Seminar Detail

The Power of Play: Proven Strategies for Trauma and Attachment in Children & Adolescents

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This event is not currently available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

Play Therapy is a powerful tool when treating children and teens who have experienced trauma. Play therapy offers the child a safe space where they can feel in control, learn how to identify and manage distressing symptoms of their trauma, and give language to what they are feeling within their body and mind. In this workshop, we will explore how trauma impacts the brain, the resulting impact on the parent-child relationship, as well as treat and resolve trauma symptoms utilizing play therapy techniques.

By giving children opportunities to work in a permissive setting, you will observe and document how children utilize gradual exposure, gain an understanding of traumatic experiences, discharge affect, and begin to manage experiences that can feel overwhelming or frightening. This trauma-anchored model shows you how to integrate prescriptive strategies as needed with child-centered play therapy. It deepens metaphor work by amplifying the child’s ability to explore the material they externalize, and provides the child with a safe, predictable environment for processing interpersonal trauma. You will learn theory and techniques that values children’s pacing, respects defensive strategies, and seeks to help children build alternative skills to cope with difficult thoughts, emotions, or behaviors.

In this innovative day-long workshop, you will walk away with creative play therapy tools to use immediately in your practice and the confidence to treat the most challenging of cases.
  1. Discover how trauma impacts brain development, and how play therapy can strengthen relationships, and improve behavior.
  2. Describe three complex trauma warning signs and how to assess for them.
  3. Define areas of the brain affected by trauma and the resulting behavioral symptoms exhibited in children.
  4. Identify attachment wounds caused by trauma and the resulting behavioral symptoms exhibited in children.
  5. Discover how play therapy can help clients heal from and move beyond their personal trauma – letting go of their victim status and embracing their new role as a survivor.
  6. Define how attachment theory applies to play therapy and how to view family systems through the lens of attachment.
  7. Discover 5 play therapy techniques in becoming more competent and confident in engaging parents in family play therapy.
  8. Show an effective evidence-based play therapy technique that can treat trauma symptoms and can be used immediately with your child and family clients.


Clair Mellenthin is a renowned author, speaker, and play therapist. She is the author of the best-selling books 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. She is a sought-after speaker, clinical supervisor, 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. Ms. Mellenthin holds a master’s degree in Social Work form 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 nation Tv and radio as an expert on children and family issues.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Clair Mellenthin is the clinical director at Wasatch Family Therapy. She is the author of My Many Colors of Me Workbook; she maintains intellectual property rights and receives royalties. Ms. Mellenthin receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Clair Mellenthin is the president of the Utah Association for Play Therapy.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

The planning committee and staff who controlled the content of this activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. For speaker disclosures, please see speaker bios.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

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