annual conference

*Registration deadline: October 29th*

Registration for 2018 Annual Conference
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Date: November 2-3, 2018

Location: Simmons Great hall, John Brown University, 2000 W. University St., Siloam Springs, AR 72761

time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS: 6 CE hours per day / 12 CE Hours total

cost:  1 DAY: ARAPT MEMBER $110, Non-member $210, Student member*** $60, Student non-member $110

            2 DAY: ArAPT Member $185, Non-member $285, Student member*** $85, Student non-member $135

***To be a member of the Arkansas Association for Play Therapy, a person must be a “Professional” or “Affiliate” member of the Association for Play Therapy. The free “e-student” membership provided by APT does not include state branch membership.

Click here to join APT.

Day 1

Morning Workshops

*Option 1:

Directive and Nondirective Play Therapy Approaches to Changing Maladaptive Schema

Chuck Romig, PhD, LPC, RPT and Tessa Hastings, MS, LPC-S, RPT-S

Summary of Workshop

Schema ¬focused play therapy uses play therapy experiences to cultivate the development of healthy core beliefs, mood states, and coping styles. Emerging maladaptive core beliefs can be modified through directive and nondirective play therapy, resulting in better emotional and behavioral regulation and a healthier identity. By fostering the development of healthy schema, children can also learn to manage difficult emotional states, which are called ‘modes,’ and adaptive coping styles for relating to the world around them. Identifying and targeting maladaptive schema early in the early stages of psychosocial development promotes a deeper level of change. Maladaptive schema are formed as a result of early life experiences, particularly trauma, neglect, and/or unmet psychosocial developmental needs. By targeting change at emerging maladaptive schema¬, play therapy helps children develop a healthier sense of self, a more trusting view of other people and a more positive way of viewing the world, which results in healthier overall development. Workshop participants will learn how to use schema in their particular play therapy lens as part of writing treatment plans, selecting interventions, and assessing change. Case presentations will be used to illustrate these processes. Nondirective and directive play therapy techniques will be described in detail. Specific, hands-on techniques will be interspersed during the presentation to illustrate ways to change common maladaptive schema. Participants will have ample opportunity to participate in discussion.


1: Attendees will be able to describe common maladaptive core beliefs, modes and coping styles.
2: Attendees will be able to summarize how to use intake information and observations of play behavior to interpret play themes and identify emerging maladaptive schema.
3: Attendees will be able to explain how play therapy techniques target maladaptive schema.
4: Attendees will contrast directive and nondirective play therapy techniques for altering maladaptive schema.
5: Attendees will be able to integrate the schema framework into play therapy practice.

*Option 2:

mindful movement: Integrating play therapy to teach mindfulness, yoga, and breathing to all ages

Jen Hartman, LAC and Bonni Behrend, PhD, LPC

Summary of Workshop

As the research on mindfulness grows, so does its use as a buzzword. This training aims to briefly review what mindfulness is and why it matters to play therapy; demonstrate ways to teach yoga and mindfulness that are playful and healing with individuals, groups, and in guidance lessons; practice teaching these strategies; and discuss ways to carve out space in our own busy lives to practice what we’re preaching—the importance of slowing down, being present, experiencing joy, and letting go. Opportunities to collect data and use assessments will also be discussed.


  1. Attendees will be able to describe how to integrate play therapy strategies for teaching yoga, mindfulness, and breathing for students/clients of all ages. 

  2. Attendees will be able to apply play therapy techniques and demonstrate how to use these strategies with individuals and groups. 

  3. Attendees will learn how to integrate these practices into their own self-care as play therapists.

afternoon Workshops

*Option 1:

tips and tricks for school-based play therapy

Rachel Olienyk, MS, LPC-S, RPT-S, DCC

Summary of Workshop

Finding it difficult to implement play therapy in the schools? Here’s a session for you! I will unpack my tips about how to organize a mobile play room, introduce how play therapy materials such as games, puppets, sand tray, and toys can be utilized in small spaces, and offer ideas on techniques to use for each of these materials. Finally, we will discuss how each of these play modalities increases positive outcomes in brain developent and social/emotional growth for the child; therefore, making it easier to write that note afterwards! Play therapy isn’t always easy at schools, but it can still be fun!


