Orange, CA
Argosy University, Orange
Super Powered Play Therapy: Understanding and Utilizing Super Heroes in Play Therapy
Sat, December 02, 2017
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  • Workshop Description: 

For over 75 years, superheroes like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have had a profound impact on popular culture. Regardless of their exposure to comic books, children are readily able to identify these three heroes.  Their rich history, laden with therapeutic metaphors, can be utilized to engage children, particularly children suffering from trauma and loss, in the play therapy process.  This workshop seeks to familiarize clinicians with their history and facilitate the integration of super hero play into your play therapy practice.

With Distinguished Presenter:

Kim Vander Dussen, Psy. D., RPT-S is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University Southern California.  She is a Past President of the California Branch of the Association for Play Therapy.  She currently serves as the chair of the University Education Committee for the Association for Play Therapy.  Dr. Vander Dussen is a licensed psychologist and registered play therapist and supervisor. She has certificates in Play Therapy and Infant and Toddler Mental Health.  Dr. Vander Dussen also serves on the faculty of UCSD’s Play Therapy Certificate Program.  She is in private practice and specializes in the treatment of trauma, attachment, and children with developmental disabilities.  Dr. Vander Dussen is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences and workshops.  


8:30-9:00         Registration

9:00-9:30         Discussion of the power of myth and metaphor in play therapy treatment.

9:30-10:30       Overview of history and mythology behind Super Hero characters such as
                        Superman, Batman and  Wonder Woman. 

10:30 -10:45    Break  

10:45-12:00     History and mythology behind Super Hero characters, continued.  Integration of video clips.

12:00-1:00       Lunch

1:00-2:45         Discussion and wrap-up of Super Hero history.
                        Integration and use of superhero characters in directive and non directive
                        play therapy practice. Experiential play therapy activities.

2:45-3:00         Break

3:45-4:15         Experiential play therapy activities, continued.  
Clinicians will create their own superhero and  engage in  world building for that hero.

4:15-4:30         Questions and Answers 

Learning Objectives

After the workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Describe how the mythology and therapeutic metaphors behind the creation of major superheroes and how it relates to play therapy practice.
  2. Utilize a child or adolescent’s identification with these heroes, and the stories that contribute to their development, to aid their clients in working through trauma and other stressful life events in play therapy.
  3. Describe the steps involved in creating a therapeutic metaphor.
  4. Practice at least 3 directive play therapy techniques utilizing super heroes.
  5. Discuss at least one way the use of these superheroes can be integrated into their play therapy practice.  


Conference Information

Instructional Level: Intermediate

Audience Pre-Requisites: Those attending should have a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of play therapy, play therapy theory, play therapy applications, child psychopathology and child development.

Who Should Attend:
Social Workers, Marriage, Family & Child Therapists, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, School Counselors, Psychologists, Students, and Interns.
Continuing Education:

This workshop meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credit for Psychologists, MFTs & LCSWs  and LPCC's.  The California Association for Play Therapy (CALAPT) is approved by the Association for Play Therapy to offer continuing education specific to play therapy (APT Approved Provider # 00-094). The California Association for Play Therapy is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Psychologists may receive 6 hours of continuing education credit for this workshop.The California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) now recognizes APA continuing education credit for license renewal for LCSWs, MFTs and LPCCs The California Association for Play Therapy maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  NO CREDIT FOR PARTIAL ATTENDANCE.
Cancellations and Refunds:
Requests for refunds must be made in writing to the CALAPT, P.O. Box  12404, Newport Beach, CA 92658 or by e-mail:  Requests must be postmarked two weeks prior to workshop date in order to receive refund. There is a $25.00 administrative fee for refunds. There are no price breaks for partial attendance.

APT Membership Information:  Contact or
The opinions expressed by presenters at the CALAPT events do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CALAPT Board of Directors or its membership. CALAPT reserves the right to make changes to the conference schedule, speakers and presentation, if this becomes necessary.
If you have a disability and need accommodations per ADA/504, please provide notification 2 weeks prior to workshop date


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