Washington Association for Play Therapy

 Promoting the Healing Power of Play in Washington


*Please note that we will be hosting our Networking Events on the second Wednesday of the following months: February, April, June, August, October, and December. Specific Dates, Locations, and Topics will be announced and included below!

Upcoming events

    • March 25, 2017
    • April 01, 2020
    • OPEN

    Donate to the HOCM Recycled Art Room Promotion of WAAPT!

    • March 03, 2018
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Art Marble 21, Seattle

    • March 23, 2018
    • March 24, 2018
    • Seattle Pacific University

    WAAPT Annual Conference

    March 23-24, 2018

    Seattle Pacific University

    Friday: Breakout Sessions

    Saturday: Keynote Speaker Nick Cornett


    Friday, March 23rd:

    8:30AM-9:00AM - Registration Opens

    9:00AM-10:00AM - First Sessions 

    10:15AM-12:15PM - First Sessions Continued 

    12:15PM-1:15PM - Lunch (on your own)

    1:15PM-2:15PM-Second Sessions

    2:30PM-4:30PM - Second Sessions Continued

    Morning Sessions (choose 1):

    The Healing Nature of Sandtray Therapy: An Introduction to Sandtray Techniques and Applications 

    - Cary McAdams Hamilton, MA.MFT, LMHC, CMHS, RPT-S

    Cary M. Hamilton is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor- Supervisor, Child Mental Health Specialist, Registered Play Therapy Supervisor and mother of two. Her passion for healing children and providing educational support to parents and families is her life goal. She loves travel and discovering the natural world, particularly now through the eyes of her own children. She believes children are wise and powerful and with the right guidance they can grow into amazing successful adults and parents. A child's play is their life story of triumph and struggle, and curiosity drives them to discover, learn, and develop into their own unique beautiful self. The language of play is the heart of every child. It is their loving parents who need to learn the language of Play develop healthy and thriving relationships. 

    Workshop Overview:

    Participants will learn theoretical foundation and skills and techniques for sandtray therapy. Practical applications and how to use sandtray with a variety of populations will also be addressed.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Introduction to techniques of sandtray therapy, the principles/theories of sandtray therapy, the therapeutic process, and assessment.

    2. Applying appropriate sandtray conceptualizations to thematic and symbolic manifestations.

    3. Reviewing how to identify and articulate basic sandtray treatment plan and analysis.

    4. Demonstrating the ability to appropriately analyze and justify the use of sandtray treatment to various mental health conditions.  

    Cat, Cow, Dog: Integrating Yoga and Play Therapy for Children with Trauma
    - Kristen Hurvitz, LCSW, RPT

    Kristen Hurvitz, LCSW, RPT is a certified Yoga Calm Youth Instructor and Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher. Kristen has a private practice in Berkeley, CA and specializes in trauma, adoption, and attachment with children and adolescents ages 3-18. Kristen has lectured on somatic approaches in Play Therapy across the Bay Area. In 2018 Kristen will be the president-elect of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Association for Play Therapy.

    Workshop Overview:

    This workshop provides an overview of trauma informed yoga and somatic approaches where participants will learn how to integrate these interventions into play therapy sessions. Focus will be on working with children and adolescents with complex trauma based on current research in neuroscience from leaders in the field including: Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Bruce Perry, MD, David Berceli, MD, Peter Levine, PhD, Daniel Siegel, MD, and Stephen Porges, MD.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Explain the benefits of incorporating trauma informed yoga and somatic interventions into play therapy sessions based on current neuroscience and attachment theory.

    2. Learn to teach children how to regulate their nervous system, express emotions, and

    practice being in the present moment through somatic regulation and interoceptive awareness.

    3. Learn 3 Fight, Flight, and Freeze interventions to assist children in returning to their

    window of tolerance.

    4. Apply 3 yoga based play therapy techniques to utilize in clinical practice with traumatized children and adolescents in play therapy sessions.


    Afternoon Sessions (choose 1):

    Meaningful Moments in Play Therapy
    - Rosie Newman, MA, LMHC, RPT-S

    Rosie Newman is a child and family therapist and founder of Seattle Play Therapy, a private play therapy practice. Rosie is also the Clinical Director of the Seattle chapter of A Home Within, a national non-profit that provides free long-term psychotherapy to foster youth.

     Workshop Overview:

    This presentation will provide a basic overview of Child Centered Play Therapy and its benefits. The majority of the presentation will show in-depth case study of play therapy treatment, including pictures of therapeutic work and treatment plan information. 

