The use of Play Therapy with LGBT Children

Workshop Description

This program will focus on the intersection of play therapy with gender and sexual identity development. The training will highlight how play therapy inherently encourages gender and sexuality exploration. Little research has focused on best practices to allow children to safely explore their sexual and gender identity in therapy. The DSM-V has removed Gender Identity Disorder and replaced it with Gender Dysphoria for children, adolescents and adults. As part of the growing emphasis on social justice and diversity within counseling and play therapy, attention to best practices with gender diverse adults has increased, but little of this attention has focused specifically on working with children in play therapy. Techniques to assess and treat for traumatic experiences this population has experienced will be shown, practiced, and discussed. Presenter will facilitate a conversation about this emerging area of need and discuss ideas for play therapists to better advocate for these children. The presenter will provide opportunities for participants to reflect on their worries, biases, and awareness around sexual and gender identity issues with children.


Quinn Smelser, LPC, RPT-S
CE Contact Clock Hours: 6
Cost: $160 per day