TraumaPlay Certification

What is ?

is a flexibly sequential play therapy model for treating traumatized children that has been in development for the last 20 years as Paris Goodyear-Brown has worked with children and families with complex trauma to integrate several evidence based treatments into a developmentally sensitive play-based treatment continuum.

is informed by our current understandings of the neurobiology of play and the neurobiology of trauma, and is built on the power of one to heal the other. Grounded in attachment theory, the child or family is met moment-to-moment as therapeutic needs are assessed. The framework of seven therapeutic treatment goals serve as the umbrella under which clinicians have freedom to employ a variety of interventions. A subset of goals related to enhancing the role of Parents as Partners expands clinicians’ finesse in integrating parents into trauma treatment.

allows room for both non-directive and directive approaches to be employed and incorporates clinically sound elements of other evidence based treatments such as Child Centered Play Therapy, Theraplay, and Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy, while offering original interventions that were developed in real-world clinical settings to maximize therapeutic absorption through every play-based learning portal. This training will equip clinicians with a wealth of targeted techniques that are tied to the model’s umbrella treatment goals.

offers a best practice framework for trauma work with families while encouraging ongoing assessment and offering flexibility to the clinician to tailor treatment to the needs of individual families. See the flowchart below for a better understanding of the treatment continuum.

Education Requirements for Certification

A master’s degree or higher in a mental health field. Licensure in a mental health field that allows you to work independently.

Training and consultation can be accrued as licensure hours are being accrued, but a Certificate cannot be granted until a graduate is independently licensed.

Nurture House, the home of , is an APT Approved Provider. Trainings sponsored by Nurture House that support TraumaPlay SM Certification can also be counted towards your Registration as a Play Therapist.

Quick Guide to Certification Steps:

Step 1:

Readings and Homework Assignments/Evaluations on Primary Text (Play Therapy with Traumatize Children)

  • equivalent to 12 hours CE

Step 2:

Three day live training totaling 20 hour CE credit.

This includes:

  • instructional material
  • supervised practicum
  • evaluation of core competencies in all seven components of the model

Endorsement by your trainer is needed to continue the Certification Process

Step 3:

10 hours of consultation/supervision while applying the model in at least 30 clinical sessions, core competencies covered in the first live training (see detailed breakdown of content covered in each training) will be assessed through videotape review

Endorsement by your consultant is needed to continue the Certification Process

Step 4:

Advanced three day live training totaling 20 hour CE credit.

This includes:

  • instructional material
  • supervised practicum
  • evaluation of core competencies in the special populations/applications of the model

Endorsement by the trainer is needed to continue the Certification Process

Step 5:

10 hours of consultation/supervision while applying the model in at least 30 clinical sessions, core competencies covered in the first live training (see detailed breakdown of content covered in each training) will be assessed through videotape review.

Endorsement by your consultant is needed to continue the Certification Process

In addition, participation in/review of the 1 hr monthly webinars is an expected part of the certification process. A span of at least five months is needed between the first and second live trainings in order to make sure that clinical application and consultation from the first four treatment components is accomplished and that learning and skill enhancement builds in a scaffolding fashion. Another five months of consultation and clinical application after the second live training can also be expected. Participants in the certification program can expect a year’s time to complete training and consultation after the preparatory homework assignments are completed.

Before attending your first live workshop, you will read the volume Play Therapy with Traumatized Children in its entirety. At the end of each chapter, there will be an assignment that requires reflective writing as well as a quiz answering a series of multiple choice and true/false questions. Mastery of the written content, as supported by completed assignments admits you to the live training. In the event that you have an opportunity to attend a live training prior to deciding to become certified, completion of the written work will need to be completed within six-weeks of the initial live training attended. (As the text has 12 chapters, 1 hour of CE is awarded as each chapter is read, the associated assignment is completed and graded.) TraumaPlay SM reserves the right to deny entry into the live training phase of learning based on sub-standard completion of any written work.

Part 1: Foundations and Clinical Application

Attend an initial three-day training, equaling 20 hours of continuing education. Each component of the model will be taught through lecture, demonstrated live, and experienced in dyads or small groups, so that didactic teaching is augmented with live practice by participants. Specific skill sets will be assessed at the end of each day and will help clinicians show proficiency will clinical skill sets and the application of specific interventions.

What will be covered?

  • Key Concepts for Treating Traumatized Children
  • What do we mean by Flexible and Sequential?
  • Enhancing Safety and Security-the Neurobiology of Trauma and the
  • Neurobiology of Play The Trauma Informed Playroom
  • Assessing for Current Coping and Augmenting Adaptive Coping
  • Soothing the Physiology:
    • Enhancing Self-Regulation
    • Parents as Soothing Partners Increasing Emotional Literacy
  • Play-Based Gradual Exposure-including a deep dive into:
    • The Continuum of Disclosure
    • Post-traumatic Play
    • Trauma Narrative Work
  • Addressing the Thought Life
  • Making Positive Meaning of the Post-Trauma Self
  • Evaluations will require demonstration of core competencies learned over the course of the three days.

Part 2: Advanced Applications and Special Populations

Attend a second three-day training that totals 20 hours of continuing education. Part 2 training will build on initial skills, work with advanced applications of the model and how to modify it for special populations. Bringing clinical nuance to all components of the model will help clinicians go deeper in their application of treatment components to a variety of presentations.

  • Complex Coping Assessment
  • The Play Therapist’s Palette
  • Titration Work in Play-Based Trauma Narrative
  • Nurturing Nuance with Parents as Partners
  • Handling Remaining Idiosyncratic Anxiety Symptoms (Play-Based Exposure/ Response Prevention)
  • Play Therapy for Sexual Behavior Problems with Children
  • Person of the Therapist Dynamics in TraumaPlay
  • Compassion Fatigue, Secondary Traumatization, and Self-Care
  • Mindfulness work
  • Live case consultation and application of the palette mitigators to specific clinical presentations Expanded Mediums for Trauma Narrative Work

Step 5:

Complete 10 more hours of consultation, applying this nuanced set of skills in clinical practice. Clinicians must submit a log of an additional 30 sessions as part of their application for certification.

All assignments and live training qualify for 52 hours of CE towards your Registered Play Therapist credential through the Association for Play Therapy. The 20 hours of consultation will be provided by people who hold both a License in a Mental Health field and are credentialed as Registered Play Therapists, so that consultation qualifies for both your mental health licensure and can be used towards the pursuit of your RPT.

Webinars, advanced trainings and peer-consultation groups will provide ongoing support after Certification. 3 hours of CE a year are required to maintain certification.

Please e-mail training@nurturehouse.org with questions or to receive an application packet.