Karen Wheeler, LCSW, RPT-S, CST-T

Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist

Trainings and Conferences

To book a training in your area, scroll down for a list of topics.

Upcoming Events:

Play Therapy At The Beach 

August 5th-6th, 2016

Unity Church, Wilmington, North Carolina

To Register, click HERE

To view event brochure, click HERE

(Scroll down to preview list of event learning objectives)

Learning Objectives

Day 1: Autism and Play Therapy

1. Describe changes to existing play therapy models appropriate for treating ASD based on current brain development research

2. Identify the play needs of the atypical ASD child vs typical child and learn adaptations

3. Identify multiple sensory, brain stimulating play methods beneficial to the ASD child which are available to every play therapist

4. Describe three common ASD treatment methods: DIR, Play Project, and ABA as they pertain to play therapist

5. Differentiate the brain structure of the ASD child vs other children and explain how these differences pertain to play therapy

6. List specific play therapy goals and methods for treatment of the ASD child

Day 2: EMDR and Play Therapy

1. Explain how play therapy/EMDR positively effects the brain

2. Tell how using EMDR with play therapy can increase effectiveness of play therapy methods

3. Identify new protocols that combine play therapy and EMDR for installing positive cognitions

3. Identify play therapy/EMDR protocols for processing disturbing events and emotions

4. Identify play therapy/EMDR protocols for resourcing that will benefit behavior modification

5. Identify play therapy/EMDR methods for installing “safe/calm place” with children who are challenged verbally

6. Describe steps to create a play therapy/EMDR container and methods for children to contain unwanted memories, feelings or cognitions 

Available Training Topics 

To book a training in your area please contact Ms Wheeler. 

Water and Mud Trays: Healing the Infant Wound with Developmental Pre-Sandplay

Water and mud trays assist clients to address early unmet emotional needs.

Learn the presenter’s theoretical basis for developmental pre-sandplay, identify

specific stages and themes of repair, and how to set up and use the trays.

Play Therapy for Healing Trauma

Learn the presenter’s theoretical basis for containing, releasing and repairing traumatic experiences. Understand how to structure play sessions and combine directive and non-directive play methods, including water & mud trays. Learn and practice play activities.

Play Therapy for Attachment Disordered or Traumatized Clients

The morning section will provide education on the specific clinical needs of the RAD or traumatized child. It will show video clips to demonstrate at least four types of play therapy, focusing on those most effective with the RAD client, the rationale for this and how multiple modalities can be integrated into a cohesive and effective play therapy session.

The afternoon section will present specific play activities. The presenter will demonstrate six play activities. Participants will then learn and practice 6 other developmental play activities. Question and answer periods will be provided throughout both programs.

Introduction to Sandplay Therapy:

The nuts and bolts of integrating sand and play methods

Learn to set up the play room, select figures, introduce the client to the tray and document sand play sessions. Practice facilitating the sandplay process with other attendees. Identify how to integrate sandplay and play therapy techniques. Understand the sandplay journey through use of both the 21 sandplay assumptions and the journey map.

Play Therapy Activities for Anger Release: Release, Repair and Conscience Development

Learn the presenter’s theoretical rational basis for containing, releasing, repairing and healing anger in the play therapy session. Learn to use water trays and mud trays as part of the repair process. Observe and practice anger release activities and energy psychotherapy techniques for grounding the therapist and client to address disassociation, affect regulation issues and therapist burnout.

Repairing Childhood Trauma through Developmental Play

Developmental Play: A Tribute to Viola Brody author of “The Dialogue of Touch”

(Day 1)

This presentation will show the Viola Brody theory and practice of developmental play. Rarely seen videotapes of Dr. Brody will be shown. The participants will engage in both experiential play activities and intentional energy techniques designed to enhance self awareness and “conscious” touch during play therapy sessions.

Theraplay Techniques: Structure, Challenge, Engagement and Nurture

(Day 2)

This presentation will show the Theraplay™ model for attachment based play sessions. Participants will be shown the model, given a list of Theraplay activities and taught how to select activities when planning a session. Experiential exercises will be used for participants to practice selected play activities. (Day 1 recommended as a foundation for Day 2)

Creating ‘Temenos”: Sacred Healing Space and Ritual in the Playroom

Learn how to manage burnout and the internal emotional states of both

playtherapist and client by practicing guided imagery, energy psychotherapy,

grounding and calming activities. Create a healing space with candles, crystals,

aromatherapy oils, sacred ceremony and ritual.

Developmental Sensory Play Methods: Treating Early Childhood Trauma

Research suggests tactile sensory play methods are fundamental for trauma

focused developmental play therapy. Sessions combine water and mud trays,

feeding, rocking, tapping and jumping techniques. Experiential practice of tactile,

sensory play activities for use in individual and family sessions.

Therapeutic Play Activities for Community Support Staff, Foster Parents, School Behavior Specialists and Residential Staff

Learn and practice therapeutic games and activities for children and adolescents with appropriate descriptions for case notes, reports and other documentation. Activities address issues such as anger management, focus and self control, cooperative social skills, compliance with adult directives.

Introduction to Play Therapy

This presentation will include videos, slides and live demonstrations of multiple modalities of play therapy. Variations in basic theory and assumptions will be given with the presenter’s rationale for appropriate populations and uses for each modality. Attendees will learn how to integrate modalities and practice developmental play and anger release techniques

Treating Autism Spectrum with Play Therapy

This workshop will use videos and experiential activities to demonstrate methods of treating children on the Autism Spectrum. A model for adapting play therapy methods to address the atypical brain of the ASD client will be presented. Participants will learn specific methods of healing and addressing the altered synapsis if the ASD brain.

Methods for Using EMDR and Play Therapy with Children

This workshop will use session videos, handouts of scripted protocols and live demonstrations of EMDR. Participants will learn specific methods for combining play therapy activities with EMDR protocols.

Highwood Park Plaza

3173 Wrightsville Ave.

Wilmington, NC 28403

(corner of Wrightsville and Wilshire)

Phone (910) 251-7950

Fax (910) 251-7980