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Sending out an SOS: Using play therapy to address compassion fatigue and burnout – April 19, 2019

April 19

$50.00 – $100.00

Sending out an SOS: Using play therapy to address compassion fatigue and burnout.

April 19, 2019

Salt Lake City Library


Play therapists are often on the front lines of working with children and families who are in crisis.  Compassion fatigue and emotional burnout are common causes for clinicians leaving the field of child and family play therapy and while play therapists are excellent at dishing out advice and interventions in self-care for our clients, we rarely take the time to do the same for ourselves. Utilizing a humanistic and person-centered theoretical framework, the presenters will help guide participants through the challenges, heartache, heartbreak, grief and loss that play therapists experience.  In this workshop, we will be exploring the difficulties of our profession as well as engaging in mindfulness, guided imagery, and expressive arts interventions while nourishing our hearts and souls in order to combat the wear and tear of our profession.  Participants will leave feeling rejuvenated and re-energized for the sacred work we do in our playrooms.

Powers of Play:

Self-Expression, access to the unconscious, catharsis, positive emotions, stress inoculation, stress management, and resilience are critical components to teaching and implementing self-care within a play therapy practitioner’s life.  Throughout the workshop, these specific therapeutic powers of play will be addressed and interventions focused on enhancing the play therapist’s understanding of and internalization of these important powers and therapeutic benefits.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe three key components of self-care in play therapy
  2. Analyze the differences between self-care and professional development in play therapy
  3. Conceptualize why it is important for the play therapist to engage in self care to decrease secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and emotional burnout
  4. Demonstrate three play therapy techniques that promote self-care
  5. Determine the therapeutic powers of play utilized in self-care play therapy interventions
  6. Explore various components of self-compassion and discuss its clinical applications and importance in working traumatized clients in play therapy


***Note that the location cannot be entered until exactly 9:00 AM

9:00 Introductions and overview

9:15-10:30:  Description of compassion fatigue and burnout including symptoms, research and common contributing factors (Powerpoint and Videos)

10:30- 10:45  Break

10:45- 12:30  Play Therapy Interventions (Powerpoint and Experiential/Hands-on)

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30- 2:45 Teaching compassion fatigue and importance of self-care to caregivers

2:45-3:00 Break

3:00- 4:30 Interventions for caregivers



Holly Willard LCSW, RPT-S is the owner of Grandview Family Counseling, a private practice in Bountiful, Utah. Holly Willard completed her Masters in Social Work from the University of Utah in 2000 and received her LCSW in 2002.  Since that time, she has worked in various clinical settings from school counseling, residential care, foster-care, outpatient clinics and private practice. Holly Willard has extensive background working with children, teens and families.  Holly is a contributor to local television news and radio.  She is a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and presents nationally on play therapy topics.  Holly Willard is the past president of Utah Play Therapy Board. Holly Willard is certified in TF-CBT and EMDR trained.


Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S is holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Throughout her career, she has specialized in providing play therapy to children, teens, and their families. She is currently the Director of Child & Adolescents at Wasatch Family Therapy. Ms. Mellenthin frequently presents professional play therapy and family therapy trainings on Attachment Centered Play Therapy and Trauma nationally and internationally as well as appears on local and national TV and radio as an expert on children and family issues.

Ms. Mellenthin is a sought after supervisor, training graduate students and interns in play therapy, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California MSW program.  She is the Past-President of the Utah Association For Play Therapy and remains an active member on the Board of Directors. She is the author of Attachment Centered Play Therapy (2019);  Play Therapy: Engaging & Powerful Techniques for the Treatment of Childhood Disorders;  My Many Colors of Me Workbook, and has authored several chapters.  In addition to being an experienced play therapist and professor, Ms. Mellenthin frequently presents professional play therapy and family therapy trainings and appears on local and national TV and radio as an expert on children and family issues.



Borgogni L, Consiglio C, Alessandri G et al. “Don’t throw the baby
out with the bathwater!” Interpersonal strain at work and burnout. Eur
J Work Organizat Psychol 2012;21:875‐98.

Baker, E. K. (2003). Caring for Ourselves: A Therapist’s Guide to
Personal and Professional Well-Being. Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association.

Kramen-Kahn, B. (2002). Do you “walk your talk”? The Maryland
Psychologist, 44(3), 12.

Meany-Walen, K. K., Cobie-Nuss, A., Eittreim, E., Teeling, S.,
Wilson, S., & Xander, C. (2018). Play therapists’ perceptions of
wellness and self-care practices. International Journal of Play
Therapy, 27(3), 176-186.

Psychotherapist Self-Care: Practitioner-Tested, Research-Informed
Strategies Article (Professional Psychology Research and Practice
31(6):710-713 · December 2000

DOI: 10.1037/0735-7028.31.6.710


April 19
$50.00 – $100.00
Event Category:


Salt Lake City Public Library
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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