Technological Advances, Considerations, and Ethics in Play Therapy

Program Goals

The goal of this workshop is to provide an introduction to technology in the playroom for clinicians of all backgrounds and comfort with technology. This training intends to generate general understandings and discussions about the innovative, and at times controversial, world of technology. Child’s play has transformed in the past decade due to a sociocultural shift towards technology. It is important as child mental health professionals to understand how these changes impact child clients’ lives and play therapy treatment, regardless if clinicians decide to integrate innovative techniques in the playroom. Additionally, it is essential that clinicians understand the standards and ethics with incorporating technology in play therapy sessions. The training will focus on a review and discussion of technological standards and ethics outlined in the Association for Play Therapy Best Practices document and various national boards.Participants will have the ability to engage in active discussions and experiential learning with technological interventions throughout the training.Participants are encouraged to bring a tablet, laptop, and/or smartphone for technology and play therapy exploration.

Program Schedule

The schedule will consist of lecture, discussions, and experiential work.

9:00 – 9:30Introductions, needs assessment, and questions to consider regarding comfort with and incorporation of technology in play therapy
9:30 – 10:00Technological evolution, discussion of literature and research, current technological trends at school and home
10:00 – 10:45Technology use in psychotherapy and play therapy– research and interventions
10:45 – 11:00BREAK
11:00 – 11:15Technology use in psychotherapy and play therapy – research and interventions (continued), tips for increasing comfort with technological interventions
11:15 – 12:00Collaborative activity and discussion of proponent views, opponent views, and challenges with incorporating technology in play therapy sessions
12:00 – 1:00LUNCH
1:00 – 1:45How to communicate with caregivers about the benefits of technology use in play therapy, internet safety, setting limits with technology
1:45 – 2:30Break out session – review of standards and ethics by discipline, group discussion regarding discipline specific ethics, review and discussion of APT’s Best Practices document on Use of Technology in Play Therapy.
2:30 –2:45BREAK
2:45 – 3:45Break out session - experiential vignette and technological intervention exploration
3:45 – 4:15Large group discussion, additional technological intervention exploration
4:15 – 4:30Wrap Up and Questions

Course Objectives

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

  • Describe the new age world of technology for children and how this influences play therapy.
  • Identify three research findings relative to positive impacts of technology on child’s play and incorporation in play therapy sessions.
  • Identify three research findings relative to negative impacts of technology on child’s play and incorporation in play therapy sessions.
  • Demonstrate three innovative technological interventions applicable for the playroom.
  • Identify two ways to communicate the use of technology in play therapy to caregivers.
  • Identify the current standards and ethics to consider when incorporating technology in play therapy.

General Course Information

This course is limited to 20 participants and is designed to facilitate experiential work, group discussion, and review the present literature and practice regarding technology and play therapy.  Participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their specific needs and clinical questions.  Participant feedback and participation will be sought out throughout the day.

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

This event is co-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).

Additional CE units, not specific to play therapy, will be provided through the Commonwealth Educational Seminars (  There is an additional $25 fee for those professionals interested in continuing education clock hours for social work, counseling, MFT, and psychology. Checks are made out to Starbright Training Institute (or cash paid at training, no credit cards).

Eliana Gil, Ph.D., is Director of Starbright Training Institute.  Phone:  703-980-2886.  Email:  Web Page:

Course Instructor Contact Information

Name:  Rachel A. Altvater, Psy.D., LCPC, RPT.  Dr. Altvater is a Registered Play Therapist and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.  She currently works at Gil Institute.

Phone: (443) 478-3619