Supervision Issues in Play Therapy

Workshop Description

This course will explore the unique aspects of the supervisor/supervisee relationship when play therapy is being used as a primary approach by the supervisee.  In particular, attention will be placed to establishing a supervisory relationship that has clear and attainable goals.  The supervisor will be clear on the supervisee’s theoretical orientation and practice population and ensure that s/he is knowledgeable to conduct supervision.  In addition, the supervisee’s strengths and weaknesses will be discussed and target areas for supervision will be determined.  The workshop presenter will discuss typical supervision issues including ethics, dual relationships, and how to raise areas of concern and obtain corrective measures.  Finally, the play therapy supervisor guides a supervision process that often includes play therapy approaches to achieve reflection and self-evaluation.  Several ways of utilizing play therapy techniques to address counter-transference and self-care will be discussed.

  • Provide opportunities for experiential learning
  • Review the theoretical models for supervision and differentiate between supervision and consultation
  • Help supervisors understand how supervision of play therapy is unique and includes play therapy principles in supervision


The specific objectives of this course are for participants to gain and demonstrate the following content areas:

  1. Define at least two theoretical models of supervision
  2. List two ways to incorporate play and expressive therapy into supervision of a general play therapy practice
  3. List two typical areas for discussion in play therapy supervision (eg, ethics and dual relationships)
  4. Name two play therapy techniques that can be utilized to address countertransference in supervision of play therapists
  5. Name two relational/developmental issues in the play therapy supervision relationship
  6. List three variables that must be addressed in the supervision contract with a play therapy supervisee
  7. Provide one way to document or chronicle a play therapy session

Program Schedule:

The daily schedule consists of experiential work, group processing, and didactic presentations.  Participants are welcome to: 1) bring specific consultation questions regarding play therapy supervision; 2) present a portion of a videotaped session with a supervisee specifying the question of concern; or 3) raise general questions about the practice of supervision of play therapists.

Schedule of Training Day

 9:30 - 9:45 Introductions and “wish list,” discussion of expectations
 9:45 - 10:45 Demonstration of a supervisor setting up a supervision contract with a play therapy supervisee
 10:45 - 12:00 Models of supervision and typical supervision issues
 12:30 -  1:30 Lunch (provided)
 1:30 -  2:30 Participant issues or consultations re play therapy supervision
 2:30 – 2:45 Break
 2:45 – 4:00 Ethics and situations of concern in play therapy supervision
 4:00 – 5:30 Experiential exercises to demonstrate specific ways to use play and expressive therapies in supervision

Course Format

This course is designed to facilitate group discussion and processing by having a limited size (Maximum 25 participants).  There will be ample opportunities to discuss specific needs and concerns.  This course meets the six-hour requirement for renewing/obtaining play therapy certification.

The schedule may be altered slightly if needed.  However, written or lecture information will be presented in all content areas.  Each participant will receive a power point presentation, and other resource information.

Starbright Training Institute for Child and Family Play Therapy is an approved provider for the Association for Play Therapy.  This course provides 6 continuing education hours and the STI provider number with APT is # 96-029.  STI maintains responsibility for the program.With enough interest, STI may apply for CEs for licensure requirements and will participate with Commonwealth Educational Seminars.  Be sure to inquire if CEs in other areas than play therapy will be available for this specific workshop.


Drewes, A. (Ed.), (2011).  Supervision can be playful:  Techniques for child and Play therapy supervisors.  NY: Jason Aronson

Heller, S. S. & Gilkerson, L. (2009).  A practical guide to reflective supervision. Washington, DC:  Zero to Three.

Lahad, M. (2000).  Creative supervision:  The use of expressive arts methods in supervision and self-supervision.  NY:  Jessica Kingsley.


Instructor: Eliana Gil, Ph.D., RPT-S
Credit Hours: 12
Cost: $360