     Learning Objectives:

    1.      Participants will learn a framework for understanding directive vs. non-directive play therapy and a framework for understanding when intervention may be clinically indicated

    2.      Participants will learn the value of Axline’s 8 Basic principles of play therapy

    3.      Participants will witness the course of treatment for a child receiving long term play therapy, and through example, will learn to recognize the value of symbolism and metaphor in children’s play.

    4.      Participants will receive example treatment plan information which will provide a guide for creating Child Centered Play Therapy treatment plans in practice. 


      The Complicated World of Divorce: Meeting the Needs of Children Through Yoga and Play Therapy
      - Michelle Pliske, LCS, RPT-S and Lindsay Balboa, MSSW, LCSW

      Michelle M. Pliske, LCSW RPT-S, is the founder of Firefly Counseling Services. She is an assistant professor at Pacific University and a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds certificates in synergetic play therapy, EMDR, animal assisted human health, trauma informed care, children's yoga and adoption/foster care.

      Lindsay Balboa, MSSW, LCSW, holds post graduate certifications in adoption and foster care & children's yoga. She is progressing towards her registered play therapy certification, infant and toddler mental health endorsement and animal assisted human health certification. She has extensive knowledge with navigating the legal and court systems.

      Workshop Overview:

      Divorce creates disruption in every aspect of a child’s life. Combining yoga and play therapy generates an opportunity for children to integrate complex emotions associated with changing family systems. This program addresses the physiological, cognitive and ethical processes of divorce.

      Learning Objectives:

      1. After the workshop, participants will identify three areas of the brain: Brain stem, limbic system & cortex associated with the stress response cycle and be able to successfully pair two-three reflective statements which target each one of these areas for integrated neural networking within the nervous system.

      2. After the workshop, participants will understand how to successfully combine six play therapy techniques with yoga for children to develop adaptive regulation skills. This creates the first six weeks of a support group designed for children of divorce.

      3. After the workshop, participants will increase their ability to document cases effectively and preserve the therapeutic relationship within the court process by applying two areas of the code of ethics in preparing for potential records requests or testimony within divorce cases.

      4. After the workshop, participants will learn three techniques or methods pertinent to troubleshooting difficult cases in group facilitation of children.


      Saturday, March 24th: Family Ties: Using Family Play Therapy to Loosen Binds and Strengthen Bonds presented by Nick Cornett, PhD


      8:30AM-9:00AM - Registration Opens

      9:00AM-12:15PM - Training

      12:15PM-1:15PM - Catered Lunch

      1:15PM-4:30PM - Training Continued

      4:30PM - Training Concludes and CEs Issued


      Despite the increasing recognition of the importance of family-oriented clinical practices, research suggests that children are often left out of family therapy, and families are often left out of play therapy (Haslam & Harris, 2011; Sori & Sprenkle, 2004). Come see how family play therapy can provide a developmentally-appropriate and inclusive approach for working with the entire family!


      It is imperative that clinicians seek to assess and to strengthen family relationships, particularly when working with children. Research reinforces the critical relationship between childhood family functioning and individual wellbeing throughout the lifespan (Bastiaansen et al., 2005; Felitti et al., 1998; Kessler et al., 2010; Paradis et al., 2011). However, clinicians who encounter families with young children frequently report discomfort and a lack of training in how to work conjointly with this population in ways that are developmentally appropriate and inclusive of the entire family (Doherty & Simmons, 1996; Haslam & Harris, 2011; Hines, 1996; Kranz, Kottman, & Lund, 1998; Johnson & Thomas, 1999; Phillips & Landreth, 1998; Ryan, Gomory, & Lacasse, 2002; Sori & Sprenkle, 2004; Tsai & Ray, 2011). As a result, clinicians tend to work with family members in isolation from one another, missing the potential therapeutic value of working with the entire family unit.

      As a response to these concerns, this workshop will explore how family play therapy can be utilized to assess and to strengthen family relationships. In this workshop, participants will explore rationale for using family play therapy with children and their families. We will consider how to prepare for family play therapy and to how to process family play therapy sessions. Participants will be exposed to family play therapy techniques that can be utilized with children and their families, and case examples will be provided to demonstrate applications of family play therapy.

