Michigan association for play therapy

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  • 10/09/2022 1:47 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings Playmates!

    My gardening saga is coming to an end for the year. The dogs have stolen their last cucumbers and beans and the harvest is winding down. As we were pulling out some of the spent vines and starting to put the garden away for the year, I was thinking about how mental health issues don’t have a season. October is filled with ADHD Awareness Month, Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct 2-8), Bullying Prevention Month, National Depression Screening Day (Oct 6), and World Mental Health Day (Oct 10) among others. But in reality, every day needs to be mental health day.
     
    I could site suicide rates, drug overdose rates, or hospitalizations for mental health issues, but those are just the tip of a very big iceberg. What about the mental health issues that aren’t counted? What about the children who fail in school because they have ADHD or depression or anxiety yet fall under the radar? What about the functioning addicts and alcoholics whose lives revolve around keeping their addictions secret? What about the relationships that are torn apart because of untreated mental health issues?
     
    Where does MIAPT fit in the solution to these problems? Right now, we are a relatively small organization with just under 160 members. We certainly make a difference for the clients we see, but I don’t think that’s enough. What can we do to build a larger force to battle the need in our state? What can each of us do to help MIAPT grow to become a bigger part of the solution? I’m working on personally talking with three clinicians who work with children but are not play therapists before the end of the year. Will you join me? What other things can we do to help MIAPT reach more clinicians to help them reach more clients in need? Ideas are welcome.  Email me, please.
     
    Playfully,

    Diana

    Diana Steketee, LLP, Registered Play Therapist
    President, MIAPT 2022


  • 08/10/2022 1:46 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings Playmates!

    The vegetable garden has started to produce! If you’re in the Grand Rapids area and need zucchini or cucumbers, let me know! My husband and I have been eating so many that we are about to turn green! The peas are almost done and the tomatoes, beans, okra, and squash are getting ready. My broccoli is looking rather hopeless. I’ve been harvesting herbs and have lots dried for the winter. Our dogs have found the cucumbers that have slipped through the fence and made unauthorized snacks of them. One of them pulled a towel from the countertop with peas that were just harvested and were drying. They both shared those…
     
    MIAPT is also growing and producing! Just like the glitches involved in gardening, harvesting, and having pets who like to share, there are glitches in a growing organization. We are working on developing both a membership committee and a newsletter committee. It has been a struggle to get enough committed people on board to really get these off the ground. The committees are both excellent ways for YOU to get involved that don’t require a huge investment of time and energy. Elections for the board and nominations and elections committee members will be coming up in a couple of months. What are your interests? What holes can you help us fill? I know that I have received far more than I have contributed in new relationships, educational experiences, and the joy of being a part of a thriving organization. Please consider joining us. You won’t regret it! I’d welcome the opportunity to talk with any of you about what’s involved, answer your questions, and hear your ideas. YOU and the growing population of play therapists are why we do what we do. Call me at (616) 204-5663 and let’s talk!
     
    Don’t forget to register for the APT conference that happens in October. This year it’s in St. Louis and there are a few of us registered to go. It’s an amazing experience learning from some of the big names in play therapy and getting to rub shoulders with people from all over. Also, check your email for the call for proposals for Saturday breakout sessions for the MIAPT 2023 Annual Conference that will take place on February 24-25, 2023.  
     
    I’m headed out to the garden with a couple of buckets if you want to join me out there. I have to keep the dogs from eating the cucumbers that have snuck through the fence!
     
    Playfully,

    Diana

    Diana Steketee, LLP, Registered Play Therapist
    President, MIAPT 2022


  • 06/13/2022 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings Playmates!

    It appears that spring has actually arrived in Michigan! My lilacs have just finished blooming and the seeds I planted in the garden have begun to push their tiny stems through the ground. I must now provide the care that will nurture them and help them to grow. They’ll need water, nutrients, mulch, weeding, and possibly some removal of destructive pests. I have work to do (but it’s fun work to me!)
     
    As we on the Board look toward the future, we have responsibilities to the membership of MIAPT and work to do here as well. Our Strategic Plan includes new ideas for ways to grow and nurture both the organization and the play therapists who sprout from the seeds we plant. I invite each of you, as members, to share your vision and ideas for the organization with those of us on the Board. The easiest way to reach us is by email and I invite you to reach out. I would very much like to hear from YOU if you have idea seeds or are interested in getting more involved in the care and nurturing of the organization. We will grow and develop faster and healthier with more of us working together to nourish the organization and the individual play therapists who comprise it. 
     
    Summer is quickly approaching. My hope is that each of us will have the opportunity at this time of year to take stock of our own schedules. This is a good time of year to weed out the things that cause us to grow unnecessarily weary. It is a good time to fertilize those parts of our lives that enrich us and cause us to grow. It is a good time to prepare for a full harvest of wisdom, knowledge, and productivity to reach out and help the clients with whom we work and help them learn to best care for their own life gardens.

    I know of a few people who have already made plans to go to the APT International Conference in St. Louis this October. It's an amazing experience and an opportunity to learn a lot in a short period of time. If you're interested in going, I encourage you to register ASAP as classes fill quickly. We Michiganians who attend will have a chance to get to know one another better and have some fun in the process!
     
    Once again, if you need me, I’ll be in the garden!
     
    Playfully,

    Diana

    Diana Steketee, LLP, Registered Play Therapist
    President, MIAPT 2022


  • 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!
     
    Playfully,

     
    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
    playdr@gmail.com


  • 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
    playdr@gmail.com


  • 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
    playdr@gmail.com

    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
    playdr@gmail.com

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