<![CDATA[DFW Center for Play Therapy Training - Blog]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 12:03:23 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[National Play Therapy Week, February 5-11, 2017]]>Thu, 09 Feb 2017 22:21:57 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/national-play-therapy-week-february-5-11-2017Picture
The Association for Play Therapy (APT) is a national professional society established in 1982 to foster contact among mental health professionals interested in exploring and applying the therapeutic power of play to communicate with and treat clients, particularly children. Every year APT designates one week in February as National Play Therapy Week and encourages members to recognize play therapists and the importance of play therapy.

The mission of APT is to promote the value of play, play therapy, and credentialed play therapists. APT offers three credentials:

  • Registered Play Therapist (RPT)
  • Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S)
  • School Based-Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT)

The requirements for each credential is outlined on their web site.

The DFW Center for Play Therapy is proud to be an APT Approved Provider of Continuing Education. We offer training, at our Plano, TX center, on a monthly basis for therapists to not only earn credit toward play therapy credentialing but to feel encouraged and supported while they develop the skills needed to be an effective play therapist.

We have therapists from across the country who travel to North Texas to train at our center and network with other professionals who are passionate about play therapy. We extend an invitation to you to join us at a future workshop. Subscribe to our email list and you'll be among the first to know what workshop topics we have on our schedule.

If you have any questions about play therapy, play therapy credentialing, or the workshops we offer please contact us for more information.

<![CDATA[Playful Self-Care Strategies]]>Fri, 02 Sep 2016 18:35:53 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/playful-self-care-strategiesPicture
We hear so much about the importance of self-care to prevent burnout.  We’re encouraged to seek supervision or consultation, participate in professional development, set boundaries with clients and take vacations. We know what we need to do yet often fail to comply consistently because of lack of time, money, or motivation.

I’ve learned that in order to be the best play therapist I can be, in addition to the suggestions I've already mentioned, I need to incorporate self-care strategies into my life on a daily or weekly basis that are simple and connected to my five senses. They’re things that bring a smile to my face and peace to my life.

Scented candles and room and linen sprays appeal to my sense of smell and rubbing scented lotion on my hands appeals to my sense of touch. I have a particular fondness for anything lavender as I find it to be very calming.

Small pieces of chocolate that I slowly nibble and savor satisfy my sense of smell and taste.

Listening to music brings a smile to my face and leaves me feeling invigorated. Pandora radio is a free app and I can pick the style of music I want to hear.

Cotton socks make me feel good all over. I buy them by the bundle so I always have a new pair to grab after a particularly difficult day.  A couple of times a month, when I get home from work, I prop up my feet, pull on a new pair of socks and relax.  Just seeing them in my sock drawer is comforting to me. If you know a fellow play therapist that could use a little pampering send them a new pair of socks with instructions to put them on after a challenging day. Ask that they pay it forward by sending a pair to another therapist.

The most important way I nurture myself is to stay connected to my inner child.  I keep a favorite childhood photo on my desk.  When feeling overwhelmed I look at the photo and wonder what little girl Pam would say to big girl Pam. She often reminds me to stop and play. Whether it’s running my hands though the sand tray, scribbling with a marker or blowing bubbles I always feel better when I take her advice.

Are you nurturing and caring for yourself?  What strategies are you using? If you’re not  incorporating self-care into your day or week I challenge you to find five things, one for each of your senses, that will help you feel nurtured, cared for and prized.

<![CDATA[What Toys are Special to You?]]>Fri, 24 Jun 2016 23:16:58 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/what-toys-are-special-to-youPicture
Play therapists like to talk about the kinds of toys and play materials they use in their work with children. But, do you have some toys that are not in your play therapy room or in your portable play therapy kit? Are they toys you keep in a place where your child clients can't access them?

Perhaps they are toys that you really don't want to share with your clients because you have an emotional connection to these little treasures.

I have a corner of my desk devoted to tiny toys and assorted miniatures that are special to me. These items include a photo of me as a young child that reminds me of my roots and the values instilled in me growing up on a farm in Kansas. I have some trinkets, like an Elvis Presley bobble head, which I've picked up when traveling, things that I’ve made and items that were gifts from play therapy colleagues.  All of these little toys bring a smile to my face when they catch my eye over the course of a busy work day.

