 2015; Freed, Rubenstein, Daryanani, Olino, & Alloy, 2016; Knopp et al., 2017) but also for adults (Breaux & Harvey, 2018; Staccini, Tomba, Grandi, & Keitner, 2015; Wymbs, Wymbs, & Dawson, 2015). Unfortunately, research also suggests that only one out of four play therapists acknowledge practicing family play therapy, citing discomfort and a lack of training as the predominant reasons for not involving families more (Haslam & Harris, 2011). In this workshop, participants will strengthen their knowledge and skills in working with families through play therapy. Participants will learn how to identify problematic family system dynamics that tend to interfere with family communication, such as family secrets, family rules, and communication stances (Gehart, 2018). Participants will learn strategies for promoting congruent family communication through utilizing foundational play therapy skills and family play therapy activities. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to assess and promote their own congruent communication as play therapists as they apply the concepts and strategies to themselves through experiential exercises. 

Learning objectives:

Participants will be able to:

1) Define communication from a family systems perspective.
2) Describe family systems concepts that can be useful in identifying unhealthy patterns of family communication that may appear in family play therapy sessions, such as family secrets, family rules, and communication stances.
3) Identify examples of patterns of family communication present in case examples of family play therapy.
4) Identify foundational play therapy skills that can be used to promote congruent communication between family members.
5) Describe activities that can be used in the context of family play therapy to facilitate congruent communication between family members.
6) Apply family systems concepts regarding unhealthy family communication to themselves in order to understand their own communication tendencies as play therapists.


Thursday, June 25, 2020
Child-Centered Play Therapy: Deeper Issues
Garry L. Landreth, Ed.D., LPC, RPT-S

This interactive and exploratory workshop will focus on a variety of seldom examined issues that emerge in play therapy relationships: play therapy as a process of living out beliefs about a child rather than applying techniques, methods or skills; the play therapist as a person of commitment and passion; expectancy versus expectations; intangibles that impact possibilities and progress in play therapy; and returning responsibility to children.  In this workshop, a way of Being With a child will be explored that touches the inner person of the child that is waiting to come forth and be experienced. This workshop will challenge you to look within and to examine your core beliefs about children and the therapeutic process.  Workshop activities will include experiential learning about yourself, videos of Dr. Landreth's play therapy sessions, and art expressions depicting the therapeutic tenacity of Ryan, a terminally ill child in play therapy.

Learning objectives:

Following the workshop, participants will be able to:

1) Construct a model of how play facilitates the process of self discovery;
2) Describe how the person of the play therapist is a therapeutic variable;
3) Explain how play therapy is a process rather than an event;
4) Identify four healing messages needed by children;
5) Identify the basis for a child’s behavior; and
6) Describe how to empower a child by returning responsibility to the child.


Friday, June 26, 2020
Using Play Therapy to Address Sensory Processing Challenges: An Integrative Approach
Robert Jason Grant, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, RPT-S, ACAS

This training explores the integration of play therapy approaches and interventions to address sensory processing challenges. An overview of sensory processing challenges will be covered along with descriptors of the eight sensory processing areas. The benefits of non-directive and structured play therapy will be covered as well as the foundations for using play therapy with sensory issues. The concept of a sensory play diet will be defined and explored. Several play therapy inventions designed to help with sensory issues will be explained and presented through case examples and session video clips. Current research will be presented, and participants will have the opportunity to understand how to create a sensory friendly playroom. 

Learning objectives:

1) Define what is meant by sensory processing issues and how these issues can present in play therapy sessions.
2) Identify several play therapy interventions that can be used to address sensory processing challenges.
3) Outline a sensory play therapy diet to help children with sensory struggles.
4) Identify how to make a play therapy room and office spaces sensory friendly.
5) Conceptualize the foundations of using play therapy with sensory challenges.
6) Explain research related to play, play therapy, and sensory processing treatment.


Saturday, June 27, 2020
Measuring Change: Evaluating Progress in Play Therapy
Dee C. Ray, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S, Certified CCPT-Trainer, Certified CPRT-Trainer

How do we know play therapy is working and how do we determine that children are getting better throughout the play therapy process? Participants will learn how to measure progress through concrete measures of evaluation, as well as conceptualization and reflective practices on client improvement. Using systemic and holistic evaluation procedures, presenter will offer participants a system of evaluation to help determine the need for treatment modifications, termination, and/or patience with the process. Participants will learn markers of progress and how to use these markers to help children progress more effectively through the play therapy process. Using theories of progress (Moustakas, 1971; Guerney, 2001; Landreth, 2012), participants will be able to evaluate where clients are in the process of treatment and how to articulate this movement. Evaluation and measurement of change with specific presenting issues such as anxiety, aggression, and social problems will be a few of the examples used to illustrate the tracking of progress. Presenter will offer participants standardized measures, procedures, and steps to determining progress in session and outside of session. Participants will also learn how to articulate improvement to parents, administrators, and legal stakeholders. This session will further address the process of evaluation when children are not progressing in play therapy. Although presenter is grounded in Child-Centered Play Therapy theory and will rely heavily on CCPT examples, this session will be applicable to most orientations to play therapy.

Learning objectives:

1) Participants will identify at least 5 standardized measures of change to use for tracking play therapy progress.
2) Participants will learn a systematic approach to identify and measure progress in play therapy.
3) Participants will learn how to interpret measures and child behaviors in the context of tracking progress.
4) Participants will learn how to articulate progress to systemic stakeholders.
5) Participants will identify behaviors in play therapy that signify progress.
6) Participants will learn how to evaluate change in session as well as out of session.


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