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Past Seminars

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2017 Seminars

June 30, 2017

School Counselors’ Effective Use of Group Play Therapy Facilitator- Sarah Blalock, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, CSC

Workshop Abstract

Group play therapy offers special challenges and rewards.  The presence of another child combined with the presence of the counselor can provide children with unique opportunities for growth, along with the possibility of unexpected “magic.”  Participants will have an opportunity to explore the unique benefits of group play therapy, the appropriate use of group play therapy, the challenges of providing group play therapy, the counseling skills required, the ethics involved, and the specific issues related to providing group play therapy in the schools.   The presenter conducted group and individual play therapy as a school counselor for 10 years, and recently conducted a research project comparing the benefits of individual and group play therapy. The presenter will show video clips of herself providing group play therapy services. 

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1   Participants will discuss the unique benefits and challenges of providing group play therapy to children in schools.

Objective 2   Participants will explore the use of group play therapy as compared to the use of individual play therapy, and how to make decisions regarding which children (and in what combination) might benefit most from the group play therapy modality. 

Objective 3    Participants will review the ethical concerns involved in conducting group play therapy.

May 19, 2017

How Did This Get To Be So Hard? The Challenges of Working With Parents

Facilitator- Mary Morrison Bennett, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S

Workshop Abstract:

Effective parent consultations are critical in every play therapy practice. This interactive presentation focuses on engaging parents in the therapeutic process and teaching therapeutic skills. We will focus on helping parents to see their child through a therapeutic lens.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn to utilize their theory in working with parents in the play therapy process
  2. Learn the importance of self-awareness in working with parents in the play therapy process.
  3. Evaluate personal responses to challenging parent behaviors.
  4. Learn to incorporate neurobiology and development in the parent education component of the play therapy process.
  5. Learn to have empathy for parents through the change process.
  6. Learn to work with difficult parents in play therapy.

March 24, 2017

Using the Sand Tray and expressive Arts in Play Therapy Supervision

Facilitator- Linda E. Homeyer, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S

Workshop Abstract:

This workshop is all about using sand tray and expressive arts in the supervision experience. Applied to the Integrated Developmental Model (IDM), experiences will be practiced for specific purposes for supervisee growth. Experiences for supervisor self-awareness will also be provided. Bring 10 - 20 miniature figures along with you!

Learning Objectives:

  1. be able to set identify three stages of a developmental supervision model
  2. identify a sandtray specific experience for each of the three stages
  3. relate the similarities and differences of the use of sand tray with a supervisee and a client (use of the parallel process)
  4. discuss ethical issues regarding the use of the sand tray and supervisee personal issues

2016 Seminars

June 17, 2016

Advocating for Play Therapy in Schools

Facilitator: Jaclyn N. Sepp, MA, LPC, RPT, NCC, CSC

Play therapy offers a safe place for children to work through difficulties they are experiencing in their life without the threat of real-life consequences.  Developmentally appropriate and empirically supported, play therapy can be utilized by school counselors as both a preventative and as a responsive intervention with students that are facing emotional and academic issues.  Most of the time a child’s mental health needs are first recognized and addressed in the school setting, why not use the power of play in your comprehensive school counseling program?

After the presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Advocate to school administration and colleagues about the history & benefits of play therapy as a part of your comprehensive school counseling program.
  2. Utilize a consultation model that will enhance your communication with school personnel about the use of play therapy and ways to implement Child Teacher Relationship Training (CTRT) on your campus.
  3. Incorporate play therapy into your comprehensive school counseling program, including setting up a play space, providing parent training opportunities, and becoming a School Based-Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT).
  4. Utilize a variety of play therapy techniques to help students cope with their social, emotional and behavioral challenges in both elementary and secondary school environments.
May 16-19, 2016

AAC Workshop - Introduction to Animal-Assisted Counseling

Facillitator: Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S

This training is the first workshop of the Texas State University Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy. This training will provide an introduction to counseling and play therapy history and theory, animal-assisted counseling (AAC) and play therapy, the human-animal bond, evidence-based research in AAC and play therapy, various therapeutic settings, canine communication, and positive training approaches for AAC. To register for this workshop, please complete an AAC Academy application and complete the registration (payment) process.

