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The Biannual UAPT Conference with Paris Goodyear-Brown – Insights and impressions

IMG_4220By Annabella Hagen, LCSW, RPT-S

Our 2014 UAPT Conference with Paris Goodyear-Brown proved to be one of the best conferences, if not the best one in years.  Regular attendees, seasoned play therapists, and those new in the field were able to enjoy the two days and come away with something of value.

Paris focused on the topic of trauma the first day and on attachment the second day of the conference.  It is difficult to summarize those two days, but it’s easy to say that after the conference was over,  we were all reminded why we do what we do and were inspired.

For some seasoned play therapists part of the delivered information may have been a review; nevertheless it was helpful and beneficial.  Paris illustrated her points with stories and videos.  There is nothing more lasting than a story, and we were able to learn of the work she is currently doing in her hometown.  She informed us of the research as it relates to the interventions she utilizes in her practice.  The tools she shared with us will no doubt enhance our ability to help our clients progress in their healing process.

Paris reminded us to teach our clients’ parents to delight in their children no matter what.  We need to continually teach parents the skills they need to help in their child’s recovery.  The work we do with our clients will have more lasting results as we involve the parents.

We were also reminded to frequently review skills with our clients.  Often parents aren’t able to follow through at home.  For instance, mindfulness skills need to be practiced regularly during sessions until children can do them on their own.

We were enlightened and recharged to continue our work with our young clients and their parents.  As we do so, let’s consider these questions offered by Paris:

What will we do to become better containers for our clients?

How do we empty those containers afterwards?

Who or what are our buckets?

What are our hot buttons that may keep us from being better play therapists?

Can you think of additional questions that not only could make you a better play therapist but the best one your clients could ever have?