Michigan association for play therapy

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  • 04/12/2022 10:37 AM | Anonymous

    Greetings Playmates!
    As I look outside, I’m anxious to get the garden tilled and some seeds planted so that we can have a bountiful harvest of vegetables and herbs later in the year. I enjoy the transitions from tilled dirt to tiny seedlings to strong plants to an abundant crop. Watching things grow, whether gardens or children or MIAPT is exciting. Planting a tiny seed and nurturing the growing plants makes me feel as though I’ve accomplished something good. 
    We’ve made the transition to the new faces and roles on the board of MIAPT. We can be proud of our achievements over the past year. We have once again achieved Gold Branch status, the harvest of the past year’s work. Now we’re in the process of developing the Strategic Plan for the next three years and have some seeds of ideas about what we would like to do next. The biggest and best ideas include YOU. There are several committees that need members who are willing to spend some time in a more active role within the organization. Most are small commitments of a couple of hours a month. We need more hands to join us to continue to grow and thrive—and growing and thriving means a healthy crop of more therapists trained in play therapy and serving clients throughout the state. 
    Spring is here according to the calendar! I’m not certain the weather has gotten the message yet but we who live in Michigan know that we will eventually transition to a new season. Let’s work together to help MIAPT remain a healthy, vibrant, growing organization. Our clients and future clients need a healthy crop of new play therapists to provi
    de the best service possible. If anyone needs me, I’ll be out in the garden!

    Diana Steketee, LLP, Registered Play Therapist

    President, MIAPT 2022

  • 02/15/2022 10:36 AM | Anonymous

    Hey there, MIAPT Branch Members!

    It’s been an awesome privilege to have served as Branch president this year! I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in person this month for our Annual Conference in Lansing. It will be a great chance for us to reconnect, network with new faces, learn from our amazing presenters, and celebrate MIAPT turning 26!

    Here’s some interesting MIAPT history …

    The seeds of the Michigan Association for Play Therapy (MIAPT) began in 1993 when Patricia Armstrong began to inquire about interest in forming a Branch of the Association for Play Therapy in Michigan. In August of 1994 a letter of application was sent to the Association for Play Therapy (APT) by Patricia Armstrong. She received the Charter of the Michigan Association for Play Therapy on October 15, 1995 at the 12th Annual APT conference in San Francisco. MIAPT was the 20th official state Branch.

    Pretty, cool, huh??? Why don’t we celebrate as a Branch, and thank all the board and committee members who have served us, by actively promoting play therapy … especially during National Play Therapy Week (February 6-12)! Make sure to:

    • Attend our Virtual Member Kick-Off Meeting on Sunday, February 6th at 11:00 a.m.
    • Promote our free virtual workshop “Intro to Play Therapy” to any interested agencies, professionals, and schools on Monday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m.
    • On Tuesday, February 8th participate in our “Show Us Some Social Media Love” contest by following, liking, and sharing on any of the MIAPT social media platforms (one point for every new follow, like, or share … get the most points and win half off a 2022 MIAPT virtual training!)
    • Post a Picture of your Playroom on social media on Wednesday, February 9th
    • On Thursday, February 10th reach out to at least one person to have them become a new MIAPT member!
    • Post of picture of YOU playing on Friday, February 11th
    • Wrap up the week on Saturday, February 12th by connecting with a fellow MIAPT member and share a kind message or small gift!

    Thank you so much for this opportunity to serve the Branch. I look forward to my commitment as past-president throughout the next year as we welcome in the new board at the annual conference later this month!
    Playfully yours,

    Laura Hutchison, PsyD, LP, RPT-S
    President, MIAPT 2021

  • 12/07/2021 3:03 PM | Anonymous

    It’s hard to find the words to say in the wake of what’s happened this past week. Whether you have just followed the Oxford High School shooting through the media ... or if you’re in the neighboring communities that having been dealing with copycat threats … or you’re a member of the Oxford community dealing with the heartbreaking loss of these young lives … we’re all grieving and processing the heavy trauma of this event.
    If you’re struggling to find ways to help yourself and others cope with this tragedy, I recommend you check out this page from the National Association of School Psychologists. Here are some highlights:

    • Validate feelings
    • Reassure safety & review safety procedures
    • Allow time for children to talk and ask questions
    • Keep explanations developmentally appropriate
    • Limit viewing media exposure of the event
    • Maintain a normal routine

    Remember that MIAPT is a community of individuals that are here to support one another. Please feel free to reach out to me personally or another MIAPT member if you need a listening ear, shoulder to lean on, or some creative resources.
    May you make your way through the season as stress free as possible and I hope you’re able to spend it doing things you love with the people you love!
    Playfully yours,

    Laura Hutchison, PsyD, LP, RPT-S
    President, MIAPT 2021

  • 10/06/2021 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    Happy Fall, Y’all!

