Andrea Driggs McLeod

Program Goals

This workshop is designed to provide a basic understanding of the historical development of play therapy as a legitimate therapeutic approach, describing the major theories of play therapy, and Axline’s foundational principles of child-centered play therapy, along with special considerations for the school setting.  This workshop will then demonstrate how directive and nondirective approaches in play therapy can be used separately or in unison and participants will have experiential opportunities to practice several play therapy principles and approaches that will enhance theory practices in educational settings. In addition, information will be provided on how play therapy strategies can be utilized to promote and advance therapeutic goals when working with a range of behavioral problems and concerns.  Specifically, this program will:

  • Define play therapy and provide curative aspects of play;
  • Provide theoretical frameworks for the practice of play therapy;
  • Discuss a contextual approach for providing play therapy;
  • Differentiate between directive and nondirective play therapy approaches and discuss an integrative approach;
  • Describe Axline’s basic principles of play therapy;
  • Provide guidelines for the active observation, documentation, and processing of play metaphors, symbols, and activities;
  • Offer a rationale for the integration of expressive therapies and cognitive behavioral strategies;
  • Offer opportunities for consultation of specific clinical questions utilizing verbal, audio, or video case presentations.
  • Provide adaptations for the school setting
  • Discuss benefits and limitations to providing school based play therapy

Course Objectives

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

  • Name two major theories of play therapy;
  • List four of Axline’s basic principles of play therapy;
  • Define play therapy and differentiate from generic play;
  • Give a rationale for the integration of play therapy and other expressive techniques  with cognitive behavioral strategies;
  • Describe three specific play therapy techniques to be utilized for assessment;
  • Give an example of how specific therapy goals can be advanced through the use of play therapy;
  • List two benefits of play therapy;
  • List three ways play therapy can be adapted for the school setting
  • List three benefits and limitations to utilizing play in the school setting


Andrea Driggs McLeod is a full-time psychotherapist with Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education.  Previously she spent many years working in the DC public school system and specializes in working with young traumatized children and their families. Andrea is a Certified Child-Centered Play Therapist, a Foundational Level Theraplay Practitioner, and a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. Phone: 513-312-8609  Email:  Website:

General Course Information

This course is limited to 15 participants and is designed to facilitate experiential work, group discussion, and processing of clinical material. Participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their specific needs and clinical questions. Participant feedback will be sought out throughout the day.

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

Target audience is Mental Health Professionals, Social Workers, Psychologists, etc. The program is Beginning 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.


Web Page:


Athena A. Drewes

Blending Play Therapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Evidence-Based and Other Effective Treatments and Techniques. 2009

Dee Ray

Advanced Play Therapy: Essential Conditions, Knowledge, and Skills for Child Practice 1st Edition. 2011.

Judith S. Beck

Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Second Edition: Basics and Beyond 2nd Edition. 2011.

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: your name, email, and phone. 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: Andrea McLeod LCSW, RPT-S. Andrea is a Certified Child Centered Play Therapist, is a foundational level Theraplay practitioner, and is a Registered play therapy supervisor. . She currently works at Gil Institute.
Phone: 513-312-8609