Play therapy has a primary purpose: to serve the child’s healing process through the use of skilled relationship and materials which are natural to the child’s world. In this relationship, children explore what their experiences have felt like, not the facts and details of the events. There may be no words for what a child has felt. As adults, we learn to use language efficiently to name and identify our experiences. But there are still many experiences which remain outside the constructs of words, especially for children. To use words too soon tells the child who is suffering from trauma that we are in a hurry, and that we have solutions to feelings that will actually remain as feelings for a very long time.
This workshop will address how it is that a play room with its toys and sand might contain the healing work of our youngest people. Who are these toys when they take on the child’s story, and how might the therapist partner with those stories as dynamic agents who present the child with inroads to his/her intrusions? Although this is not a case presentation group, there will be time to unwrap ideas and apply them to our children patients.
Dott Kelly, MA, LMHC, Clinical Director and Founder of Jumping Mouse Children's Center.
Dott Kelly holds a master’s degree in child and family psychology, with specialized training in adoption, foster care and abuse. Dott has worked with children in a variety of settings for over 35 years. She is trained in parent education and has facilitated parent groups. Dott has taught seminars at Antioch University, Seattle University and Evergreen College and has facilitated workshops in child development and attachment. She is a Washington State-certified supervisor.