Full Course Description

Attachment Centered Play Therapy: Repair Relational Trauma and Build Secure Attachment to Accelerate Family Treatment

Program Information


Advancing Family Treatment with Play Therapy

  • 4 key concepts of attachment
  • Blending attachment theory with play therapy
  • Attachment patterns across the lifespan and impact on parent/child relationship
  • Risks and limitations
Invite Parents to Play
  • Engagement strategies to strengthen parent/child relationship
    • Roadblocks and triggers – parent/child/therapist
    • Shame and vulnerability – shame shields
    • Build rappaport and make room for parent in the playroom
      • Sand tray, genograms, play-based treatment planning
    • Establish boundaries and set expectations
    • Encourage participation
Attachment Centered Play Therapy Strategies
  • Treatment of relational trauma – Attachment, wounding and ruptures
    • Parent/child relationship cycle
    • Generational attachment patterns -
      • Catch me if you can
      • Butterfly fly away
      • Two hands
      • Empowerment collage

Case Studies of Abuse; Healing Attachment Wounds

Challenging Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

  • Defiance, ODD, moodiness, anger, aggressiveness and school refusal
  • Attachment injuries at root of undesirable behavior
  • Prescriptive play therapy interventions
  • Self-regulation, co-regulation
  • calm down jars, guided imagery

Case Studies of Extreme Defiance and School Refusal

Strategies to Promote Positive Attachment-Based Parenting

  • Maximize parent involvement to rebuild trust, repair injuries
  • Proactive vs reactive parenting
  • Get parent buy in
Case Study of Proactive vs Reactive Parenting

Target Audience

  • Play Therapists
  • Psychologists Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Educators
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists

Copyright : 02/08/2019

Play Therapy for Young Children: Innovative Attachment-Based Interventions to Treat Behavioral and Sensory Challenges

Program Information


Introduction: Ice breaker activity

Building Healthy Relationships: Attachment Theories

  • Video on neuroscience of attachment and the brain
  • Mary Ainsworth: 4 types of attachment styles
  • Bolby Attachment Theory
  • Video of Still Face experiment
  • Group activity
Infant & Child Development Theory
  • Maternal mental health
  • Freud, Erikson, Piaget and Mahler
  • Video: marshmallow test with children ages 3-5
Why Play?
  • Evidence supporting benefit of play
  • Therapeutic powers of play
  • Group activity
Play Therapy
  • Getting started
  • Therapeutic benefit
  • Limitations & potential risks
  • Assessment and treatment
    • What is the need behind the behavior?
    • What does the behavior tell us?
    • What are the skills behind the behavior?
Engaging Children in Play
  • Neurobiology of play
  • Repair of developmental trauma
  • Tools for self-regulation
  • What is needed for a play therapy room: the basics
  • From intake to termination
  • An ongoing process
Creative Play Therapy Interventions for:
  • Sensory
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Sensory Processing D/O
  • Enuresis
  • Trauma/Grief
  • Nightmare/Sleep Disorders
  • Hyperactivity
  • Divorce
Play Therapy and Techniques
  • Non-directive play
    • Client-centered play therapy
    • Sandtray
    • Art & music
    • Dolls and dollhouse
    • Case study and video
Developmental Play Therapy Ethical Issues of Therapeutic Touch
  • Intro to Dr. Courtney’s FirstPlay® Kinesthethic Storytelling Infant Massage®
  • FirstPlay® - Demonstration with baby dolls
  • Becky Baily: Baby doll groups and “I love you rituals”
  • Developmentally-appropriate songs and games
Directive Techniques
  • Fun with Feathers
  • Puppet play
  • 6 Senses Safe Place
  • Superpowers
  • Fun with Food
  • Bubble Tennis
  • Pooh/Inside-Out Feelings
  • Favorite books and interventions
  • Casey’s Greatness Wings
  • Greatness Sticks®
  • Sandtray Interventions
  • Mindful Freeze Dance
  • Wiggle out the sillies
  • Sandtray play therapy

Case Studies will be shared throughout the workshop when introducing interventions to participants, so you will get real life examples of the therapeutic value of my most beloved play therapy interventions I use with young children.

Group Activity: creative reflection exercise

Final Community Activity

Target Audience

  • Play Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Educators
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Speech-Language Pathologists

Copyright : 02/20/2019

Play Therapy for Tweens and Teens: Strategies to Build Rapport, Invite Emotional Expression, and Navigate the Unique Challenges of this Developmental Stage

Program Information


  1. Facilitate verbal and nonverbal expressions of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in teens and tweens through the use of four or more play therapy interventions.
  2. Develop play therapy strategies that build resilience and self-esteem.
  3. Discover how play therapy can increase engagement and build therapeutic rapport within this dynamic developmental stage via play-based assessments and icebreakers.
  4. Evaluate the balance between both structure & freedom and independence & dependence, and learn at least four play therapy strategies to maintain this flow.
  5. Build confidence in teaching caregivers how to play with their adolescents, and how to make these experiences part of their daily routines.
  6. Integrate play therapy and traditional therapies to support the constant shifts in this developmental stage.



Why Play Therapy? What is It, and How is It Different with Teens and Tweens?

  • Evidence supporting the benefits of play and creativity with this population
  • Therapeutic powers of play
    • Neurobiology of play & impact on trauma and attachment
  • Avoid pitfalls when working with teens and tweens
    • The frustration factor ~ use of cognitive skills and language
    • Understand the difference between resistance, opposition and shut-down
    • Play-based assessments and icebreakers to increase engagement
  • Limitations & potential risks

From Client-Centered to CBT, a Myriad of Play Therapy Approaches as Applied to Adolescents

  • Developmental Play Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy
  • Adlerian Play Therapy
  • Client-centered Play Therapy​
  • Theraplay®
  • Play therapy with families and groups


Physical, Cognitive, Moral, and Psychosocial Development Changes and Milestones of Tweens and Teens

  • Autonomy from parents & family
  • Relationships, friendships & intimacy
  • Identity development
  • Moral reasoning & physical and intellectual growth

Influences of Culture, Heredity, Environment and Social Setting on Adolescents

  • Social media, television and movies, music, electronics…oh my!
  • This is the world we live in…how it effects treatment and growth

Striking a Balance

  • Structure & freedom and independence & connection
  • Verbal intellect & playfulness and creativity
  • Strategies to teach caregivers how to play with their adolescents, and how to make these experiences part of their daily routines


Enjoy the Silence ~ How to Use Silence to Increase Engagement and Therapeutic Rapport

  • Try not to laugh
  • Hide & seek & peek-a-boo
  • What might this be? What can this do??

Walk this Way ~ Embodied Play Therapy and Movement Techniques to Increase Emotional and Behavioral Regulation

  • The floor is lava...The floor is quick sand
  • Mirror, mirror
  • Trauma-informed yoga

What’s on Your Play List? ~ How to Use Music to Facilitate Therapeutic Discussion

  • Trashballs
  • Catch the beat
  • What are you listening to?

Enter Sandman ~ The Use of Sandtrays to Facilitate Verbal and Nonverbal Expressions of Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors

  • Safe Place
  • Futurerama
  • Half & half

How to Use Drawing, Paint, Clay, Masks, and More!

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Educators
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists

Copyright : 03/21/2019