What about you? Do you have toys that are off limits to clients because they're special to you? I'd love to hear about the toys you have in your personal collection.

<![CDATA[Portable Play Therapy]]>Mon, 11 Apr 2016 13:48:03 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/portable-play-therapy
Being a portable play therapist can be challenging. It's important to select toys and materials that allow children to play out life experiences and express feelings but those items also need to be easy to tote from place to place. This kit was assembled for use with preschool aged children but is not limited to that age and could easily be adapted to use with older children.
<![CDATA[Plastic Plant Saucers Make Great Miniature Sandtrays]]>Mon, 14 Mar 2016 22:10:57 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/plastic-plant-saucers-make-great-miniature-sandtraysPicture
Plastic plant saucers, I find these at Dollar Tree Stores  each spring, work great for individual sandtrays.

They're available in 6, 8, and 10 inch sizes with 6, 4, and 3 plastic saucers per package respectively.

I use the 6 inch ones at sandtray workshops for attendees to create a miniature world. You could also use these plant saucers to create mandalas.

The plastic is very thin so I suggest you double up on them or use a small amount of sand if you don't want spills.

<![CDATA[Broken Toys in the Play Therapy Room]]>Mon, 07 Dec 2015 13:53:51 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/broken-toys-in-the-play-therapy-roomWhat should you do with broken toys in your play therapy room? Repair them? Replace them? Throw them away?

Before you dispose of a broken toy take a moment to determine if it may have therapeutic value to your clients.
<![CDATA[Using Beach Balls as a Conversation Starter]]>Sat, 08 Aug 2015 17:45:12 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/using-beach-balls-as-a-conversation-starter
<![CDATA[Adapting Dollar Store Finds to Use in Play Therapy]]>Sun, 05 Jul 2015 16:10:14 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/-adapting-dollar-store-finds-to-use-in-play-therapyPicture
Many items that are not specifically designed from a therapeutic perspective can be easily adapted and used in play therapy.

I recently found some items in the dollar bin at a Target store that were geared toward educators but once I gave them a closer look I realized they could easily be adapted and integrated into play therapy. Here's a video demonstrating how I plan on using these items with my clients.

What items have you found that were not intended for using in therapy yet were actually something that you used with your child therapy clients?   
<![CDATA[Look What You Can Make From a Pool Noodle]]>Thu, 07 May 2015 21:37:14 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/look-what-you-can-make-from-a-pool-noodlePicture
I shop regularly at Dollar Tree stores. They have so many items that can be used in play therapy. There one dollar price for every single item in the store also fits my budget.

Take for example these pool noodles. I've never been able to find them anywhere else at this low price. One a recent trip to Dollar Tree they had three different colors of pool noodles. Blue, orange green. Because i can't resist a bargain, I bought one of each color.

Are you wondering what I plan on doing with these colorful pool noodles?

After securing the noodles in my cart I headed over to the kitchen utensil aisle.      I picked up a serrated bread knife. For this project you do not want to use your good kitchen knives.

I also suggest you buy a cutting board, unless you have one at home, or at your office, that you can use.

So now you know that I am planning on cutting up these pool noodles. Any idea yet what I may be making?

After laying the pool noodle on the cutting board I took the bread knife and sliced the noodle into circles each 1 1/2 inches wide.

You can get approximately 30 circles from one pool noodle. That's only three cents a circle!


These little circles fit nicely into the palm of a hand of a young child. They can grab it tightly when angry to get their "mads" out. They can squeeze it rhythmically when they are feeling anxious.

A few years ago, as the director of the St. Louis Center for Play Therapy Training, I filmed a video about making these stress relievers from pool noodles. Kudos to Danielle Schultz of the School Counselor Blog for this awesome idea.

What have you made with a pool noodle?

<![CDATA[Don't Throw That Junk Away!]]>Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:13:14 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/dont-throw-that-junk-awayPicture
Recycle it instead! Many items that we often throw away are actually great additions to a play therapy room.

Here are some items I have recently collected: Towel tubes, lids from milk jugs and other bottles and containers, egg cartons, old phone books, clear plastic bottles with the labels removed, mushroom containers, and paper bags.

These items can be added to your art supplies or even to your sandtray miniatures. When we don't have the miniature a client needs they can create it using these discarded items.

What items do you recycle that your clients enjoy using?