Are you a mental health professional working with children, youth, and families?

Are you looking for training and support to integrate play therapy and expressive arts into your clinical practice?

You’ve come to the right place!

Finding the right training that meets your professional needs is an important part of your ongoing professional development. Our trainings integrate attachment theory, neuroscience, play therapy, and expressive arts using experiential activities to enhance the learning process and using a clinical framework to effectively apply the principles taught in the trainings. 

Cathi Spooner, LCSW, RPT-S is an author and experienced trainer with extensive knowledge and skill to help you learn to confidently integrate play therapy and expressive arts therapy into your clinical work with children, youth, and families. She focuses on helping mental health professionals apply theory and research using connection to create safety and strong therapeutic rapport to help families heal.

Consultation and supervision are critical for applying the principles learned in the trainings with your specific clients to help you enhance your clinical-decision making skills using play therapy and expressive arts. 

Check out this free pdf for mental health professionals working with children and adolescents integrating play therapy and expressive arts using intention based on mindfulness and neuroscience:  The Be 5 Framework

Are you mental health professional working with traumatized children, youth, and families using play therapy and expressive arts, check out Cathi Spooner’s book for trauma professionals – Attachment-Focused Family Play Therapy: An Intervention for Children and Adolescents After Trauma

 

Check out our Trainings & Consultation Groups

Online Play Therapy & Expressive Arts Skills Consultation and Supervision Group for mental health professionals

This clinical consultation and supervision group focuses on helping mental health clinicians working with children, adolescents, and families to identify behavior and relationship patterns and identify underlying emotional issues for behavior in your clients. You’ll learn to use critical decision-making skills to determine what type of play therapy and expressive arts interventions to use and when to use them so you can develop confidence when working with parents. You’ll learn to recognize stages of treatment when using play therapy and expressive arts modalities. It’s not enough to just take trainings to learn new skills because we always know how to use the techniques to help our clients as situations arise during our therapy sessions. That’s why it’s important to have the support and feedback from experts to help guide us when learning new skills.

The group meets twice monthly for 90 minutes using an online platform. The maximum number of spaces is limited in order to provide an optimal learning experience for participants.  

When: Saturday mornings 9 -10:30 am Pacific Time

Cost: $55/group session

Group facilitator: Cathi Spooner, LCSW, RPT-S

For more information and to find out if this group is a good fit for you, contact Cathi Spooner 


Play Therapy & Expressive Arts Trainings

Accessing the Therapeutic Powers of Play for Adolescents Using Expressive Modalities

Online Course Coming Soon! Stay tuned …

Adolescents struggling with mental health challenges struggle with their self-concept, their relationships, and emotion regulation. Interventions using the therapeutic powers of play and expressive arts through the exploration of attachment archetypes and self-concept can help adolescents resolve their mental health challenges and engage in the healing process. 

Participants in this experiential online training will use an attachment and neuroscience lens to examine attachment wounds and other factors impacting their adolescent client’s self-concept and emotion regulation difficulties.  Participants will understand the mind-body connection for emotion regulation. Using an integrated approach for implementing interventions requires a framework that provides mental health professionals with a way to develop safety and security within the therapeutic relationship and clinical decision-making.

Objectives: 

1.     Participants will define the concept of mentalization and its relationship with attachment and emotion regulation

2.     Participants will learn the relationship between attachment, mentalization, and our conceptualization of self, relationship, and others

3.     Participants will explain the mind-body connection for emotion regulation

4.     Participants will identify at least three therapeutic powers of play to use with expressive modalities

5.     Participants will explain the concept of archetypes and shadow and light attributes

6.     Participants will identify at describe the elements of the Be 5 Framework

7.     Participants will demonstrate at least four expressive arts interventions to use with adolescents

 

Emotion Regulation and Play Therapy Online Course

Coming Soon as an Online Course! Stay Tuned…

Emotion regulation difficulties are challenging and require mental health professionals and parents/caregivers to understand the neuroscience underneath the behaviors and the therapeutic powers of play for the healing process. This online course for play therapists working with children, adolescents, and families integrates the neuroscience of attachment and play therapy to help children and teens learn to effectively regulate their strong emotions. Engaging parents in the play therapy process allows children to use their parents for co-regulation for their strong emotions and is a critical component of long-term successful treatment outcomes for children and adolescents.

There are three main parts to this online course so you can get grounded in a neuroscience and attachment-informed framework to integrate play therapy and expressive arts into the treatment  process. You’ll also learn to use a neuroscience and attachment lens to recognize the roots of behavior and emotions and the importance of involving parents as the therapeutic powers of change for their child’s long-term treatment success. And finally, you’ll learn how to help parents engage more fully in the play therapy process with their child to facilitate lasting change for their child. You’ll also learn how to recognize and overcome barriers for parental engagement.

By the end of this course you’ll be able to confidently use a neuroscience and attachment-informed lens to effectively integrate play therapy in the treatment process with your young clients to help them use their parents for co-regulation and learn effective emotion regulation skills.

