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Michigan association for play therapy

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Upcoming events

    • 02/29/2024
    • 8:00 AM
    • 03/01/2024
    • 4:15 PM
    • Lansing Community College West Campus, 5708 Cornerstone Drive, Lansing, MI 48917


    Click here to view the brochure.

    DAY 1: Thursday, February 29 - Keynote

    Sandtray Play Therapy: A Powerful Tool for Healing Children & Families    

    Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT-S

    Let’s shift the focus on behaviors to understanding why these behaviors are exhibited through the use of sandtray play therapy. Once we understand what is behind the behaviors, through the lens of attachment-based play therapy, children’s nervous systems are quieted, and positive attachments are formed. Co-regulation creates a sense of safety for children. You will learn how we create co-regulation through our relationship with our clients, through family work, and through movement activities in the sand tray. We will address and experience how sandtray play therapy and nature both work as co-regulators, bringing the brain and body into the therapy experience. As play therapists, we honor and celebrate the relationships with our clients and their families.  Integrating the family into the therapeutic setting must be an integral part of the healing process.

    This workshop is filled with fun, developmentally appropriate, play therapy sand tray activities to rewire the brain and create a sense of trust and safety in the child’s world. Through play, children learn how to interact with the world around them, communicate and negotiate with others, discover emotions and empathy, ignite their imagination and creativity, boost resilience and self-esteem, and much, much more! 

    Come experience the fun-filled power of sandtray play therapy as combined with other expressive therapy approaches. We'll demonstrate how to incorporate creative strategies including sand trays, bibliotherapy, mindfulness, and others through active learning and hands-on exploration. Play therapists and their mental health colleagues will leave with a toolbox filled with ready-to-use activities that they can implement immediately in daily practice with children, and also adapt for work with clients of all ages. Get ready to learn and have fun!

    Play therapy theories and techniques will include Client-centered Play Therapy, Humanistic Play Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy, Developmental Play Therapy, Contextual Family Therapy, and Theraplay.

    Through videos, case studies, and hands-on directive sandtray play-based activities, you’ll increase your confidence in working with this population and gain strategies for: Sensory Processing Challenges, Aggressive Behaviors, Anxiety/OCD/Perfectionism, Trauma, Grief, and more!

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, theory, philosophical basis of, and rationale for sandtray play therapy.
    2. Describe knowledge regarding the selection of sandtray play therapy materials including sand tray containers, miniature figurines, sand, and important toys for the playroom
    3. Identify the four differences between directive and non-directive play therapy approaches
    4. Summarize the polyvagal theory and learn three ways in which psychoeducation regarding neurobiology can deepen the healing work of our clients.
    5. Identify at least three indicators of when to use a bottom-up approach and when top-down strategies are most beneficial.
    6. Describe three ways to process trauma in the sand tray play therapy process.
    7. Describe two interventions to process sand tray play therapy with preschool and school-aged children.
    8. Identify three ways to use sandtray play therapy with families
    9. Differentiate sand play and sandtray therapy
    10. Explain strategies for working with various client populations and client issues in the sandtray therapy process.

    *falls under APT's primary instruction areas of "Play Therapy Skills or Methods"

    DAY 2: Friday, March 1 - Breakouts - Choose: All day OR morning & afternoon

    All day Session 6-hour Session: 3/1/24 - 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

    Choose ONLY if you are attending Friday and want to do the all day session A.

    A: Diving Deeper in Sandtray Play Therapy: Reflection & Resiliency

    Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT-S™

    Let’s dive deeper into Sandtray Play Therapy and experience how therapists and our clients can use Sandtray Play Therapy as a tool for reflection and resiliency when words are not enough. Sandtray Play Therapy offers a place for grounding in the body, promotes curiosity, and can reveal deep discoveries of self.  This workshop will incorporate The Nurtured Heart Approach®, which is an attachment-based model to honor and celebrate the greatness of our most difficult clients, increase their self-esteem, and boost their resilience. Participants will learn how to use Greatness Cards© and Greatness Sticks© in the sand tray with individuals and families to shift from a negative lens to a positive lens. When we can reframe how we look at these intense clients, our approach changes and that is when healing can occur. This six-hour workshop will include case studies, experiential activities, video demonstrations, both group and personal sand tray creations, grounded in the Therapeutic Powers of Play, Attachment Theory, Neuroscience, and The Nurtured Heart Approach®. Other greatness play therapy activities will be introduced outside of the sand tray incorporating the different therapeutic powers of play. This workshop will give you the confidence to work with the most challenging of children and move you to a place of curiosity and compassion through these play-based activities.

