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Michigan association for play therapy

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West Regional Workshop 2024

  • 11/08/2024
  • 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Bethany Christian Services, 901 Eastern Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


  • Speakers, Bethany Christian Staff, Others
  • One 6' table, no covering
  • Member of MIAPT
  • A participant registering as “student” must be a full-time student at a college or university and provide a written letter from their University verifying the status.


West Regional Workshop 2024

Harnessing the Healing Power of Nature in Play and Expressive Therapy

Presenter: Sophia Ansari, LPCC, Registered Play Therapist

In this workshop, participants will embark on a journey that seamlessly blends the therapeutic benefits of nature with the profound impact of play and expressive arts. Nature has an innate ability to heal and rejuvenate, and when integrated into therapeutic practices, it becomes a powerful catalyst for personal growth and well-being. Through a combination of experiential activities, case studies, and interactive discussions attendees will explore innovative ways to leverage the healing potential of nature, fostering a deeper connection between the natural world and therapeutic interventions.

This workshop is designed for mental health professionals seeking to enhance their therapeutic toolkit, offering a unique approach that integrates nature-based interventions with play and expressive arts to promote healing and holistic well-being. Participants will gain practical insights into the therapeutic benefits of nature immersion, understand the science behind the healing power of nature, and learn creative ways to incorporate nature-inspired elements into play and expressive therapy sessions.

Participants are asked to collect some nature items to have with them during the workshop. Suggestions of items include: leaves, feathers, shells, stones, rocks, acorns, pinecones, leaves, sticks, etc.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to: 

  1. Examine the research regarding the positive effects of nature on mental and physical health.
  2. Demonstrate play therapy techniques grounded in the therapeutic powers of play to use with children, adolescents, groups, and families.
  3. Demonstrate play therapy interventions that help children and families cultivate mindfulness.
  4. Explore cross-cultural examples of how nature-based experiences can benefit children and families with a wide range of needs. 
  5. Explore ways to translate interventions for tele-health sessions.
  6. Identify 5-6 nature-based play therapy interventions that utilizes elements from nature (feathers, shells, sticks, gems, clay, sand, stones, water).

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Sophia Ansari, LPCC, Registered Play Therapist™ is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Registered Play Therapist™. She is an author, educator, and co-founder of the Let’s Play Therapy Institute. Sophia co-hosts Hero Nation, a podcast on the Geek Therapy Network, which celebrates diversity in the media and explores how to use geek culture in therapy. For more information on Let’s Play Therapy Institute visit,

Skill Level:  Foundational

Play Therapy Primary Areas of Instruction: Play Therapy Special Topics

Seating is limited so register early!

6 APT Contact CE: Please note that CEs are only for APT hours.

Payment must be made online at the time of registration to guarantee your seat.

Workshop Schedule

Registration: 8:30-9:00 a.m.

Workshop Session: 9:00-10:30 a.m.

Break: 10:30-10:45 a.m.

Workshop Session: 10:45-12:15 p.m.

Lunch (on your own): 12:15-1:15 p.m.

Workshop Session: 1:15-2:45 p.m.

Break: 2:45-3:00 p.m.

Workshop Session: 3:00-4:30 p.m.

End of the Workshop: 4:30 p.m.

FOOD: Food and snacks are NOT provided at this workshop. You may bring your own food or go to a local restaurant during break.

CANCELLATION POLICY:  All cancellations must be requested in writing and received no later than October 10, 2024. Cancellations are subject to $25 processing fee. Substitutions may be made in writing for no additional cost. No refunds are given due to inclement weather.   

HANDOUTS: In an effort to reduce paper waste and be more “green,” our policy is to email all handouts. Please include a valid email address with your registration to receive the handouts.

PHOTO RELEASE:  By registering for this conference, you are giving permission for MIAPT to use any photographs that are taken at the event containing your likeness for as long as MIAPT deems appropriate and desirable. Photographs may be used on the MIAPT website, social media pages, and/or newsletter for any purpose. By completing the registration, you are also consenting to waive any rights to the photographs indefinitely. If you do not wish to have your photo used, it is your responsibility to notify someone at registration of your request to be omitted.

CONTINUING EDUCATION: This workshop for mental health professionals is sponsored by the Michigan Association for Play Therapy. APT Approved Provider 99-050. CE credit is offered for play therapy. The program offers 6.00 contact hours, with full attendance required.

ADA: If you have special needs, please contact Sabrina Slagter at

2020 Raybrook Avenue, S.E., Suite 305 | Grand Rapids, MI 49546

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