February 19, 2016

Using Attachment-Informed Sandtray in Family Play Therapy

Presenters: Marshall Lyles, MA, LMFT-S, LPC-S, RPT-S

This workshop will overview the necessary basics of sandtray protocols and practices while giving participants the opportunity to observe and participate in experiential sandtray exercises.  Advanced techniques that target issues specific to attachment-wounded children will be discussed and this includes addressing how to integrate caregivers into play therapy sessions.

Objectives:

  1. To address the basics of sandtray-based play therapy methodology and protocols
  2. To practice facilitating sandtray techniques in play therapy sessions
  3. To apply attachment-informed concepts to family-based play therapy treatment planning
  4. To integrate caregivers into play therapy with attachment-wounded children using the sandtray

2015 Seminars

November 20, 2015

Using Sandtray in Case Consultation and Supervision

Presenters: Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S

Have you ever utilized sandtray in play therapy case consultation or supervision? Sandtray is an effective counseling technique, and can also be helpful in play therapy consultation and supervision. Join us as we explore four approaches to utilizing sandtray with peers or supervisees. These approaches include teaching sandtray as a technique, promoting peer or supervisee self-awareness, case consultation, and group supervision. Each of these approaches can be a dynamic way to enhance the play therapy consultation and supervision process. Come ready to learn, share, and participate!

Participants will:

  1. Identify rationale for using sandtray in case consultation and supervision.
  2. Examine four approaches for using sandtray in case consultation and supervision.
  3. Evaluate examples of processing questions and sandtray activities.

September 18, 2015

Adlerian Play Therapy

Presenters: Kate Halinski, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S

In this workshop, attendees will learn important components of Adlerian Play Therapy. This interactive workshop will focus on the therapeutic value of integrating the concepts of Adlerian Theory with the practice of play therapy. Adlerian play therapy techniques will be highlighted which can enhance the therapeutic relationship and help clients gain insight. The workshop will include case conceptualization, through an Adlerian lens, that focuses on life-styles, personality priorities, goals of misbehavior, and the crucial c’s. Participants will gain therapeutic play therapy strategies as well as expressive arts techniques that will assist them in working with children and adolescents.

Participants will:

  1. Gain a basic understanding of Adlerian Play Therapy
  2. Understand how to incorporate Adlerian Play Therapy techniques to aid in the establishment of collaborative therapeutic relationships with children, adolescents, and parents
  3. Learn how to facilitate Adlerian Play therapy techniques that aid in client insight, reorientation and reeducation
  4. Conceptualize a client using the Adlerian Play Therapy concepts including the goals of misbehavior, the crucial c’s and personality priorities

July 31, 2015

Sandtray Therapy and Its Use by Play Therapists doing Trauma-Informed Work with Individuals and Families

Facilitator: Linda Homeyer, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S

Want to expand your use of sandtray therapy in your play therapy practice with traumatized children, adolescents and families? This training will provide play therapists an exploration of integrating sandtray therapy to ones’ ongoing clinical work in play therapy, theory, and client conceptualization. How trauma-informed sandtray therapy works, including the brain connection, will be articulated. Scattered throughout the day will be several experiential activities to provide personal insight into professional uses. Please bring 10-15 miniatures!

Objectives:

As a result of this day, the play therapist will be able to:

  1. set-up a sandtray therapy clinical space (separate from the play room) for an individual session as well as a group/family session, both materials and therapeutically
  2. list trauma-informed dynamics impacting the use of sandtray in your play therapy practice
  3. Identify how the brain interacts/responds to the use of sandtray and how to incorporate this information with your play therapy approach (or modality, or paradigm, etc).
  4. Implement a family sandtray session

June 26, 2015

Advocating for Play Therapy in Schools: Using Consultation Models & Data to Inform School Personnel About the Importance of Play Interventions

Facillitator: Stephanie Eberts, PhD

Many school counselors do not think that they can use play therapy in a school setting.  This presentation will give participants the tools to educate their school population in the benefits of play therapy. Using consultation models, knowledge of best practices, and data, participants will be better equipped to advocate for their play therapy program in their schools.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to present information about the benefits of play therapy with their student population to administrators and school leaders.
  2. Participants will understand and be able to utilize a variety of consultation models that will enhance their communication with school personnel about the use of play therapy.
  3. Participants will be given tools to promote the use of play therapy within their schools.