Wear Your C.A.P.E – Using a Superhero Approach for Play Therapy with Defiant, Difficult, and Anxious Children

Establishing and maintaining therapeutic rapport is critical for engaging our clients in the change process. In order to individualize treatment to the specific clinical needs of their clients many play therapists use an integrated approach to therapy, which requires a framework to clinically ground their treatment interventions for successful resolution of mental health challenges. This module provides an overview of a neurobiology-informed C.A.P.E. framework for implementing play therapy interventions with children who are struggling with emotion regulation and anxiety challenges. Play therapists will identify how to effectively create a therapeutic space using the therapeutic powers of play with difficult, defiant, and anxious children to help them engage in the change process and regulate their emotions. You’ll learn directive play therapy strategies to use for establishing safety and engaging clients in the beginning stages of the play therapy process.

 

Taming Strong Emotions Using Play Therapy

Children struggling with emotion regulation often have difficulty with their self-concept and social relationships because of the negative impact of their emotion dysregulation.  Parents/caregivers are often at a loss as to how to help their children which may challenge their attachment ties and further exacerbate their ability to regulate their strong emotions. This module discusses the concepts of co-regulation, emotion regulation, and neurobiology for understanding the key clinical needs of children struggling to effectively manage their strong emotions. Harnessing the therapeutic powers of play for the change process are important avenues to help children and adolescents learn to use skills effectively. Play therapists will also learn to confidently include parents/caregivers as “emotion regulation skills coaches” help their children regulate their strong emotions. You’ll learn directive play therapy strategies to teach emotion regulation skills to your clients and their parents/caregivers.

 

Parents in the Play Therapy Process

Involving parents/caregivers in the play therapy process has demonstrated significant treatment success for children and sustained positive changes for the child. And yet, integrating parents/caregivers effectively in the play therapy process is often a struggle for many play therapists as they strive to find the best strategies for helping their young clients. This module will help play therapists establish a framework using for successfully including parents/caregivers in the change process as therapeutic agents of change with their children. Play therapists will learn to establish therapeutic rapport with parents/caregivers, learn how to communicate with them about their child’s progress, and create a framework for confidently integrating parents/caregivers in the play therapy process.

 

Getting Grounded with Sand Tray in Play Therapy

When: Saturday, July 17, 2021

Where: online

Time: 8:00am – 12:15pm

Sand tray therapy is a powerful expressive arts modality to help clients of all ages effectively process and resolve difficult emotional issues in the play therapy process.  Due to the nature of projective techniques, it is important for mental health professionals to learn how to use this modality with clients ethically and appropriately.  This online experiential training will help participants learn the “tools” needed for sand tray therapy, how to ethically and effectively process sand trays with clients, recognize the therapeutic powers of play used with sand tray, and the origins of sand tray therapy and its relevance for clinical practice. Participants will engage in experiential activities and small group discussion to gain a foundational understanding and ability to use sand tray therapy in the play therapy process with their clients.

Participants will

  1. Describe the basic foundational principles and theory using sand tray therapy
  2. Explain the difference between Sandtray therapy and Sandplay therapy
  3. Identify types of sand tray miniatures to make available for clients and their clinical relevance in sand tray therapy
  4. Demonstrate how to effectively process client sand trays with clients
  5. Explain the ethical implications for working with clients using sand tray therapy
  6. Identify the cultural implications for sand tray therapy

To register and for more information, click here

 

Sand Tray in Play Therapy With Children and Adolescents

Cathi playroom 1

When: Saturday, August 21, 2021

Where: Online

Time: 8:00am – 12:15pm

Practical aspects of using sand tray therapy with children and adolescents will be explored within an integrated approach to play therapy using sand tray and the therapeutic powers of play in clinical practice. Participants will identify the various ways in which children utilize the sand to heal, developmental aspects of using sand with children, identifying resiliency indicators and how to use directive and non-directive play therapy approaches. Participants will understand the importance of cultural awareness and use of culturally relevant sand tray miniatures in play therapy. The use of actual client sand trays in the play therapy process will provide more in-depth opportunities for learning. Participants will engage this online, experiential training through small group discussion, experiential activities, and didactic learning.

Participants will:

1. Identify the unique developmental aspects of using sand tray therapy in play therapy with children and adolescents

2. Identify themes in the child’s sand tray to recognize the emotional issues present in play therapy

3. Demonstrate how to effectively process emotional issues with children and adolescents

4. Explain basic concepts of Jungian theory and how to integrate sand tray with other play therapy models

5. Explain the ethical implications for working with clients using sand tray therapy in play therapy

6. Identify the cultural implications for sand tray therapy in play therapy

To register and for more information, click here

 

Here’s what training participants have to say about the sand tray trainings

What people say?

Taking Sand Tray with Cathi Spooner afforded me the opportunity to add additional skills to my therapeutic practice. Cathi engages students in a manner that makes it easy and effortless to implement and use the learned skills immediately. Thank you Cathi! - Monica B
Monica B
I had the privilege of taking a 43 hour sand tray training from Cathi Spooner. Since then I have taken many hours of sand tray training from other providers and nothing has compared to what I learned from Cathi. The training was comprehensive and thorough and touched on many topics that come up in therapy. Not only did I learn how to provide sand tray therapy to my clients, I learned how to set up the room, write notes and document the therapy sessions. If I hadn't taken the training from her my skill level with sand tray would be lacking. - Rebecca C
Rebecca C