<![CDATA[DFW Center for Play Therapy Training - Blog]]>Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:34:35 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[A Simple Way to Encourage Connection]]>Tue, 23 Jan 2018 01:17:56 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/a-simple-way-to-create-connectionPicture
Prior to becoming a play therapist I was an early childhood educator for over twenty years. Children’s literature was a staple in my pre-k classroom. One of my favorite books was, Little Blue and Little Yellow, written by Leo Lionni. This classic has been around since 1959. The story line tells us that little blue and little yellow are best friends. When they hug each other, something special happens.

I’ve continued to use this book in my work as a play therapist especially when it comes to parent-child therapy. After reading the story I put a small pile of blue paint and a small pile of yellow paint on a paper plate. I direct the child to put a finger into the blue paint and the caregiver to put a finger into the yellow paint.

They use their fingers to slowly mix the blue and yellow colors together until something special happens. The look of surprise on the child’s face when the paint begins turns to green is delightful.

I encourage them to gradually add more fingers and eventually their entire hand. As child and caregiver squish their hands together it creates an opportunity for connection and creativity.

<![CDATA[Frequently Asked Questions About The Training We Offer]]>Thu, 24 Aug 2017 18:05:37 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-training-we-offerPicture
As the founder and director of the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training I am often asked questions about our training center and the continuing education opportunities we offer. Here are the questions I hear most often followed by my responses.

Are these trainings only for play therapists and play therapists in training or may other professionals attend?

The trainings we offer are designed for professional counselors, social workers, school counselors, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, new and experienced play therapists and graduate students interested in play therapy. The content of our trainings is presented at the graduate level.

I’m a teacher, a parent, an occupational therapist, a nurse, a child life specialist or a case manager and I am interested in being a play therapist. If I attend your trainings will I be able to practice play therapy?

Our trainings will provide you with information about play therapy but you will not be able to offer play therapy services. Play therapy services can only be provided by mental health professionals. Play therapy continuing education credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.

Is it necessary to attend an Introduction to Play Therapy before any of the others?

There are no prerequisites. You may attend trainings in any order. If you're new to play therapy, we encourage you to begin with an introductory training.

Will these trainings count toward certification in Play Therapy?

Because we are an Association for Play Therapy Approved Provider (10-269) the continuing education hours you earn at the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training can be applied toward credentialing as a Registered Play Therapist, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor or School Based-Registered Play Therapist. Additionally, APT continuing education hours may be accepted by other mental health disciplines for licensure purposes. Contact your state board for specific requirements.

What steps do I need to take to become a Registered Play Therapist, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor or School Based-Registered Play Therapist?

The credentials are conferred by the Association for Play Therapy. In addition to the continuing education hours we offer there are other requirements such as play therapy supervision and play therapy experience. Requirements are specific to each of the three credentials. Detailed information can be found on the APT Web Site
Since 2015 we have proudly offered a variety of training, in North Texas, for both beginning and advanced mental health professionals that will encourage and support you as you develop the skills needed to be an effective play therapist. All of our trainings are presented in a relaxed, experiential atmosphere at our facility in Plano, Texas. If you have further questions, or are interested in speaking with Pam Dyson regarding Play Therapy Supervision visit our Contact page. 

<![CDATA[Food Nets Make Great Sandtray Miniatures]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:46:10 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/food-nets-make-great-sandtray-miniaturesPicture
Whenever I purchase Halos Mandarins and Babybel Cheese Wheels I save the nets they're packaged in. 

These nets can be cut into square or rectangular pieces that can be used in the sandtray for themes of trapping and containing.

Let me show you what they look like when you cut them apart and how clients might use them.

This is a cake pan that can be used for a small individual   sandtray. It measures roughly 9 x 11 inches.

I filled it with Malt-O-Meal as I was at home and not at the office so I didn't have any sand available.

You can see that from the two net bags I was able to cut four small, square pieces of netting. You could also just cut each bag in half and you would have two larger rectangular sized nets.

Here's an example of how a client might use pieces of netting in a sandtray.

It might be used to trap someone or something such as a bully or a villain so that they feel protected, safe and in control.

Sometimes clients might use netting to contain themselves from being impulsive or from engaging in self-destructive behaviors.

I always have pieces of netting on hand for clients to use. Cutting apart food nets makes affordable, actually FREE sandtray miniatures, and since we're not throwing away the netting it's also environmentally friendly. Have you re-purposed food nets like this and if so, how are they being used?
<![CDATA[Play Therapy Organizing Tip]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 23:11:36 GMThttp://dfwplaytherapy.com/blog/play-therapy-organizing-tipPicture
If you're a portable play therapist or you're in need of a way to organize small items in your play room this tip is for you.

Recently, while in the toiletries aisle of a big box store searching for some travel-sized items to take on an out of town trip to facilitate a play therapy workshop, I noticed these plastic soap holders. They were priced at an affordable ninety seven cents and since it's hard for me to resist a bargain I bought several of them knowing that once I got back to my play therapy office I'd be able to find all kinds of items to store inside of them.

Here are several items I had at my office that fit perfectly inside a soap box. A deck of cards, which I often use for mutual story telling, a deck of UNO cards which can be color-coded with feeling words, and a box of crayons.

WORD OF CAUTION! If you're a portable play therapist and you live in a region of the country that gets excessively hot DO NOT store crayons in your car. Melted wax is a mess you do not want inside your portable play kit.

Other items that fit nicely inside these soap holders are dice for games, and stones and miniature people for the sandtray or for story telling.

I also realized it would be a great way to store my training center business cards when I travel to facilitate workshops in other parts of the country.

Let's hear from you. What items would you store inside these soap holders? The ideas are endless!

<![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.