May 15, 2015

Finding Hope: Play Therapy with Grieving Children and Families

Presenters: Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S

After the death of a loved one, many children struggle to understand their thoughts and emotions around life and death. This training is designed to provide counselors with strategies for helping children and families work through grief and loss. Techniques utilizing sandtray, expressive art, music, and family approaches will be discussed. This workshop provides a hands-on approach to learning, so participants will also have the opportunity to create, consider, and process some of their own experiences with grief. The small group seminar environment for this workshop will provide opportunities for sharing experiences and networking.

Learning objectives
After this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify the challenges children and families face after the death of a loved one
  • Recognize myths and facts about grief and grieving in play therapy
  • Participate in experiential activities that can be used as play therapy techniques
  • Apply play therapy techniques to different client situations, such as young children, teens, and families
  • Apply self-care strategies to assist recovery for self and clients that support play therapy best practices

February 20, 2015

Understanding the Play Therapy Process for Children with a History of Relationship Trauma

Presenters: Mary Morrison Bennett, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S

The process of play therapy can be confusing and challenging with children who have experienced significant interpersonal trauma. Play therapists often struggle to understand the meaning of the child's play and question their ability to be effective in helping the child heal. At times, fully and unconditionally accepting these children is a challenge. In this interactive workshop, and from personal case examples, Dr. Bennett will take us on a journey of exploration of the often challenging play therapy process and how an enhanced understanding of the process can facilitate movement and growth, with a focus on 1) conceptualizing the child within the context of relationship trauma, 2) recognizing unique challenges in the therapist-child relationship, 3) understanding and responding to post traumatic play themes, and 4) developing strategies for systemic intervention to facilitate movement and growth.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to recognize unique challenges in the therapist-child relationship in play therapy with a child who has experienced a trauma.
  • Participants will be able to indentify post-traumatic play qualities in play therapy clients.
  • Participants will understand how to respond to post-traumatic play themes in play therapy.

January 23, 2015

Introduction to Sandtray for Play Therapists

Presenters: Dr. Linda Homeyer, LPC-S, RPT-S

This workshop is for the play therapist that is new at using sandtray. The session will cover the six-step protocol including: materials; setting-up the room; session protocol and documentation. You will be introduced to several therapeutic uses of sandtray materials.
Sandtray therapy is a quickly expanding and growing area within play therapy. However, many have not received any training in the modality. This all-day training will provide the historical context for sandtray therapy; how to integrate sandtray into the play therapist’s therapeutic milieu and play therapy/counseling theory; the brain’s response to, and use of, sandtray. We will cover understanding the underlying principles of selecting the elements needed to set-up a sandtray therapy room, including rationale of categories of sandtray miniatures, variety of sizes and shapes of sandtrays, managing the use of water, etc. Also discussed will be a protocol for a sandtray session and use of a session documentation form. The day will include a review of some of the sandtray the research. Several activities will be built into the day to provide the critical component of any experiential therapy training: the clinician’s actual experience of activities they will use with their clients so they will know how it feels for the client to use the media.

Participants will:

  1. be able to set the development of sandtray within the context of the play therapy movement
  2. identify how to set-up a clinical space, both materials and therapeutically
  3. list categories of miniatures and discuss issues regarding selection
  4. be able to identify how the brain interactions/responds to the use of sandtray

2014 Seminars

November 14, 2014
 

Play Therapy and Expressive Art Activities: Facilitating Healing of Eating Disorders in Adolescents

Presenters: Kate Halinski, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S
 
Play Therapy andexpressive art activities used in the individual or group counseling setting can serve as a powerful therapeutic intervention for children or adolescents struggling with an eating disorder. Through the language of imagery, play therapy techniques, including sandtray, can aid in promoting insight as it serves to illustrate the inner experience of the client. School counselors, counselors at the university level, community counselors and private practitioners can benefit by learning ways to appropriately facilitate individual and group exploration of issues related to eating disorders. In addition, attendees will gain an understanding of how to tailor play therapy and expressive art activities as a means of early intervention and prevention of eating disorders. NOTE: This is an advanced seminar, basic knowledge of play therapy and sandtray are required.

