Spotlight on ...

Carla R. Petroski

What I do for the board:

I am new to the board and have recorded Board meeting notes when the secretary could not attend. I have also given some playful ideas for our conference along with getting all the items for the presenter baskets, which was tons of fun. I am excited to be flexible and also help the board where needed.


Why and when I joined the board:

I was voted in at the 2019 PA APT conference at Penn State.  I joined because I have been a play therapist for 12 years and felt it was time to get involved. I have seen all the hard work that other officers and board members in the past have contributed and wanted to be a part of that. I am very excited to begin! I would like our conferences to be educational, playful, interesting and have some new topics. I like people and networking and want to increase playfulness at the conference as well as attendance.

I play at (where I work and what I do for fun):

I am the only play therapist at Thoughtful Wellness a small private practice in Ephrata, PA nestled in the heart of Lancaster County, where the famous Doneckers Restaurant used to be. 

FOR FUN I love to learn and love going to play therapy classes- no, really. I am a sponge for info/learning. I garden and collect antiques (great antiques in Lancaster county and an hour from Reading in Zionsville, just in case anyone is interested- lol). My husband and I love to dance and have incorporated ballroom, swing dance, free style and polka into being versatile to many styles of dancing. Look out World of Dance - ha ha.


Where I learned to play (school/trainings):

This is such a funny story. In grad school at Temple I learned many kinds of therapy and thought, I could never do Play Therapy because I talk a lot and would never be able to be quiet to observe play for a long time or to let the child direct the play to let their subconscious talk. However, I went to ballroom dances and met a play therapist there. She told me if I ever needed a job to call her. I got my LSW November of 2011 and started to work and learn from her December 2011. I was smitten. I have a great passion for play therapy and began taking many classes to learn and continue to learn about play therapy.


Why play therapy:

I have seen how play therapy heals children and it is such a tremendous feeling to be a part of that process, as well as to be a small part of a child’s life for just a little while. I always say I am going to write a book called, ‘They Said What”- but I need to be able to have an audio book to capture the intonation in the kiddos’ voices.

My favorite play therapy book (why?):

WOW- my favorite play therapy book, maybe too many to mention but I love Liana Lowenstein’s workbooks for children of trauma, divorce, sexual abuse, etc., Eiliana Gil’s books on trauma,(Working with Children to Heal Interpersonal Trauma - The power of play), Dottie Higgins Klein’s Mindfulness- Based Play-Family Therapy, For Supervisors- Supervision Can Be Playful by Athena A Drewes and Jodi Ann Mullen. WHY? I have read and used these books many times for interventions in play therapy sessions for clients.


My favorite children’s book:

No Matter What. Big will love Little, no matter what happens, even if Little turns into a bug or a huge crocodile.


My favorite play therapy technique:

Really! Really! We have to have just one! I am going to say CCPT - Child Centered Play Therapy because I work with various ages, but really prefer the younger children (ages 2-7)  and this technique works wonderfully for that age. I also have a great passion though, for sand tray work.


My favorite play therapy quote:

“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.” Charles Schaefer.

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