Play Therapy with Children of Divorce: Helping Children Cope with Warring Parents

Heather Bryan, LPC, RPT

Program Goals

The Goal of this workshop is to provide participants with information about how to successfully implement play therapy with children who experience high conflict divorce.  Many children are referred for play therapy to help them adjust to divorce.  Divorce can leave children feeling anxious, overwhelmed and vulnerable.    Unfortunately, ongoing post-divorce conflict can make a child feel like they are caught in a bad game of tug of war.  About one fourth to one third of divorcing couples report high degrees of hostility and conflict over daily care of their children many years after separation.  High conflict divorce can have a significant impact on a child’s development and negatively impact their overall growth. Providing play therapy for children whose parents are experiencing a high conflict divorce or custody battle can be very challenging for play therapists and clinicians.   It is important to understand the impact that high conflict divorce has on children at different developmental phase.  In addition, it is important to develop the proper play therapy skills, clear polices and protocols in these kinds of cases to avoid common mistakes and to remain child centered.  This workshop will provide a solid foundation of practical knowledge, guidance and hands on play therapy interventions to help play therapist and clinicians effectively work with children who are experiencing and living with high conflict divorce.

List your measurable learning objectives here:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of important clinical information during intake to help develop an appropriate play therapy treatment plan.
  2. Participants will demonstrate an understanding of how to set and maintain firm boundaries and expectations with their client’s parents and attorneys to protect the process of play therapy.
  3. Describe how high conflict divorce impacts children at different developmental phases.
  4. Describe common play themes in children who are experiencing high conflict divorce.
  5. List 3-4 play therapy techniques that help children of high conflict divorce reach their treatment goals.

Program Schedule:

9:00-9:15 Introductions and needs assessment.
9:15-10:30 Overview of different types of divorces, definition of high conflict divorce and focus on what to do as a therapist when you receive a referral, from intake to initial session with the child.
10:30-10:45 Break
10:00 - 12:00 Models of supervision and typical supervision issues
12:00 - 1:00 Break
10:45-12:00 How children are affected across developmental domains by high conflict divorce. What to do as a play therapist and basic approaches to play therapy.
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Treatment; Case discussion, where to begin, common themes in play, specific interventions
3:00-3:15 Break
3:00-4:00 Hands on interventions and tools to utilize with clients who experience high conflict divorce/separation.
4:00-4:30 wrap up/questions

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, LPCs, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists

The program is Beginning Level

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 Provider No. 96-029).

Continuing Education Credit is pending through Commonwealth Educational Seminars for the following professions:

It is the participant's responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state. 

Psychologists:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Commonwealth Educational Seminars maintains responsibility for these programs and their content.

Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LPCs/LMHCs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Workers:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Social Workers. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for Social Workers. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

If applicable: Social Workers – New York State

Commonwealth Educational Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. #SW-0444.

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LMFTs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Nurses:

As an American Psychological Association (APA) approved provider, CES programs are accepted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). These courses can be utilized by nurses to renew their certification and will be accepted by the ANCC. Every state Board of Nursing accepts ANCC approved programs except California and Iowa, however CES is also an approved Continuing Education provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider # CEP15567) which is also accepted by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

For information about continuing education credit, fees, and deadlines for cancellations/refunds, please see https://starbrighttraininginstitute.com/. 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: starbright.inst@outlook.com

Web Page:starbrighttraininginstitute.com

References

  • Johnston, J.(2009). In the Name of the Child: A Developmental Approach to Understanding and Helping Children of conflicted and Violent Divorce. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Schaefer, C.E., & Drewes, A.A. (Eds.). (2014). The therapeutic powers of play: 20 core agents of change. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Drewes, A.A. (2011). Integrating plat therapy theories into practice. In A.A. Drewes, S.C. Bratton, & C. Schaefer (Eds.), Integrative play therapy. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Gil, E. (2006). Helping abused and traumatized children: Integrating directive and nondirective approaches. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Gil, E. (2012). Trauma-focused integrated play therapy (TF-IPT). In P. Goodyear-Brown (Ed.), Handbook of child sexual abuse: Identification, assessment, and treatment (pp. 251–278). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley

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: Myriam Goldin, LCSW; RPT-S, Director of Starbright Training Institute.

Phone:  703-980-2886.

Email: starbright.inst@outlook.com  

Web Page: starbrighttraininginstitute.com

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: Heather McTaggart Bryan, LPC, RPT

Website:  www.gilinstitute.com

Email:  HBryan@gilinstitute.com

Phone: 202-491-0998