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Digital Recording

Creating a Safe Haven for Families in the Playroom to Rest, Refuel and Replenish

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Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Audio and Video
May 13, 2022
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Media Type:
Digital Recording
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Helping families learn how to repair, restore, and create secure attachment happens as they come into the play therapy room for the first time.  Parents often feel stretched to the breaking point by their child’s emotional and behavioural distress. Rather than treating family therapy through an adult lens, learn to harness the power of play to help children (and their parents) process difficult experiences and teach families to bond in healthy ways. This recording offers a new understanding, developed through the lens of attachment theory, of how families can repair deep emotional wounds through the power of play. You’ll discover:

  • New and innovative play therapy techniques you can put into practice immediately
  • Hands-on experiential activities, and expressive arts interventions for families designed to help repair attachment wounds
  • How to successfully invite and engage parents into the play therapy process
  • How to help families understand attachment styles and what it means to bond in healthy vs. maladaptive ways


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD.



Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S's Profile

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Clair Mellenthin, LLC

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S, is an international speaker, author, psychologist, and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. 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, Family, and Trauma issues both nationally and internationally.

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 the books Attachment Centered Play Therapy; Play Therapy: Engaging & Powerful Techniques for the Treatment of Childhood Disorders; My Many Colors of Me Workbook and has authored several chapters and articles. In addition to being an experienced play therapist and professor, Ms. Mellenthin also appears on local and national TV and radio as an expert on children and family issues. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Clair Mellenthin has an employment relationship with Wasatch Family Therapy. She is a published author and receives royalties. Clair Mellenthin receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Clair Mellenthin is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Play Therapy.


  1. Evaluate the four key concepts of attachment theory and how these concepts apply to play therapy.
  2. Analyze attachment theory as it applies to play therapy to provide integrated therapeutic treatment.
  3. Practice 2 attachment-centred play therapy interventions to increase the family’s self-esteem and resiliency.


Advancing Family Treatment with Play Therapy
  • 4 key concepts of attachment
  • Blending attachment theory with play therapy
  • Attachment patterns across the lifespan and impact on parent/child relationship
  • Risks and limitations
Invite Parents to Play
  • Engagement strategies to strengthen parent/child relationship
    • Build rappaport and make room for parents in the playroom
      • Sand tray, genograms, play-based treatment planning
    • Establish boundaries and set expectations
    • Encourage participation
Attachment-Centred Play Therapy Strategies
  • Treatment of relational trauma – Attachment, wounding, and ruptures
    • Parent/child relationship cycle
    • Generational attachment patterns
      • Catch me if you can
      • Two hands

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Mental Health Clinicians
  • Play Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • School Counselors
  • Social Workers


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