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2018 Southern California Regional Play Therapy Conference

USC School of Social Work - Orange County 

2300 Michelson Drive

Irvine, CA 92612

Conference Information

Instructional Level: All


Audience Pre-Requisites: None

For complete presenter biographies, learning objectives, activity schedule or additional information regarding the conference please contact:

Who Should Attend:

Social Workers, Marriage, Family & Child Therapists, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, School Counselors, Psychologists, Students, and Interns.

Continuing Education:

This workshop meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credit for Psychologists, MFTs & LCSWs  and LPCC's.  The California Association for Play Therapy (CALAPT) is approved by the Association for Play Therapy to offer continuing education specific to play therapy (APT Approved Provider # 00-094). The California Association for Play Therapy is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Psychologists may receive 6 hours of continuing education credit for this workshop.The California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) now recognizes APA continuing education credit for license renewal for LCSWs, MFTs and LPCCs The California Association for Play Therapy maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  NO CREDIT FOR PARTIAL ATTENDANCE.

Cancellations and Refunds:

Requests for refunds must be made in writing to the CALAPT, P.O. Box  12404, Newport Beach, CA 92658 or by e-mail:  Requests must be postmarked two weeks prior to workshop date in order to receive refund. There is a $25.00 administrative fee for refunds. There are no price breaks for partial attendance.

The opinions expressed by presenters at the CALAPT events do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CALAPT Board of Directors or its membership. CALAPT reserves the right to make changes to the conference schedule, speakers and presentation, if this becomes necessary.


If you have a disability and need accommodations per ADA/504, please provide notification 2 weeks prior to workshop date

For APT Membership Information Contact: or

For More Information About the California Association For Play Therapy  visit

Early Bird Prices Available Before 2/1/18
March 2-3, 2018 - 9am-4:30pm

FRIDAY/Full Day Workshop

Using Play Therapy to Treat Attachment Disorders 

Presented by Pam Dyson, MA, LPC-S, RPT-S:

Children with traumatic early life experiences are at risk for attachment disorders. This training will help play therapists develop a fundamental understanding of how attachment impacts brain development. We will explore how play therapy interventions can assist in helping form secure attachments between children and caregivers. Video clips of attachment based play therapy sessions will be shown.

SATURDAY/AM Sessions (choose one)

[1A] Ritual Abuse: Recognition, Play Therapy, and Symbolic Communication

Presented by Ellen Lacter, Ph.D., RPT-S

This workshop describes ritual and child trafficking and how dissociation-savvy abusers psychologically manipulate victims and their dissociated self-states. Participants will learn 1) indicators of ritual abuse trauma and dissociation in children’s behavior, play, and art; 2) play therapy techniques, metaphors, and stories to intervene in such trauma with optimal psychological distance; 3) use of  protective parents as co-therapists, and 4) legal considerations with this population.

“My Mommy Drinks Too Much:”  Play Therapy for Children of Substance Abusing Parents

Presented by Kristy Schadt, MFT, RPT-S   

Alcohol and Drug Abuse profoundly impacts families, both in the present and in future generations.   The children in these families often continue the substance abuse cycle or develop other mental health issues that impact their own families in the future.  Play therapy is an important tool to help children cope with this very serious disease.  This Play Therapy workshop will use a prescriptive approach to look at this problem in families, discuss important issues that need to be addressed, and learn comprehensive ways to help families who live with the disease of Drug or Alcohol Abuse.  Play Therapy interventions will be introduced and practiced through experiential exercises. 

SATURDAY/PM Sessions (choose one)

[2A] Responding to Tragedy and Mass-Scale Disasters with Play Therapy

Presented by Janine Shelby, PhD

Large-scale traumatic events befall many children and adolescents, and play therapists are often called upon to assist survivors and indirectly exposed children. Prepare yourself to respond by learning practical tips for disclosing disastrous events to children, providing parenting interventions, offering developmentally and culturally sensitive interventions, and using play therapy coping and psychoeducation activities that correspond to Psychological First Aid modules. 


[2B]  Let Me Hear Your Voice:  Play Therapy for Children with Selective Mutism

Presented by Kimberly VanderDussen PhD,  RPT-S

Selective mutism is a debilitating diagnosis that has been poorly understood and under-researched. Play therapy as a developmentally sensitive approach is well situated to meet the needs of these children and their families from an evidenced based perspective. An overview of the disorder will be presented along with an integrated play therapy approach for treating children diagnosed with selective mutism. 


FRIDAY Schedule:

8:30am - 9:00am        Registration 

9:00am - 12:00pm      WORKSHOP

12:00pm - 1:00pm      Lunch

1:00pm - 2:30pm        WORKSHOP

2:30pm-3:00pm          Break

3:00pm - 4:30 pm       WORKSHOP

SATURDAY Schedule:

8:30am - 9:00am        Registration 

9:00am - 12:00pm      AM Sessions

12:00pm - 1:00pm      Lunch

1:00pm - 4:00pm        PM Sessions

For complete schedule breakdown by topic, please contact event coordinator.

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