Washington Association for Play Therapy

 Promoting the Healing Power of Play in Washington

2019 WAAPT Fall Conference

  • September 21, 2019
  • 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Woman's Club, Spokane, WA


Registration is closed

Save the Date!

We are thrilled to announce Dr. Michael Whitehead as our Fall Conference speaker.

WAAPT Fall Conference in Spokane

September 21st, 2019

Taming Buffalo’s:

A Systemic Play Therapy Approach to Treating Disruptive Behavior Disorders

with Michael Whitehead, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S


Disruptive Behavior Disorders (ADHD, ODD, CD, ASD, etc.) tend to be the most sought out concerns for families and schools, yet therapists tend to shy away from these cases. Just like avoiding buffalo’s in the wild, treatment providers want to maintain a distance in order to avoid getting hurt. Over 50 years of research tells us how to help children with these disorders, yet most of the interventions that are still used perpetuate the problem. Learn the tricks involved in taming wild buffalo’s and how they are similar to helping children with disruptive behavior disorders and their families. Participants will be introduced to family system’s principles that are pertinent to families with a child(ren) who have disruptive behaviors. These systems principles will be combined with filial play therapy, directive play therapy, and child-centered play therapy principles to inform the play therapists work with this treatment population.


Upon completion of this six-hour workshop, the learner will be able to:

1.       Describe 3 family systems principles pertinent to disruptive behavior.

2.       Identify the systemic nature of disruptive behaviors and utilize play therapy interventions systemically

3.       Discuss current play therapy research on interventions for disruptive behavior disorders

4.       Identify and discuss the coercion cycle and its application to play therapy

5.       Identify the role of the play therapist at involving parents and extra-systemic adults in play therapy

6.       Identify and utilize appropriate filial/directive/child-centered play therapy tools for disruptive behavior, and

7.       Demonstrate through role play, the use of play therapy tools in various scenarios.


Registration opens July 1st!





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Cancellation Policy: Registration fee (minus $35) will be refunded only if notice of cancellation is received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the training. We regret that we cannot refund registrations after that date.

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