In this two-day presentation, participants will learn how Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) honors and highlights the innate resources of the child to heal and thus fosters resilience in children. An Integrative Approach will be shared consisting of contributions from CCPT, Directive Play Therapy, CBT, Family Therapy, and Animal-Assisted Therapy can be blended to offer what Dr. Helen Benedict refers to as Child-Responsive Therapy. The process of play therapy consisting especially of the therapeutic relationship, but also including therapist attunement, presence, unflinching empathy, “deep hearing” (Carl Rogers), perseverance, commitment, compassion combined with the resources that the child or family brings creates a complex and rich process that promotes resilience and healing. Directive therapy interventions are also sometimes indicated and helpful in jumpstarting the therapeutic process or to structure the therapeutic context in ways that enables children to communicate with us. For most young children and traumatized clients of any age, verbal expressive therapy may fail because verbal expression is hindered by developmental constraints and/or trauma effects. A wide range of play and expressive arts interventions will be described and in some cases experienced by the participants during the course of the two days including use of puppets, drawing and artwork, storytelling, narrative story stems, clinical use of symbols, guided imagery and fantasy techniques, sandtray, and drama.
The workshop is intended for all mental health, school counseling, and members of the clergy who provide counseling to children, adolescents, and families. The two-day presentation will invite participation by experiential activities, small group discussion, role-play demonstrations, and sharing of clinical examples by the presenter that will encourage input from attendees. Participants will learn to trust the rich clinical process and the capacity for resilience in children and families, and ways to foster and enhance these healing resources through the use of practical tools and interventions that can be used in play therapy, family therapy, poetry, and journal writing, in individual, family or group counseling sessions.
Specific Learning Objectives
- Participants will learn to appreciate the components of the rich and complex process of therapy;
- Participants will learn to identify the factors that contribute most to therapy/counseling successful outcomes;
- Participants will be able to identify the compelling strengths of CCPT, but also how an Integrated Approach may truly be the most Child Responsive form of therapy;
- Participants will learn when and how to introduce therapist-directed interventions and the rationale for doing so.
- Participants will learn a wide range of directive interventions ranging from play to poetry, art, storytelling, and many others that they can use in their counseling settings.
David A. Crenshaw is Clinical Director of the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. He is a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist, Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Fellow of APA’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychology, and a Registered-Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S). He has taught graduate courses in counseling and play therapy at Johns Hopkins University, Teachers College, Columbia University and Marist College. He was President of the New York Association for Play Therapy (2004-2008). He is the author or editor of 15 books, numerous journal articles and book chapters on child trauma, child abuse, play therapy and youth violence. Visit Rhinebeck Child and Family Center for more information about his work.