I was very pleased that I had the opportunity to attend the Paris Goodyear-Brown conference on September 12th and 13th. Even though each day was filled with 6 hours of lecture, I was surprised at how quickly the day went and how energized I was to try some of the techniques Paris had given. Also this was my first Utah Association for Play Therapy conference and I was impressed with the quality of the conference and the camaraderie I felt with fellow child and play therapists.
The main take-away of this conference for me was when she explained what she and her colleagues did during last summer with “Camp Secure” and how they used the attachment model applied to play therapy to lower the anxiety levels of those children with trauma history. I felt that this spoke to me the most as a clinician and child therapist in how I can apply attachment more in my practice at Redwood Family Therapy in Saratoga Springs.
Another thing that I enjoyed about the conference was the many practical ideas and ways Paris gave us to fill our tool belts in everyday situations. Many of her ideas may not have been new or unique but she was able to give me new ways to approach my clients in turn opening up the relationship in ways that I could really build a better therapeutic and trusting bond with them. For example, Paris stressed the importance of looking at just one new thing that each of us would apply differently in our everyday work with children. A couple areas that I thought about including more in my practice that I hadn’t thought about before was the use of music and the healing affects of essentials oils. Overall I was pleased that I took the time to attend these two days to reconnect with why I became a child therapist and gain a new outlook on how I can better use play as a therapist.