UNT play therapy conference trains clinicians in ways to strengthen parent-child relationships

Bratton Landreth
Bratton Landreth

Designed for mental health professionals who use play therapy in their practice working with children and families, the annual conference at the University of North Texas Center for Play Therapy will train attendees in a parenting group model that helps caregivers become emotional healers and therapeutic agents in the lives of children. Known as child-parent relationship training, the intervention is an evidence-based, developmentally responsive intervention aimed to enhance child-parent relationships using children's natural medium of communication: play.

"Kids are not little adults; they do not always know how to put words to the issues they may be experiencing," said Alyssa Swan, a graduate assistant at the center who also is completing her doctoral degree at the UNT counseling program. "Filial play therapy creates a safe environment for children to express themselves through play."

The workshop takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 5 and 6 (Thursday and Friday) on the first floor of UNT's Willis Library, located at 1506 W. Highland St. in Denton. Regular and on-site registration is $300 for professionals and $125 for UNT faculty, staff and students.

The event is geared toward mental health professionals interested in learning how to incorporate child-parent relationship training into their work with parents. The workshop will be facilitated by Sue Bratton, the director of the UNT Center for Child Play Therapy, and Gary Landreth, Regents Professor and founder of the UNT Center for Play Therapy.

Housed in UNT's College of Education, the Center for Play Therapy encourages the unique development and emotional growth of children through play therapy. The center provides training, research, publications and counseling, among other services.

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By Monique Bird, UNT University Relations, Communications & Marketing
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