Play Therapy with Traumatized Children and Teens

This experiential, online training teaches play therapists and mental health professionals to use a neuroscience and attachment-informed framework integrating play therapy and expressive arts through different phases of treatment.

July 16, 2022
8:00 am – 4:00 pm Pacific Time Zone




expressive arts and play therapy

Do you work with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma?

Play therapy and expressive arts is an amazing and trauma sensitive way to  empower your young clients to be the heroes in their healing journey.  Your clients can access traumatic experiences and resolve the negative impact of trauma through these experiential modalities.  They will not only overcome the negative impact of trauma, but they will also learn to thrive. 

It’s important to make sure you have a theoretical lens and framework to guide your play therapy and expressive arts interventions. This training will not only teach you techniques and activities to use; it will teach you a framework grounded in theory and informed by research using neuroscience and attachment theory.

Children and teens impacted by traumatic experiences struggle with emotion regulation and managing traumatic memories.

  • They have difficulty trusting others and engaging in healthy relationship behaviors.
  • They struggle with shame and negative core beliefs about themselves, others, and relationships.
  • The impact of trauma is pervasive.

The good news is that children and adolescents can heal and thrive when using the right treatment approach. Play therapy provides the ability to meet the needs of children and adolescents for healing.

Using a neuroscience and attachment theory lens with play therapy provides the ideal framework to facilitate healing for your young clients. 

Through the use of clinical interventions, you can target key areas of your client’s functioning impacted by the traumatic experience. 

Play therapy and expressive arts provides a way to use those clinical interventions and help children and teens engage in the recovery process. 

Respecting culture and diversity during the play therapy process is critical for helping children heal and engaging parents in the transformation process. 



expressive arts and play therapy

You’ll learn to recognize symptoms of trauma and the developmental impact of trauma to guide your decision-making process about what type of play therapy and expressive arts interventions to use with your clients.

expressive arts and play therapy

You’ll learn the four phases of treatment and your role during each phase of treatment to help your clients address the impact of trauma.

play therapy and expressive arts

You’ll learn play therapy and expressive arts activities to use in each phase of treatment.

play therapy and expressive arts

You’ll also understand the importance of engaging parents/caregivers in the treatment process as therapeutic agents of change and respecting the culture, values, and traditions of the family.

Play Therapy with Traumatized Children and Teens

What are the training objectives? 

  • Describe Polyvagal Theory and the role of neuroception circuits in assessing threat in the play therapy process
  • Explain the neuroscience of trauma and emotion regulation to identify trauma triggers in the play therapy process 
  • Describe the relationship between emotion regulation and co-regulation with caregivers/parents in the play therapy process  
  • Describe the different types of memory and memory storage and its relationship to trauma triggers and mentalization in the play therapy process
  • Describe at least 5 trauma symptoms manifested by children and adolescents
  •  Explain the role of therapist and purpose of each phase of treatment for trauma recovery in the play therapy process
  •  Demonstrate at least two play therapy or expressive arts activities for each phase of treatment

When is it?  July 16, 2022

What time is it?  8:00 am – 4:00 pm Pacific Time Zone.
Please make sure you adjust for your time zone so you don’t miss the training. The training begins promptly at 8:00am Pacific time (Los Angeles time zone) and access will be locked at 8:15 am. No refunds will be given if you are not present before 8:15 am Pacific time.  

Where is it?  Online    

Who is appropriate for this training? Clinical Social Workers, School social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, school counselors, play therapists, expressive arts therapists  

What’s the experience level recommended? Intermediate level.
This training is recommended as intermediate level because there is an assumption that the participants will have a basic understanding of diagnoses and the impact of trauma on children and adolescents. It also assumes participants will have experience working with children using play therapy.  

Cancellation Policy: Written communication to Cathi Spooner at is required one week before the training date no later than midnight Pacific time on 07/09/2022. No refunds will be given after that date. Please make sure you adjust the start time for your time zone because no refunds will be given if you are not present when the training begins. The training will be locked at 8:15 am Pacific time zone.  

  • Participants will attend virtually using Zoom
  • Participants will be limited to 50 people and must keep their cameras on at all times to ensure active participation in the training.
  • Participants must be visible for the entirety of the training time (excluding breaks) and will complete an evaluation form and a post-test quiz containing a combination of 42 multiple choice/true-false questions and an 85% proficiency is expected to receive CE credit. 

Continuing Education Credit is available for the following organizations:

6 Non-Contact CE hours, APT Approved Provider #20-621
 This workshop meets APT’s definition of “Live Webinar”

CEs are only available for mental health professionals

6 hours NASW Utah Chapter, currently pending

For mental health professionals pursuing a Registered Play Therapy (RPT) credential, this training fits into Category 3: Play Therapy Skills and Methods.

Here’s the rationale for Category 3: the seminal and historically significant theories underlying this training is Child Centered Play Therapy/Humanistic because the use of the therapeutic relationship is critical for the change process using with an attachment and neurobiological “lens”. Ecosystemic/Prescriptive play therapy models provide a framework for integration of theories to individualize the interventions used to meet the needs of individual clients. This training uses these seminal and historically significant theories as the foundation for the inclusion of neuroscience to inform the treatment process and use interventions based on the needs of each client/family within a safe, strong therapeutic.

Play therapy credit cannot be awarded to non-mental health professionals

RELEASE: By registering for this training, you are giving permission for Renewing Hearts Counseling & Consulting (RHCC) to use any photographs (screenshots) that are taken at the event containing your likeness for as long as RHCC deems appropriate and desirable. Photographs may be used on the RHCC website, social media pages, and/or newsletter for any purpose. By completing the registration, you are also consenting to waive any rights to the photographs indefinitely. You also agree to allow your feedback and comments in the chat and evaluation form may also be used for future promotions as deemed appropriate and desirable by RHCC. If you do not wish to have your photo used, it is your responsibility to notify RHCC of your request to be omitted.  

Cathi Spooner LCSW, RPT-S

Helping child/adolescent mental health professionals successfully and confidently integrate play and expressive arts into clinical practice. Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor experienced to help mental health professionals using a neuroscience and attachment lens in clinical work with children, adolescents, and families. Author of Attachment-Focused Family Play Therapy: A Intervention for Children and Adolescents After Trauma (Routledge). Proud mother of two amazing young adult men, wife, and dog mommy who loves nature and the outdoors. 

Cathi Spooner

What People Have Said About Cathi's Trainings

"Cathi knows SO much about neurobiology, sometimes I get lost during that part, but it is also so informative and important to know the underlying process of everything.

A takeaway for me that was really important was the clinical decision making piece that I need to let parents know what to expect and what is expected of them and be very purposeful in how and when I do or don't use them"

Jess B. 


Play Therapy with Traumatized Children and Teens

July 16, 2022  •  8:00 am – 4:00 pm Pacific Time Zone

Copyright Renewing Hearts Counseling & Consulting 2022