  1. Describe how to pack and to organize a play therapy room for on-the-go.

  2. Identify specific play therapy materials and the basic tenets of how to use them therapeutically. 

  3. Apply specific play therapy techniques that can be used with each play therapy material presented. 

  4. Define how play therapy techniques fit into the child’s development for easier note writing.

*Option 2:

playful ways to help the dysregulated child

Heather Chapman-Henry, LCSW, RPT

Summary of Workshop

Whether a client is referred to you because they are anxious, have ADHD, are on the Autism spectrum or are displaying difficult behaviors, play therapy techniques can be used to help the parent and client gain a new sense of calm and confidence. Attend this fun and hands-on play therapy training to learn more about dysregulation and causes of related behavior; learn tips to help parents and kids recognize dysregulation as it occurs; learn play therapy techniques to use with the child and family to improve focus, reduce anxiety and decrease negative behaviors. These play techniques can be used immediately with a client of any age.


  1. Define dysregulation, several causes and what is behind the behavior

  2. Describe tips to help parents and kids identify when they are dysregulated

  3. Apply at least 3 new play therapy techniques to help the dysregulated child and their family

Day 2


Play Therapy Across the Lifespan: Treating Children, Teens, and Adults

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S

Summary of Workshop

Play therapy is not just an effective therapeutic approach for young children, it is also a powerful tool for use with teens and adults as well!  Across ages and stages, play therapy helps clients to bring awareness of feelings, make sense of thoughts and emotions, increase understanding of self and others, and improve social and emotional functioning.  Attend this fun and hands on play therapy training to explore how you can apply play therapy techniques with any client, regardless of age or presenting symptom.   We will explore the power of play, developmentally appropriate play and interventions, how to strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence.  You will leave with a toolbox filled with play therapy techniques utilizing Sandtray, expressive arts, puppets, role playing, and guided imagery (to name a few) that you can use immediately with clients of all ages.

Learning Objectives:

Following the workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Describe effective play therapy strategies across ages and stages of development

2. Identify how play therapy impacts neuropsychosocial development

3. Conceptualize attachment patterns to strengthen client’s relationships.

4. Apply skills in engaging parents in family play therapy.

5. Identify two evidence-based play therapy techniques to treat children, teens, and adults

6. Apply effective evidence-based play therapy techniques that can be used immediately with their client populations.

Speaker Biography

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Throughout her career, she has focused on providing therapy to children, teens, and their families. Before joining Wasatch Family Therapy as the Director of Child and Adolescent Services, she worked in a successful private practice. She is currently the Clinical Director at Wasatch Family Therapy. Ms. Mellenthin is a sought after supervisor, training graduate students and interns in play therapy, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah, Utah Valley University, and the University of Southern California MSW programs. She is currently the President of the Utah Association For Play Therapy.

In addition to being an experienced play therapist and professor, Ms. Mellenthin frequently presents professional play therapy and family therapy trainings and appears on local and national TV and radio as an expert on children and family issues.

Refund / Cancellation Policy

A refund of the registration fee will be made if requested at least 24-hours prior to the conference.  An administrative charge of $40.00 will be retained on all refunds. ARAPT reserves the right to cancel this conference in the event of unforeseen circumstances, and an attempt will be made to notify registrants at least 10 calendar days before the start of the conference, with the full registration fee returned. In all instances, ARAPT’s liability is limited to refund of registration fees only.

Special Accommodations

Please feel free to inform ARAPT of any accommodations that need to be made in accordance to the American Disabilities Act at least 30 days prior to the conference.

Contact Information

For questions related to the conference, please email us at or contact Nick Cornett at 479-524-7445. 

Approved Provider Status

The Arkansas Association for Play Therapy (ArAPT) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6346. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. ArAPT is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

ArAPT is also an APT Approved Provider (07-199).