Participants will:

  1. Identify the current diagnostic criteria for Eating Disorders in children and adolescents
  2. Understand the rationale for utilizing play therapy and expressive art activities with children and adolescents struggling with eating disorders
  3. Learn various expressive art activities focused on issues related to eating disorder recovery

September 19, 2014

Family Play Therapy

This workshop is an experiential program that presents the foundations of familyplay therapy and an opportunity to learn and practice several family play therapy techniques. We will discuss the effectiveness of family therapy and when therapists may choose to use family therapy on a weekly basis or as an adjunct to play therapy. The techniques that will be presented include Family Aquarium, Family Puppet Interview, Family Sandtray, and Family Sculpting. Participants will practice the family play therapy techniques in “family groups,” with each member having the opportunity to be the therapist.  We will discuss how to use these techniques with diverse families, different ages of family members, and various counseling settings.

Educational Objectives:

  • Understand the benefit of shifting focus in play therapy from identified client to whole family
  • Create a playful and engaging play therapy atmosphere for family counseling
  • Learn techniques that can assess how the family functions in family play therapy

July 18, 2014

Introduction to Sandtray for Play Therapists

This workshop is for the play therapist that is new at using sandtray. The session will cover the six-step protocol including: materials; setting-up the room; session protocol and documentation. You will be introduced to several therapeutic uses of sandtray materials.
Sandtray therapy is a quickly expanding and growing area within play therapy. However, many have not received any training in the modality. This all-day training will provide the historical context for sandtray therapy; how to integrate sandtray into the play therapist’s therapeutic milieu and play therapy/counseling theory; the brain’s response to, and use of, sandtray. We will cover understanding the underlying principles of selecting the elements needed to set-up a sandtray therapy room, including rationale of categories of sandtray miniatures, variety of sizes and shapes of sandtrays, managing the use of water, etc. Also discussed will be a protocol for a sandtray session and use of a session documentation form. The day will include a review of some of the sandtray the research. Several activities will be built into the day to provide the critical component of any experiential therapy training: the clinician’s actual experience of activities they will use with their clients so they will know how it feels for the client to use the media.

Participants will:

  1. be able to set the development of sandtray within the context of the play therapy movement
  2. identify how to set-up a clinical space, both materials and therapeutically
  3. list categories of miniatures and discuss issues regarding selection
  4. be able to identify how the brain interactions/responds to the use of sandtray

May 16, 2014

Helping Children Heal from Divorce

Divorce can be overwhelming for children and parents. Join us as we discuss individual and group approaches to help kids work through post divorce adjustment. Bibliotherapy, expressive arts, and puppet play are some of the individual techniques we will discuss. Group approaches will also be presented, with an emphasis on group activities, age considerations, and resources needed.  The small group seminar environment for this workshop will provide opportunities for sharing experiences and networking. 

Learning objectives 
After this workshop participants will be able to:
  • Identify the challenges children face after divorce
  • Describe four individual techniques to help children work through divorce
  • Practice facilitating one individual technique
  • Evaluate group counseling topics and activities based on age considerations

March 21, 2014

Adlerian Play Therapy

In this workshop, attendees will learn important components of Adlerian Play Therapy. This interactive workshop will focus on the therapeutic value of integrating the concepts of Adlerian Theory with the practice of play therapy. Adlerian play therapy techniques will be highlighted which can enhance the therapeutic relationship and help clients gain insight. The workshop will include case conceptualization, through an Adlerian lens, that focuses on life-styles, personality priorities, goals of misbehavior, and the crucial c’s. Participants will gain therapeutic play therapy strategies as well as expressive arts techniques that will assist them in working with children and adolescents.

Participants will:

  1. Gain a basic understanding of Adlerian Play Therapy
  2. Understand how to incorporate Adlerian Play Therapy techniques to aid in the establishment of collaborative therapeutic relationships with children, adolescents, and parents
  3. Learn how to facilitate Adlerian Play therapy techniques that aid in client insight, reorientation and reeducation
  4. Conceptualize a client using the Adlerian Play Therapy concepts including the goals of misbehavior, the crucial c’s and personality priorities

February 21, 2014
 

Winning Parents Over and Involving Them in the Process

Effective parent consultations are critical in every play therapy practice. This interactive presentation focuses on engaging parents in the therapeutic process and teaching therapeutic skills. We will focus on helping parents see their child through our therapeutic lens.

