Join Us at the 2019 Play Therapy Conference!

Live on the east coast? Join us in Virginia to experience three of our experiential programs at the 7th annual Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute. Thurs., 06/27 – Sun., 06/30.

Keynote || Creative Expression at Home: Helping Parents Unlock Art’s Potential to Connect & Heal 
Saturday, June 29, 2019 from 9:00 to 10:30 am
Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC

Parenting is a key component to healing children’s struggles and many of the issues that get worked through in the play therapy office. However, parents are often at a loss when it comes to intervening at times of acute need at home. Even best practices in talking with children don’t consistently help them to regulate, problem solve, or connect. Art can help parents get through to children quickly when words won’t. But how? In this informative and artful plenary lecture, play therapists will learn simple art interventions that can be taught to parents to use in daily life in order to build connection with their children and help heal emotional turmoil. Play therapists will learn how to help parents adapt art therapy interventions to use with varying ages in a pinch at home, as well as develop creative home practices to build sustainable connection between parents, siblings, and children in distress. Maximizing their unique position to guide parents in unlocking the power of creativity, play therapists will also learn versatile tools to help parents access their own internal strengths at times when they are the hardest to tap into—but most needed.

Bonus: This plenary utilizes concepts from the new book, The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art by keynote Erica Curtis and our Founder & Director, Ping Ho. Learn more about this innovative book by watching a short book trailer here.

Beat the Odds®: Social-Emotional Skill Building Through Drumming in Play Therapy
Friday, June 28, 2019 from 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Ping Ho, MA, MPH

Beat the Odds® is a trauma-informed program that integrates the power of contemporary drum circles with play therapy and group counseling to build core strengths such as focusing and listening, team building, positive risk taking, self-esteem, awareness of others, leadership, expressing feelings, managing anger/stress, empathy and gratitude. UCLA research has shown that drumming within the context of mental health counseling can reduce a spectrum of behavior problems in children, such as those related to withdrawn/depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, and sluggish cognitive tempo (all common presenting problems in play therapy). In addition, this program has been shown to be particularly effective with children in special education classrooms. Beat the Odds® emphasizes process and not performance. It includes familiar therapeutic strategies such as positive affirmations, emotional coping strategies, and guided interaction with rhythmic activities serving as a metaphor for life, followed by reflection and dialogue—without the stigma of therapy. The scripted curriculum, well suited to the skill sets of play therapists, enables sustainable delivery and does not require musical experience on the part of facilitators or children. This inclusive and culturally relevant program accommodates diverse abilities as well as family participation. The training will also offer guidelines on adapting the curriculum to both younger and older groups of children in play therapy settings.

For more information on the Beat the Odds® program, facilitator trainings, and the companion BTO Manual and DVD, click here.

Managing Big Behaviors in Kids & Teens Through Art
Saturday, June 29, 2019from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC

Necessity is the mother of invention, and there is hardly a more necessary time to get innovative than when children are having “big behaviors.” This can be especially true when trying to respond at critical moments when even best-practice interventions and tried-and-true play therapy strategies don’t work. Accessing the versatility of art and creativity can benefit play therapists when children and teens do not respond to more traditional approaches. In this 4.5 hour master class, play therapists and others who work with children will learn easily accessible arts-based strategies to integrate into the play therapy process while addressing big behaviors. Hands-on art experientials will promote creative problem solving and inspire the development of novel ideas for addressing challenging behaviors in play therapy settings. Because play therapists are in a unique position to help parents help children, the topic of teaching parents to use art as an avenue for connection and communication at home will also be addressed.

Bonus: This training utilizes concepts from the new book, The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art by workshop instructor Erica Curtis and our Founder & Director, Ping Ho. Learn more about this innovative book by watching a short book trailer here.

For more information, and to register for the conference, and any of the above workshops, visit the Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute’s website.