Assessing, selecting, and implementing an integrated play

Eliana Gil, Senior Consultant

Workshop Description and Goals

Over the years, more and more innovations in play therapy approaches and models have been originated and weaved into contemporary practice of play therapy. Most play therapists seek trainings and certifications in a variety of topics and many clinicians are thus challenged to integrate a variety of diverse, creative, and noteworthy approaches. This workshop is structured to provide a novel way of assessing the needs of the family so that treatment goals and formats become apparent based on a comprehensive view of family needs. Specifically, the workshop presenter will discuss how clinical decisions about how to advance treatment goals are informed by assessment, how models and approaches are selected, and how a prescriptive and integrative model can be flexible, child-focused, and family-based.

Program Schedule

This eight-hour workshop will include didactic presentations, group discussions of clinical play therapy material, and some experiential work.

This course is presented in two virtual installments.

Day One

10:00 – 11:30  Assessment of children using overlapping lenses of individual, Attachment, and social development

11:30 -  11:45  BREAK

11:45 -  01:15  Clinical case discussion to allow group members to explore the application of assessment lenses to developing treatment choices that suggest varying formats.

01:15 -  2:00    LUNCH

02:00 – 3:30    Review of play therapy theories, models, and evidence-based modalities

3:30 -  3:45    BREAK

3:45 -  5:15   Clinical case discussion regarding selection based on family needs, availability of family members, risk factors, and urgent variables. Questions and Answers

Workshop Objectives

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • List two of the three overlapping lenses when assessing children for play therapy
  • Give two examples of what variables might play a part in choosing one play therapy intervention versus another
  • Name two ways that you can describe yourself so that parents know that you will be flexible in your play therapy approach
  • Identify two ways that play therapists can select the most appropriate play therapy strategy based on conceptualization of family concerns
  • List two foundational theories that could be used in an integrated fashion
  • Define Pair Therapy and state two reasons why play therapists may choose to provide this dyadic work
  • Name two evidence-based attachment programs that play therapists might suggest when there are insecure attachments
  • List two reasons to use expressive therapies, including play therapy, when working with children’s behavioral concerns


Crenshaw, D. A., & Kenney-Noziska, S. (2014). Therapeutic presence in play therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 23(1), 3143.

Erskine, R. G. & Trautmann, R. L.  (1996) Methods of an Integrative Psychotherapy, Transactional Analysis Journal, 26:4, 316328,DOI:10.1177/036215379602600410

Nichols, W. (2001).  Integrative Family Therapy. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration,11(3).  DOI:10.1023/A:1016650132579

Schaefer, C. E. (2001). Prescriptive play therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 10(2), 57–73.

Shelby, J. S., & Felix, E. D. (2005). Posttraumatic Play Therapy: The Need for an Integrated Model of Directive and Nondirective Approaches. In L. A. Reddy, T. M. Files-Hall, & C. E. Schaefer (Eds.), Empirically based play interventions for children (pp. 79–103). American Psychological Association.


Eliana Gil, Ph.D. is Founder and Partner of Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education and Senior Consultant of Starbright Training Institute.

Phone:  202-257-2783.  Email:  website: and

General Course Information

This day training will facilitate experiential work, group discussion, and processing of counter-transference material.  Participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their specific needs and clinical questions.  Participant feedback will be sought out throughout the two- day program.

Clinical case discussions will adhere to HIPPA regulations regarding client confidentiality.

Target audience is Mental Health Professionals: Registered Play Therapists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed marriage and Family Therapists.

The program is Intermediate Level and assumes participants have a working knowledge of family systems theory as well as foundational theories about expressive therapies in general and specifically play, sand, and art therapy.

This event is sponsored by Starbright Training Institute.  Starbright Training Institute is approved by the Association for Play Therapy to offer continuing education specific to play therapy (APT Approved Provider No. 96-029).

Myriam Goldin, LCSW; RPT-S, is Director of Starbright Training Institute.  Phone:  703-980-2886.  Email:   Web Page:

Grievance Policy

Starbright Training Institute seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to: Myriam Goldin, LCSW; RPT-S, Director of Starbright Training Institute.  Phone:  703-980-2886.  Email:   Web Page:

Grievances would receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.

Accommodations for the Differently Abled

Starbright Training Institute’s training facilities are handicap accessible. Individuals needing special accommodations please contact the Director of Starbright Training Institute. See contact information above.