    Fall can be a pretty challenging time for us therapists that work with kids! Getting them transitioned back to school, changes in schedules - especially in light of the pandemic. I hope you are all finding your new rhythms to care not only for your clients … but also yourselves!

    I’ve found that the expansion of APT allowing for live, virtual trainings to be counted as contact hours during the pandemic has awarded me amazing experience to attend more trainings these months than I have in the past decade! Without the time or expense of travel I’ve been able to participate in workshops that I’ve wanted to for years. It’s helped me grow as a therapist and supervisor, as well as the opportunity to connect with play therapists throughout the world. I have gained so many connections and learned so much. In addition, as a branch president, I have seen the impact of being able to provide live, virtual trainings not only our members, but members and non-members from other states who are interested in play therapy. It has also been a way for our branch to gain revenue, which in turn will be paid back to members through the events and support we can offer.  If you have similar thoughts and feelings I strongly encourage you to send an email or letter SOON to APT to extend the ability for us to attend live, virtual trainings as contact hours past the end of 2021.

    This is YOUR branch - we want to hear your voices and ideas! We’d also LOVE to increase our reach on social media - so make sure to follow and comment regularly. (In case you didn't know - followers, likes, & comments shows those algorithm robots that our posts need to be shown far and wide too!) Follow us on Facebook at Michigan Association for Play Therapy and on Instagram at Michigan Play.

    For those of you attending the APT National Conference in Little Rock - be on the look out for information on a MIAPT branch dinner that week. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

    Playfully yours,

    Laura Hutchison, PsyD, LP, RPT-S
    President, MIAPT 2021

  • 08/08/2021 1:09 PM | Anonymous

    Lindsay P. South, LLP, LPC Supervisor, RPT-S, is a therapist in private practice at Lindsay South P South MA PLLC & Associates in Portage, lindsaysouth.com. She has a Master of Arts in Counselor Education/Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University. She has been working in the field since 1988 and has been a member of APT for 20 years.

    Three words to best describe you:  Creative, active, outdoors.

    What made you interested in play therapy? I began private practice in a small group of therapists. My colleagues only saw adults. I was asked to see teens and then children as well. I had been a camp counselor for years, enjoyed working with kids, and was a young mom myself with two little boys. Although these personal experiences helped, I quickly realized that I had no idea what I was doing!  My supervisor, who was a psychologist, encouraged me to keep going but commit to training. It was perfect advice: I didn’t have to know everything but I had to commit to learning. I signed up for the first play therapy workshop in Michigan in 1995. I was 8 months pregnant with my second son. I loved the workshop and was hooked! I started attending workshops and joined MIAPT.  My sons were my guinea pigs, and I had lots of toys on hand at home.  My love of children, playing games, doing art projects, and building in the sand, all came together in play therapy.

    Why did you decide to become an RPT-S? When I first started working on becoming a play therapist it was hard to find a supervisor.  A group of us paid Kay Hannah to come all the way from Grand Rapids to meet with us for supervision.  Later I met Susan Carter and had her supervise me for years.  This mentoring was so important to me.  In my graduate program children were not discussed except in terms of adult development.  I had no classes in child or adolescent development or psychopathology.  Supervision in play therapy, coupled with workshops through MIAPT, were really my source of entry into the field.  I want to return the mentorship I received to those who are interested in play therapy.  I enjoy teaching and training.

    Who has inspired you in your career?  My aunt Martha Greene is a Presbyterian minister.  She was the first one who suggested I explore counseling or social work as a career option.  I was an art history major in college and had never considered counseling as a vocation.  She encouraged me to go to graduate school at WMU.  Mentors in play therapy include Susan Carter and sand tray trainers Gisela Schubach DeDomenico, Dikke Hansen, and Tina Johnson.

    What advice would you give someone who is just entering the field/starting their RPT work credentialing?  Keep working on your RPT!  Get credentialed and just keep attending workshops.  Always pay for your CEUs.  Keep those forms on file.  Develop an area of interest, like working with eating disorders (we need you!), LGBTQ youth, or divorce/stepfamily adjustment.  Follow your passion.

