The Work of Children: Back to Basics of Play Therapy

Friday, June 14, 2019

8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Continental Breakfast and Snacks included (Lunch on your own)

Play is the language and work of children. Play Therapy is an evidence-based practice that uses toys and other play materials to create changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Due to a child’s brain development and the specific way children learn they are not able to engage in traditional “talk therapy” to create improvements in their struggles like adults are. Children have not developed the abstract reasoning abilities and verbal processing skills needed for traditional talk therapy and can be unable to communicate their inner states accurately through verbal intervention. Play is their “language” and the specific ways they use the toys are their “words”. For these reasons, play therapy is an essential set of techniques for clinicians who work with children.

Who should attend:
Those who are new to play therapy or who work with children will learn the basics of directive and nondirective play therapy. For more seasoned clinicians, this workshop will help sharpen nondirective play therapy skills, prevent therapeutic drift, and will teach new directive play therapy, bibliotherapy, creative intervention, and sand tray techniques to use in the assessment, working, and termination phases of your play therapy practice.

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Define play therapy, the importance of play, and identify at least 5 differences between directive and nondirective play therapy.
  • Demonstrate an ability to select appropriate materials and space appropriate for play therapy and to set up a play room.
  • Exhibit the ability to explain the rationale for play therapy to parents and children.
  • Demonstrate competence in skills of tracking, reflecting content, reflecting feelings, building self-esteem/encouraging, facilitating decision making, limit setting, and handling questions within a play therapy session.
  • Analyze and interpret play therapy themes.
  • Identify and apply at least 10 directive play therapy techniques for the topics of empowerment, self-esteem, emotional regulation, anxiety, anger, divorce, nightmares, and difficult behaviors.

About the Presenter:
Ann Meehan, MS, LPCC, RPT-S S specializes in helping children, adolescents, and families heal, grow, move forward from life’s difficulties, big emotions, and challenging behaviors. Ann is a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S), trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) through EMDRIA, an EMDRIA Consultant in Training, and a Certified Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral (TF-CBT) therapist. She provides supervision services for those pursuing licensures, credentials as a Registered Play Therapist, and those who wish to become EMDR Certified through EMDRIA. She has experience presenting on Bibliotherapy at the MACMH Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference and on the topics of Play Therapy and EMDR and providing therapy in school system.

Life Development Resources
7580 160th Street W
Lakeville, MN  55044

Cost: $150.00

CEU’s: 6
6 Contact Play Therapy Credits
Ann Meehan is an APT Approved Provider 19-580

Contact Jeanine Nelson @ or (952) 564-6095

No refund for cancellation after 8:00 am (CST), June 7, 2019. A $30.00 service charge applies to each returned check.

Space is Limited – Register Soon!

Workshop Contents and Schedule
8:15 – 8:30 Registration and Introductory Remarks

8:30 – 8:45 Importance of play, definition of play therapy, appropriate candidates and diagnoses; limits to pay therapy and risks

8:45 – 9:15 Difference between directive and nondirective play therapy and play therapy theories

9:15 – 9:30 Creating a play therapy space and selecting toys

9:30 – 10:00: Introducing play therapy to clients and parents

10:00 – 10:15: Goal creation and session structure

10:15 – 10:30 BREAK

10:30 – 11:45: Nondirective play therapy: introducing the playroom and play therapy skills (tracking, reflecting content, reflecting feelings, building self-esteem and encouraging, facilitating decision making and responsiability, limit setting and handling questions)

11:45 – 12:00: Troubleshooting nondirective play therapy and Video 1

12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH

1:00 – 1:15 Video 2

1:15 – 1:30 Play Therapy Stages and Interpreting Themes

1:30 – 1:45: Directive Play Therapy introduction and techniques for assessment

1:45 – 3:30: Directive play Therapy techniques for the working phase

2:30 – 2:45 BREAK

2:45 – 3:30: Directive play Therapy techniques for the working phase

3:30 – 3:45: Special topics in Play Therapy including ethics and diversity

3:45 – 4:00: Questions and Ending Comments

*Play Therapy Credit may not be awarded to non-mental health professionals