Participants will:

  1. Explain play therapy to parents in a way they can understand.
  2. Teach at least 1 therapeutic skill to parents
  3. Explain to parents some basics of neurobiology to understand and communicate better with their child.

January 17, 2014
 

Advanced Child Centered Play Therapy: Trusting the Therapeutic Process

This seminar will focus on more advanced concepts in Child Centered Play Therapy. We will focus on identifying themes, facilitating movement in session and making deeper responses based on the child’s play themes. We will also cover record keeping and conceptualizing the client from a Child Centered Perspective as well as working with parents.

Participants will:
  1. Identify themes in the client’s play.
  2. Create facilitative responses focused on client’s play themes to facilitate movement in play therapy.
  3. Learn to keep case notes which document detailed aspects of play therapy and assist in tracking movement in sessions.
  4. Learn to communicate with parents in helpful and meaningful ways from a Child Centered Play Therapy perspective.

2013 Seminars

November 15, 2013
 

Basic Child Centered Play Therapy

Building therapeutic relationships with children requires different skills than those typically used when working with adults and adolescents. The purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with an introduction to Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) – a developmentally appropriate and evidence-based therapeutic model that can be used with children ages 3 to 11 who are experiencing a wide variety of presenting issues. This workshop involves experiential activities in which you will learn and practice basic CCPT techniques in a small group setting.  Come and play with us on November 15th!
 
Learning Objectives:
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Identify the foundations of child-centered play therapy (CCPT)
  • Describe the rationale for toy selection and room arrangement in the playroom
  • Employ five facilitative responses used in CCPT
  • Evaluatelimit setting and choice giving techniques
  • Practice CCPT skills in a playroom 

September 20, 2013

Processing the Sandtray: Working within the Session

Presenter: Dr. Linda Homeyer, LPC-S, RPT-S
 
Sandtray therapy has become a very popular form of play therapy, especially in the last several years. This seminar will focus on using sandtray with the client of all ages – child to adult. How does the readiness for change impact how we use sandtray therapy? How does developmental age change the process? How does understanding theory as the frame impact how you work with clients.
This is seminar will have a strong experiential component. We will watch and discuss video sessions, and have an opportunity to build and talk about your own trays! Come ready to learn and play!
 
Participants will:
  1. Be able to identify Steps 3, 4 & 5 in the Six Session Protocol (Homeyer & Sweeney) and how they interrelate;
  2. Identify at least two different ways to approach the processing part of the sandtray therapy session (Step 4);
  3. Be able to articulate how therapeutic intent and theory/clinical approach impacts the overall process;
  4. Learn how to use the Homeyer & Sweeney documentation format and self-evaluation process. 

May 3, 2013

Create Your Own Adventure: Learning the Basics of Adventure-Based Play Therapy Groups with Pre-Adolescents and Adolescents 

Presenter: Dr. Stephanie Eberts, Ph.D.
 
 This is the perfect training for those of you who serve pre-adolescent and adolescent clients. You can use play therapy ideas to shape adventure groups for older children. Join us to learn about the basics of creating a program that will work for your clientele. This presentation will be experiential, so come prepared to participate in group activities and have fun while learning a great way to interact with our adolescent clients.

February 8, 2013

We’re All in This Together: Consultation and Collaboration in Play Therapy

Presenters: Linda Homeyer, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S & Elizabeth Kjellstrand, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S
 
Do you ever wish you had additional support with certain clients in play therapy? Consultation and collaboration helps play therapists identify other professionals and resources that can help children be successful.  This interactive seminar will explore ways to utilize consultation and collaboration in working with children in play therapy.  Case examples will be used to demonstrate consultation and collaboration in school, agency, and private practice settings.
 
Learning Objectives
Participants will:
  1. Understand the role of play therapists working in school, agency, and private practice settings.
  2. Distinguish between the processes of consultation and collaboration in play therapy.
  3. Explore when to employ consultation and collaboration in play therapy through case examples.
  4. Identify collaborative partners and consultation resources to help children in play therapy.