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PA APT founded in 1998.

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What’s LOVE Got to Do with It? – Integrating LOVE practices into attachment focused & trauma informed play therapy

Debra Doubrava, PhD., LPC, RPT-S

    Let’s playfully, creatively, and mindfully explore an integrative approach to play therapy that

    promotes healthy attachment, trauma informed care, self-care practices and languages of

    LOVE in today’s busy, broken and beautiful world.

ABSTRACT:  The innate, psychological urge to love and be loved is as timeless as the need for children to play. In fact, love and play are so universal and common in the human experience that their power, brilliance, and magnitude can sometimes be misunderstood or missed altogether. This workshop explores the relationship between love and being a play therapist. Play therapists are on the front line with helping families who are overwhelmed, hurting or traumatized. Our job largely is to help people be in relationship with one another through practices that foster healthy connection and compassionate ways of being in todays busy, broken, and yet still beautiful world. And given the enormity of that job and the possibility of experiencing vicarious trauma, it is critical that play therapists are mindful of their own need for self-care within the clinical process. The presenter draws from an integrative theoretical orientation which includes humanistic play therapy principles and trauma-aware/attachment-based strategies for all ages. Love themed musical and literary quotations and YouTube clips are interwoven throughout for inspiration. Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages” provides a structure for organizing a variety of clinical/play therapy concepts and for experiencing mindful, expressive, and creative techniques to integrate into your own play therapy tool box. Participants can also practice self-care and find the beauty and love in their own personal and professional worlds through an introspective and projective collage-based activity. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain what it means to provide attachment focused and trauma focused care through humanistic and integrative play therapy principles

  2. Compare the “5 Love Languages” and assess how these concepts can be utilized in integrative play therapy services for all ages

  3. Demonstrate and apply at least 2 clinical concepts and expressive hands-on techniques within each of the “ 5 Love Languages”  to process trauma and loss, cultivate connection and compassion, and to promote comfort and joy for play therapy clients

  4. Identify 3 signs and symptoms of “vicarious trauma” and how it can occur in the context of play therapy services

  5. Design a collage card and explain how projective activities can be used with clients of all ages in play therapy

  6. Assess at least 3 ways that therapist can provide a loving, caring source of healing in the world of play therapy and beyond