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Digital Recordings

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

Average Rating:
Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S
6 Hours 12 Minutes
Audio and Video
Jan 26, 2017
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recordings


  • Interactive day of case examples, videos and hands-on techniques
  • Rebuild trust in parent-child relationship
  • Create developmentally appropriate trauma narratives
  • Tools to decrease nightmares, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts

Play Therapy is a powerful tool for children who’ve experienced trauma. It is a safe space where they can feel in control, learn how to identify and manage distressing symptoms and give language to what they are feeling within their body and mind.

In this innovative workshop, we will explore how trauma impacts the brain, the resulting impact on the parent-child relationship, as well as how to effectively treat and resolve trauma symptoms utilizing attachment-centered play therapy techniques.

By giving children opportunities to work in a child-centered setting, you will observe and document how children:

  • Utilize gradual exposure
  • Regulate affect
  • Gain knowledge of their traumatic experiences
  • Manage their experiences that can feel overwhelming or frightening

This trauma-anchored model teaches you powerful play therapy interventions. 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 and behaviors.



This online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD.



Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S's Profile

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S Related seminars and products

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 receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. Ms. Mellenthin is a published author and receives royalties. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Clair Mellenthin is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Association for Play Therapy.


  • Discover how trauma impacts brain development, and how play therapy can strengthen relationships and improve behavior.
  • Describe three complex trauma warning signs and how to assess for them.
  • Define areas of the brain affected by trauma and the resulting behavioral symptoms exhibited in children.
  • Identify attachment wounds caused by trauma and what you can do- even in the most secure parent-child relationship.
  • 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.
  • Define how attachment theory applies to play therapy and how to view family systems through the lens of attachment.
  • Discover 5 play therapy techniques in becoming more competent and confident in engaging parents in family play therapy.
  • Show an effective evidence-based play therapy technique that can treat trauma symptoms and can be used immediately with your child and family clients.


Framework of Attachment Theory

  • Rethinking the Attachment Spectrum
  • 4 Key concepts of Attachment Theory
  • Creating safety in parent-child relationship

The Brain–Behavior Relationship

  • Parts of the brain affected by trauma
  • Regulatory processing and Executive functioning
  • Impact on right brain and its behavioral consequence
  • Warning signs of trauma
  • Trauma impact on the parent-child relationship
  • Behavior and emotional challenges

Proven Play Therapy Techniques to Strengthen Parent-Child Attachment

  • Decrease whining, clinging, angry, avoidant behaviors in child clients
  • Improve family relationships and communication skills
  • Rebuild trust in the parent-child relationship
  • Promote whole-child and whole-brain healing

Play Therapy Techniques to Treat Trauma, Utilizing Attachment-Centered Therapy

  • Guided Imagery to teach distress tolerance
  • Lemon Squeezies – Full Body Relaxation to reconnect with the body, decrease trauma symptoms
  • My Many Colors of Me – Increase emotional intelligence and connect feelings to words instead of acting out behaviors
  • Inside/Outside Box – Increase self-esteem and self-acceptance
  • Telling My Story – Create age-appropriate trauma narratives
  • Maximize the role of parents and caretakers
  • Create hands-on tools to decrease trauma symptoms: flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and nightmares

Target Audience

Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Play Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists and other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      4.9

Total Reviews: 7


Margaret E

"Excellent course. Very good training."

Angie M

"THANK YOU for offering APT approved training via webcast. It is so helpful!"

Joyce S

"Excellent workshop. Would do another workshop with Claire."

Michelle M

"Really great training"

Kelly R

" very useful information. "

Jillian K

"Clair was amazing; best webinar/training I have ever been to. I learned so much and will watch/attend future trainings by her in the future."

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