    What has been one of the most rewarding moments of your career?  Completing 7 years of sand tray training with Gisela Schubach DeDomenico.

    What has APT membership meant to you professionally and personally? APT provided me with mentorship, education and an identity as a therapist.  Becoming Secretary on the MIAPT board helped me learn how to function professionally in a leadership role in a nonprofit setting.  This experience was invaluable when I served on other boards, like the Southwest Michigan Eating Disorders Association.  I also have really enjoyed running our local MIAPT southwest networking meetings.  I hope to continue doing that once we can return safely to face to face group interactions.

    What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?  In my free time I love to be outdoors.  I grew up in CA and have adapted to Michigan.  I now road bike a lot in the summer, canoe with my husband, cross country ski and hike with ice trekkers on my boots in the winter.  I have found great groups of women to bike and walk with.

    If you were not in your current career, what would you be doing?  I would like to return to taking art classes as I did as a child….ceramics, drawing, painting.  I am interested in becoming a master gardener. Outdoor adventures--backpacking, canoe and biking trips--would be at the top of my list, as well as travel in the US and abroad.

    How do you spend your free time? Most of my time away from work is spent outside biking, hiking or going for a run.  I love to garden.  Pulling weeds, dead heading roses, and experimenting with plant texture and color are very therapeutic; you can see the results of your work instantly!  I also like to cook and try new recipes.  At night I am a reader of historical fiction.  Reading is how I put my brain to bed and wind down.  I look forward to that time each night. 

    If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  One of my favorite sand tray figures is Sacagawea...a young Native American girl who is walking along a stream with a racoon at her side.  She looks confident and comfortable in her environment.  She helped guide Lewis and Clark from North Dakota to the Pacific Coast, thousands of miles through the wilderness in terrain foreign to them.  Without her, they probably would have been lost or had great difficulty.

    Are there any other things we should know about you?  My first supervisor told me, “Make sure you do one thing every day that brings you joy.”  That is my wish for each of you.

  • 06/10/2021 12:09 PM | Anonymous

    Hey there MIAPT Members!
    Who’s ready for SUMMER?!?!
    I AM! I’m ready for time at the pool and beach, and more time playing outside and with friends and family. However you choose to spend time this summer, I hope you get lots of chances to do things that make your mind, heart, and soul happy!
    I’m mindful that many of you may have mixed feelings as we move into summertime. The COVID storm seems to be calming, but it is not yet over. And, like the saying goes - we’re all in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Some never left the office, some still haven’t returned. Some are vaccinated, some aren’t. Some are masked, some aren’t. As we continue to move forward let’s hold space for everyone during this time of change and transition. Let’s be models of open-minded connectedness for our clients, their families, our peers, and our communities.

    Playfully Yours,
    Laura Hutchison, PsyD, LP, RPT-S
    President, MIAPT 2021

    P.S. I would love to see greater involvement from our amazing membership. There are opportunities to serve on committees, run or attend regional networking meetings, attend MIAPT’s virtual and in-person trainings, write articles for our newsletter, set up outreach opportunities to spread the word about APT/MIAPT, and attend member only virtual support meetings. As members you each make up this play therapy community, so make your voice heard! If you have any questions about taking part in any of these opportunities, just let me know!

  • 04/15/2021 6:51 PM | Anonymous

    Hey there MIAPT Members!
    I want to start by saying that, although I’ve been a member of MIAPT for 20 years, I’m SO EXCITED to be writing to you for my FIRST TIME AS MIAPT President. It is such an honor to be part of the board again!!!
    Thanks for all that attended our annual conference this year. The polls that were conducted during this year’s annual conference showed that many of you are interested in becoming more involved with our chapter … and we would LOVE your help. Feel free to contact me anytime if you would like to be a part of a committee, help with the newsletter, or have suggestions for the chapter. This is YOUR chapter - we want to hear your voices and ideas!
    During this past year we have all faced so many different challenges - which has forced us to find creative ways to connect with each other and our clients. It has caused us to grow as a community, and as therapists. And we need to continue that growth!
    As discussed in our last MIAPT virtual support meeting, many children we see are finally heading back to school for the first time in awhile - or will be in the fall. This is an important moment to think about how we can help these kids, their parents, and their teachers to adjust to another transition. As play therapists we can remind them the effects of the past year may have on each child’s social and emotional development. We can help them prepare for underdeveloped skills that our clients and their classmates might have due to the lack of exposure to their peers and other adults. Our position as therapists to children gives us the unique opportunity to reduce over (or mis-) diagnosing children with behavior, attention, or social problems. We can give information to parents and teachers about normal childhood development of social and emotional skills - and discuss how these may be affected by the pandemic. Helping others to adjust expectations can definitely impact how our clients and their peers will be viewed and treated. Explaining to parents and teachers the importance of PLAY and the need to make up for lost time and experiences with peers is essential. These key elements will in turn influence each child’s mental health.
    Playfully Yours,
    Laura Hutchison, PsyD, LP, RPT-S
    President, MIAPT 2021

