Assessment of Children with Sexual Behavior Problems: Integrating Play Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Approaches

Program Goals

This two-day intensive is designed to provide information about children with sexual behavior problems (SBP) and provide a context for responding to them and their families utilizing play therapy strategies in a purposeful way.  Emphasis will be placed on conducting an assessment that identifies children’s problem perceptions and behaviors through a variety of directive and nondirective play therapy techniques.  A specific assessment format will be highlighted called the Assessment of Sexual Behavior Problems in Children (ASBPC), which uses specific play therapy activities. Participants will have the opportunity to practice play therapy activities in small groups. A copy of the ASBPC curriculum will be provided to all participants.  

Specifically, this program will:

  • Define sexual behavior problems in young children
  • Present a way to assess children’s sexual behavior problems utilizing play therapy approaches and activities
  • Provide four or five examples of play therapy assessment strategies
  • Discuss challenges in working with children with SBP and how those challenges can be reduced by incorporation play therapy
  • Highlight the use of assessment results in developing treatment plans that employ play therapy to advance clinical progress
  • List a rationale for integrating play therapy with CBT approaches

Program Schedule

The daily schedule will consist of didactic presentations, experiential work, clinical case presentations, and group work to process specific clinical presentations.

Schedule of Day 1

9:00 – 9:30 Introductions and needs assessment: Participant’s “wish list”
9:30 -10:45 Definition of sexual behavior problems
10:45 -11:00 Break
11:00 -12:00 A rationale for our specific assessment model
12:00 - 1:00 LUNCH
1:00 - 2:30 ASBPC: Basic Elements
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 - 5:00 Experiential Exercises

Schedule of Day 2

9:00 – 10:30 The structure and format of assessment
10:30 - 10:45 BREAK
10:45 - 12:00 Special challenges in conducting assessment of young children
12:00 - 1:00 LUNCH
1:00 - 2:30 Considerations in report-writing and reporting out
2:30 - 2:45 BREAK
2:45 - 5:00 Experiential Activity; Questions and Answers, Wrap up

Course Objectives

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

  1. List three play therapy assessment tools
  2. List two challenges during assessment of children with sexual behavior problems and how those can be decreased by using play therapy interventions
  3. List two ways in which assessment informs play therapy treatment planning
  4. List a rationale for utilizing play therapy approaches during assessment

Participant References

Friedrich, W. N. (2007). Children with Sexual Behavior Problems. New York: Norton

Gil, E. & Johnson, T. C. (1993). Sexualized Children: Assessment and Treatment of Sexualized Children and Children who Molest. Launch Press.

Silovsky, J. F., Swisher, L. M., Widdifield, Jr., J. & Burris, L. (2011). Clinical considerations when children have problematic sexual behavior. In Paris Goodyear-Brown (Ed.), Handbook of child sexual abuse: Identification, assessment, and treatment (pp. 401-428). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

General Course Information

This course is limited to 10 participants and is designed to facilitate group discussion, processing of clinical material, as well as to provide some opportunities for experiential work.  Participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their specific needs and clinical questions.  Participant feedback will be sought out throughout the three day experience.

Monographs or CDs will be provided to each participant with resource information and supplemental reading material.  Clinical case discussions will adhere to HIPPA regulations regarding client confidentiality.

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

Starbright Training Institute conducts two or three-day Intensives throughout the year.

Target audience is all Mental Health Professionals.

The program is: Beginning Level, Intermediate Level, Advanced Level.

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

Additional CE units, not specific to play therapy, will be provided through the Commonwealth Educational Seminars (  There is an additional $30 fee for social work, counseling, MFT, and psychology CEs and checks are made out to Starbright Training Institute (or cash paid at training, no credit cards).

For information about continuing education credit, fees, and deadlines for cancellations/refunds, please see It is the participant's responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.

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

Grievance Policy

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) 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: Dr. Jennifer Shaw,,  703.402.7232. 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.

Course Instructor Contact Information

Name: Dr. Jennifer Shaw




Phone:     704.402.7232