Focused on training therapists in trauma recovery, education and play therapy for children.

Starbright Training Institute in Northern Virginia runs relevant, practical and integrated training programs related to play therapy and childhood trauma.


Play Therapy

Expressive therapies allow children and adults to broaden their communication by externalizing worries and concerns through symbols and metaphors. The use of expressive approaches in therapy encourage the release of creative, resilient energy in clients, which can be a powerful agent for insight and change. When families in pain begin to play together, perceptions of each other are changed, communication is accomplished in less direct ways, and individuals experience a decrease in resistance. Through laughter and play, endorphins are released and feelings of wellbeing emerge.

The Chinese characters for the word crisis are “danger and opportunity.” We are currently facing an invisible danger that has played havoc with our normal lives. We are all adjusting to a new and uncertain reality which is causing great anxiety in everyone. One of the silver linings in the midst of all the tragedy and despair has been an introspective quality about self-care, how to spend our time in useful ways, and connectivity. In spite of the fact that this will be remembered in history as one of our most challenging experiences, we might also remember an underlying sense of wanting emotional connection with others, feeling generosity of spirit, and kindness. As Mr. Rogers said, “look for the helpers,” and the heroes, and we’ve seen plenty of those already. This is also a period of creativity and thinking outside the box.

In the last few years, we have been planning to launch an educational presence online. Dr. Gil and myself have been exploring platforms, practicing, and preparing to make the shift to providing webinars to the community. We feel this is a perfect time to launch some of our programs in this new format. In the future, when the pandemic is behind us and we can begin to gather again, we will provide on-site programs as well. But we recognize that webinars do provide an alternative way of learning in the comfort of our homes.

We are proud, therefore, to announce that some of our programs will be launched in webinar formats so stay tuned as we announce the programs we believe can be delivered in this format. Your feedback is welcome. Best, Myriam

More About Our Training Programs

Play Therapy Training Programs in Fairfax, Virginia


Each program led by our experienced faculty last either 1, 2 or 3 days, with each day consisting of 6 hours of learning. Cost is $180-$200 per day.


Limited Group Size

We limit the size of each class to give you a better opportunity for experiential learning, networking and long-term learning and retention.


Experiential Participation

Each of our programs is experience-based, giving you real life opportunities to practice the principles and approaches learned in training.


Clinical Skill Building

We offer programs that emphasize conducting comprehensive assessments, focusing on children’s nonverbal communication, and designing plans to achieve therapeutic goals.

"The child's work is to gain the courage to go back to the frightening thoughts and images of the trauma and explore them in a safer environment when there is a better sense of control. The child must then gain the skills necessary to cope with what may be seen as a frightening world in which to grow up as a healthier adult."
-Karp & Butler, 1996

Explore our Programs

About Myriam Goldin, Director of Starbright Institute

Myriam L. Goldin is a Virginia Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S) with almost 20 years of clinical experience in the Northern Virginia area. It is with deep gratitude and joy that she begins her new role as the Director of the Starbright Training Institute, LLC. The founding director of Starbright Training Institute, Dr. Eliana Gil, will continue to steer and give counsel to the institute in her new role as Senior Consultant.

The clinical collaboration between Myriam and Eliana began over 15 years ago, when Myriam joined a consultation group that Eliana offered for bicultural therapists. Their partnership grew to include clinical work at Child help Children’s Center of Virginia, and co-founding of Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery & Education (GITRE), a group private practice in Fairfax, Virginia.


Myriam leverages her clinical experiences to educate others about trauma and resilience. She had taught for several years as an adjunct professor at the VCU Master’s School of Social Work. Myriam has also offered small-scale and large-scale trainings on trauma-focused integrated play therapy treatment, and the effects of trauma on learning and attachment. She has supported the professional growth of clinicians attending Starbright Institute for years and plans to continue with this rewarding task. As she begins her role as Director, Myriam is excited to deepen her commitment to training, education, and the clinical teachings of Dr. Gil.

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