    Both beginning sand therapists and seasoned sand therapists will gain new information to creatively expand their therapeutic work.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

    1. Identify three key aspects of the neurobiological effects of trauma in relation to sand tray work and describe three ways to process trauma in the sand tray therapy process.
    2. Identify three ways to use sand tray work with families to increase connections and strengthen relationships
    3. Identify a strength-based approach called Nurtured Heart Approach® and incorporate it into your play therapy practice.
    4. Explain at least three reasons why conventional methods to parenting, therapy, and teaching often fail with intense children, despite the best of intentions.
    5. Describe how the Therapeutic Powers of Play strengthen the effectiveness of the approach by integrating different play therapy modalities.
    6. Identify at least three play therapy interventions inspired by NHA® that enhance greatness and resilience for children and families
    7. Explain how strengthening relationships and connections can be incorporated creatively using play therapy with children and families.
    8. Describe the use of praise, recognitions, and self-awareness to build resiliency in children in the playroom.
    9. State a basic understanding of neurobiology and its impact on regulation and behaviors
    10. Demonstrate at least four play-based interventions to build resiliency in children, teens, and families in the playroom
    11. Describe theoretical constructs that encourage resiliency and attachment in the play therapy room.
    12. List the therapeutic benefits of integrating The Nurtured Heart Approach® into play therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy.
    13. Identify multicultural issues that come up during play therapy and effectively address them.
    14. Demonstrate three ways Client-Centered Play Therapy builds resilience with clients in the playroom.
    15. Identify at least 2 effective strategies for dealing with common challenges that present in play therapy.
    16. Identify the benefits of integrating play therapy and expressive techniques.

    *falls under APT's primary instruction areas of "Play Therapy Skills or Methods"

    DAY 2: Friday, March 1 - Breakouts - Choose: All day OR morning & afternoon

    Morning Sessions 3-hour Session: 3/1/24 - 8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

    AM: Choose ONLY if you are attending Friday and want to do 2 half day sessions.

    B: Utilizing Play and Creative Arts Therapy with Youth

    Christine Zouaoui LPC, RPT-S

    Play and creative techniques have been used to help with healing for many years. The processing that happens during the act of play, art creation, and movement helps clients move through their healing.  In this experiential workshop, you will learn specific techniques focused on helping clients with anxiety that utilize play therapy and creative arts therapy in our therapeutic settings. Each of the techniques covers a wide range of uses so that you may adapt them for your specific area of theory in play therapy. I will be including individual, family, and group techniques. These therapeutic exercises are new and have no repeats from Christine’s previous workshops. Please remember to dress comfortably and be ready for some fun and self-care.  

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

    1. Describe the use and focus of play therapy and creative arts therapy techniques in practice as a mental health professional.
    2. Identify strategies to explain to others the benefits of play therapy and creative art therapy techniques.
    3. Identify at least two ways to incorporate play therapy and creative art techniques into clinical practice.

    *falls under APT's primary instruction areas of "Play Therapy Skills and Methods”

    C: Authenticity in the Playroom: The Importance of Connecting to Self in Play Therapy

    Machen Champion, MA, LPCC-S, RPT-S

    Research into relational neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology continues to highlight the complex interconnectedness within the relationship between client and therapist. As Play Therapists, we are repeatedly exposed to the intensity of emotion felt by our child clients and the way we respond to that activation influences our capacity for connection to ourselves and our clients. In this workshop, participants will begin to explore what regulation means from a neurobiological perspective, how to grow our awareness of our own activation throughout play therapy sessions, and discuss how tending to our own nervous systems can lead to increased presence and attunement with our clients. This workshop will draw from tenets of Synergetic Play Therapy, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and Polyvagal Theory.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

    1. Define regulation and how this understanding impacts the play therapist’s ability to co-regulate during play therapy sessions.
    2. Explain the role that congruence and authentic expression has throughout the play therapy process.
    3. Identify at least 2 strategies a play therapist can utilize to increase their capacity to offer co-regulation for child clients while tending to their own activation.