  • 02/01/2021 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    Dear MIAPT Members!

    This is my last letter as President of MIAPT before handing over the reins to our President-Elect, Laura Hutchison. This year has been incredibly challenging for all of us and I want to thank the Board and members of our committees for being flexible and creative in this unique and challenging year. One of my last duties is to remind everyone of the annual conference this month. This year it is all virtual and also for the first time spread out among four days. We have incredible workshops on cutting edge advances such as polyvagal therapy and using Pinterest as a therapeutic model as well as workshops on marginal service populations such as LGBTQ+ and the sexually acting out client and more. I hope that all of you will take advantage of these opportunities.

    Now that we are an accredited APT provider we hope to have bimonthly virtual trainings in addition to our regularly scheduled East/West and Annual conferences. We are also in good shape financially and have maintained Gold Branch status. More information on the state of MIAPT will be shared at the annual business meeting.
    It has been a pleasure to serve MIAPT this past year and I will continue to serve as Past-President and my longstanding participation on the conference committee. I hope to see all of you soon, either in person or virtually.

    Play on!

    Jason Clanton, MA, LLP, Registered Play Therapist
    President, MIAPT

  • 12/01/2020 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    Hello MIAPT Members!

    I hope you had a festive and safe Thanksgiving. For those of you who came to our virtual training on play therapy and trauma, thank you! I hope you have filled out the feedback survey so that we can make future virtual trainings even more fun and productive.
    Speaking of trainings, I am happy to report that MIAPT is now certified by APT to provide trainings as an official play therapy education provider! That means we can provide trainings directly for play therapy contact hours. Hopefully in the future MIAPT will be able to provide bi-monthly or quarterly trainings for our members in an online format. We will provide more information on this as it becomes available.
    This leads us to the 2021 annual conference. Yes, we are having one! And it will be all  virtual sessions. Because of this, the conference will span several days instead of just two. Save the dates: February 17-20, 2021. Although the theme is play therapy with anxiety disorders, we have some new topics that have not been presented before. So make sure to be on the lookout for the annual conference brochure in the coming weeks.

    In closing, I hope everyone is practicing good self-care. I recently read an article on how Zoom meetings are more emotionally and mentally exhausting that in person, and I certainly found that to be true. Whether you are all virtual or are starting to see clients in office, it is paramount that safety precautions include self-care for emotional well-being. MIAPT is a good resource for self-care ideas on our Facebook page. (And we recently launched an Instagram account, check it out!). May everyone find joy and peace this holiday season.
    Play on!

    Jason Clanton, MA, LLP, Registered Play Therapist
    President, MIAPT

  • 10/01/2020 4:15 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings MIAPT Members!

    “Last Resort.” “Iyanla Fix My Life.” Two self-help shows where a woman screams at families to change and one where people go to a resort to rearrange their chakras, align their anima and animus, and have “orgasmic cleansings.” It shows how desperate people are to heal old wounds. It brought to life the importance of proper training with methods shown to be beneficial in reducing mental illness and increase well-being.

    Which brings us to our upcoming trainings, the Virtual West Regional on November 13th and our annual conference in February. This year for the first time we will be hosting our trainings online. Not leaving home for a training certainly has its advantages! Also, our Facebook page has all sorts of resources tested in research and in the field to help healing. And our monthly ZOOM support meetings also provide a resource to learn techniques and methods from fellow MIAPT members. On behalf of the board, we are excited about our upcoming trainings. We hope to see you there.

    Play on!

    Jason Clanton, MA, LLP, Registered Play Therapist
    President, MIAPT

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