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 to identify behavior and relationship patterns and identify underlying emotional issues for behavior in their 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

When: Monday, February 15, 2021

Where: Online

Time: 8am – 4pm Pacific time zone (USA)

Cost: $135 for the training (CEs are an additional $15)

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.




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


For more information and to register, click here


Emotion Regulation and Play Therapy Training Series

Emotion regulation difficulties are challenging and require mental health professionals and parents to understand the neuroscience underneath the behaviors. These three professional trainings integrate 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. 

These three online trainings for mental health professionals can be taken together as a series or independently. Mental health professionals completing all three trainings in the series will be eligible to participate in a free online case consultation meeting to further explore how to effectively apply the information presented in the trainings with your specific clients. 



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

2 hours

When: Saturday, February 6, 2021

Time: 8-10am Pacific time zone (USA)

Where: Online

Cost: $30 for the training (CEs are an additional $15)

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 training 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. Play therapists will learn at least 2 play therapy interventions to create safety and regulate emotions.


Participants will:

  • Explain the neurobiology of safety and attachment for creating a strong therapeutic space for using play therapy
  • Describe the C.A.P.E neurobiology-informed framework for integrating play therapy for establishing therapeutic rapport with difficult, defensive, and anxious children and teens and inviting them to engage in the change process.
  • Identify three therapeutic powers of play critical for establishing therapeutic rapport, safety, and engaging clients in the change process
  • Demonstrate at least 2 play therapy techniques for establishing therapeutic rapport
For more information and to register click here




Taming Strong Emotions Using Play Therapy

2.5 hours

When: Saturday, February 20, 2021

Time: 8-10:30am Pacific time zone (USA)

Where: Online

Cost: $35 for the training (CEs are an additional $15)

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 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 training 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 as “emotion regulation skills coaches” help their children regulate their strong emotions. Play therapists will learn at least two interventions to teach emotion regulation skills.



Participants will:

  • Explain the role of neurobiology in co-regulation and emotion regulation and the importance of identifying emotion dysregulation triggers
  • Describe the importance of integrating parents as “emotion regulation coaches”
  • Identify the therapeutic powers of play needed to teach children and teens emotion regulation skills and help them engage in the change process
  • Demonstrate at least two emotion regulation play therapy skills
For more information and to register click here

Parents in the Play Therapy Process

2.5 hours

When: Saturday, March 6, 2021

Time: 8-10:30am Pacific time zone (USA)

Where: Online

Cost: $35 for the training (CEs are an additional $15)

Involving parents in the play therapy process has demonstrated significant treatment success for children and sustained positive changes for the child. And yet, integrating parents 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 training will help play therapists establish a framework using for successfully including parents in the change process as therapeutic agents of change with their children. Play therapists will learn to establish therapeutic rapport with parents, learn how to communicate with them about their child’s progress, and create a framework for confidently integrating parents in the play therapy process.



Participants will:

  • Identify their goals for inclusion of parents in the play therapy process and when to include parents in the play therapy sessions
  • Explain barriers to successfully engaging parents in the play therapy change process and identify strategies to overcome these barriers
  • Explain the therapeutic powers of play to parents to help them become therapeutic agents of change for their child
  • Identify strategies for effective communication with parents about the play therapy process and progress while maintaining the child’s confidentiality
For more information and to register click here

Sand Tray Therapy: Getting Grounded

When: TBA

Where: St. George, UT

Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm

This two day experiential training will provide a foundational understanding to confidently implement sand tray therapy with your clients.  Through didactic instruction and experiential activities, participants will learn the importance of sand tray figures as symbols, processing sand trays with clients and effectively “hold” your client’s projective content in the sand tray.  Participants will create their own sand trays in order to understand power of this projective modality and to use it effectively with your clients.

This training is approved for 12 Contact hours of continuing education by the following organizaitons:

  • Utah Chapter of National Association of Social Workers
  • Association for Play Therapy

To register, contact Cathi Spooner 

Sand Tray Therapy with Children and Adolescents

When: TBA

Where: St. George, UT

Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Working with children and adolescents requires mental health professionals to understand the unique developmental needs of this populations using sand tray therapy.  This two day experiential training will provide an understanding of how  to work with children and adolescents effectively using sand tray therapy.  Participants will learn the developmental aspects of children and teens in the sand tray, process sand trays with children and adolescents and integrate theory into application using sand tray.   Creating your own sand trays during this training provides an amazing way to experience the benefits of using this projective modality. 

Participants will need to have participated in a foundational sand tray training before participating in this training.  This training builds upon the foundational level of sand tray therapy.

12 CEUS through UT Chapter NASW and Association for Play Therapy


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