    *falls under APT's primary instruction areas of  "Play Therapy Special Topics”

    D: Guiding Growth: Nurturing Play Therapy Supervision

    Erica Wassenaar, MA, RPT-S

    In the realm of therapeutic interventions for children, play therapy holds a distinct place as a dynamic and expressive modality.  As the demand for effective play therapy rises, the critical role of play therapy supervision becomes increasingly evident. The course, "Guiding Growth: Nurturing Play Therapy Supervision," embarks on an educational journey to equip aspiring play therapy supervisors with essential techniques, ethical insights, and reflective practices that foster not only effective therapy for children but also professional growth for therapists.

    Drawing from the rich history and evolving landscape of play therapy, this course unpacks a diverse range of supervision techniques that resonate with supervisees across different developmental stages.  Supervisors learn to tailor interventions to meet the unique needs and challenges of each supervisee.

    Reflective practice is the bedrock upon which play therapy supervisors build their competencies. This course encourages supervisors to cultivate self-awareness and engage in ongoing self-evaluation. Participants learn to facilitate supervisee’s self-reflection, fostering a growth-oriented mindset in therapists and enhancing their clinical skills.

    The symbiotic relationship between effective play therapy for children and the professional growth of therapists lies at the heart of this course. Participants emerge with a heightened ability to guide therapists in creating therapeutic environments where children can freely express themselves. This is exemplified through techniques like art therapy, sand play, and imaginative play.

    "Guiding Growth: Nurturing Play Therapy Supervision" forms a foundation for individuals aspiring to excel in the art of play therapy supervision. By seamlessly weaving together techniques, ethics, and reflective practices, the course cultivates an environment where effective therapy for children and therapists alike thrives. This abstract encapsulates the essence of the course, drawing from scholarly sources and established practices in the field of play therapy and supervision.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After attending this workshop, participants will be able to

    1. Define what play therapy supervision is.
    2. Describe the differences between play therapy supervision and play therapy consultation. 
    3. Explain the rationale for play therapy supervision and describe the importance of play therapy supervision for play therapists-in-training.
    4. List and describe 4 characteristics of effective clinical supervisors.
    5. Explain the 3 main levels of the integrated developmental model of clinical supervision.

    *falls under APT's primary instruction areas of “Play Therapy Supervision”

    E: Creating Harmony; Integrating Play Therapy, Music, and EMDR Strategies

    Brian Bethel, LCDC, PCC-S, RPT-S & Julie Oates, M.Ed., LPCC-S, RPT-S

    With the burgeoning field of trauma research, mental health clinicians remain tasked with challenges of employing research-based practices for traumatized youth. This workshop will highlight the integration of play therapy, music, and EMDR strategies to empower children of trauma. 

    This workshop will highlight the integration of Prescriptive Play Therapy, Music and EMDR strategies. While curriculum will provide a basic overview for the phases of EMDR, and music, experiential practices will be encouraged to enhance the clinical application of these practices. Participants will be offered a variety of therapeutic techniques to engage children while promoting bilateral stimulation and other foundational components of EMDR therapy.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After attending this workshop, participants will be able to

    1. Demonstrate increased competencies specific to the integration of play therapy with other forms of creative and expressive therapies.
    2. Identify at least three specific play therapy techniques which incorporate music and EMDR strategies.
    3. Describe the increased skills of prescriptive matching of play therapy practices throughout various phases of EMDR facilitation.

    *falls under APT's primary instruction areas of  "Play Therapy Skills or Methods"

    DAY 2: Friday, March 1 - Breakouts - Choose: All day OR morning & afternoon

    Afternoon Sessions 3-hour Session: 3/1/24 - 1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

    PM: Choose ONLY if you are attending Friday and want to do 2 half day sessions.

    F: Unleashing the Power of Animal Assisted Play Therapy

    Mary Rottier, Ed.D., LPC, P.C., RPT-S™