      Learning Objectives: 

      • 1.    Participants will be able to define family play therapy.
      • 2.    Participants will be able to describe the theoretical, ethical, and research-based rationale for utilizing family play therapy with children and their families.
      • 3.    Participants will be able to articulate how to prepare themselves and families for the use of family play therapy.
      • 4.    Participants will be able to describe how to process family play therapy sessions with families.
      • 5.    Participants will be able to identify key family system dynamics that are useful for conceptualizing family play therapy.
      • 6.    Participants will be able to apply examples of family play therapy.
      • 7.    Participants will be able to describe considerations for selecting appropriate family play therapy activities. 
      • 8.    Participants will be able to identify potential challenges in implementing family play therapy.

      Bio:  Dr. Nick Cornett is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Arkansas and a Registered Play Therapist through the Association for Play Therapy. He is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Counseling Program at John Brown University, where he primarily teaches courses on working with children and families using family systems theory, family therapy, and family play therapy. In addition to teaching, Dr. Cornett maintains a small private practice. His interest in working with children and families began while completing his PhD in Counseling at North Texas, where he had the opportunity to receive extensive training, supervision, and experience in working therapeutically with young children and their families using play therapy.



      APT PROVIDER # 11-296


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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.

    Past events

    January 12, 2018 NWAPS presents Child Therapy Essentials: Healing Through Play and Relationship
    December 01, 2017 Seattle Networking Meeting: Skills and Techniques in Adjunct EMDR Sand Tray Therapy
    November 04, 2017 FSTNW presents: Meaningful Moments in Play Therapy
    October 28, 2017 2017 WAAPT Fall Conference
    September 23, 2017 Seattle Networking Meeting: Bringing Mindfulness and Yoga into the Play Therapy Room
    July 01, 2017 Call for Proposals for 2018 Conference
    June 09, 2017 Seattle Networking Meeting: Children’s Story Time: Using Bibliotherapy in Play Therapy
    May 16, 2017 Lynnwood Networking Meeting
    April 15, 2017 Seattle Area Networking Meeting: An Introduction to a Foster/Adopt Parenting Model in Play Therapy
    March 24, 2017 2017 WAAPT Annual Conference with Franc Hudspeth
    February 08, 2017 Seattle Networking Meeting: *CANCELLED & RESCHEDULED* A Brief Intro to Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health
    February 03, 2017 Tri-Cities Networking Meeting
    December 14, 2016 Seattle Networking Meeting: Play Therapy and Working with Parents
    October 29, 2016 Call for Proposals for 2017 Conference
    October 21, 2016 2016 WAAPT Fall Conference - Serious Play: Using Play Therapy to Address Depression, Anxiety, Self-harm and Suicidal Ideation
    October 12, 2016 Seattle Networking Meeting
    September 23, 2016 APT-Approved Training in Spokane
    September 07, 2016 South Sound Networking Meeting
    August 21, 2016 WAAPT Summer Picnic
    June 13, 2016 Play Therapy Certificate Program (Victoria, British Columbia)
    June 08, 2016 Seattle Networking Meeting
    May 13, 2016 The Canadian Association for Child & Play Therapy Annual Conference
    April 13, 2016 Western Washington Networking Meeting - "Play Therapist Self Care"
    March 18, 2016 WA-APT's 2016 Annual Conference with Sueann Kenney-Noziska
    March 15, 2016 The Nuts and Bolts of Child-Centered Play Thearpy
    March 04, 2016 Idaho Association for Play Therapy 2016 Annual Conference
    February 26, 2016 British Columbia Play Therapy Association
    February 26, 2016 Recognizing and Responding to Very Young Children's Mental Health Issues and those Issues' Implications for Later Play Therapy
    February 10, 2016 Western Washington Networking Meeting
    January 26, 2016 The Power of Play: Proven Strategies for Trauma and Attachment in Children & Adolescents with Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S
    January 08, 2016 Cascadia Training - Introduction to Play Therapy: Theory, Application, and Techniques
    November 18, 2015 2016 Conference Proposals
    November 13, 2015 2015 NWCPTS Fall Conference
    November 11, 2015 Networking Meeting
    October 16, 2015 Fall Conference
    July 16, 2015 July Networking Meeting: Therapeutic Uses of Sand Tray in Play Therapy
    June 01, 2015 The Northwest Center for Play Therapy Studies Annual Summer Institute
    March 27, 2015 2015 Conference Sponsorship
    March 27, 2015 2015 Annual Conference: Liana Lowenstein
    January 30, 2015 Theraplay
    January 30, 2015 CSI Book Sales
    December 08, 2014 2015 Conference Proposals
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