Trauma-Informed Assessment of the Child’s Process and Progress through the Typical Stages of Child-Centered Play Therapy – March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020 9:00 am - 12:15 pm 4400 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814

Presenters: Nancy H. Cochran, MA, CAS, LMHC and Jeff L. Cochran, PhD

Friday, March 27, 9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 3 CE credits

Most children will travel through some clearly identifiable stages commonly observed with the majority of children participating in CCPT. Knowledge of these stages of the CCPT process – what the therapist will experience and observe as a child progresses in CCPT – facilitates both the therapist’s knowledge of what sorts of behaviors and play activities are to be expected and one’s recognition of the indicators of process and progress that are internal-to-the-child.

Assessing for process and progress in Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) presents many challenges, and even more so when working with children who have experienced complex trauma. A solid working knowledge of the Typical Stages of CCPT (Chapter 10, Cochran, Nordling, & Cochran, 2010) enables the therapist to remain confident and congruent while holding space consistently and with enough structure to safely assist the child, thereby giving the child more freedom to lead in therapy and to fully express oneself. The CCPT session allows for the child to process as needed, but only as much as is needed. The importance of the child being in control of this process cannot be overemphasized when working with children who have experienced complex trauma, as many times the child is working to safely desensitize, release and/or integrate. To facilitate the child’s process, the therapist must remain connected and consistent – while providing the core conditions of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness – without interrupting or adding to the child’s lead, narrative or metaphor.

This presentation will focus on how having a solid working knowledge of the Typical Stages of CCPT provides an internal-to-the-child measure of progress and addresses the common challenges and concerns that child therapists have when providing CCPT for all children, and especially those who have experienced complex trauma.

In addition, common themes, types of play and self-generated activities that are seen in CCPT will be described, including:

  • Relational Boundaries Expression/Play (Limit Testing and Therapeutic Limits)
  • Interactive Role-Play and Solitary Role-Play
  • Aggressive/Regressive Stage Play (Transitional Stages of Play)
  • Self-Generated or Chosen Movement, Music, Art, and Sensory Play Activities 

Learning Objectives: Participants completing this workshop will be able to:

  1. Describe the Typical Stages of CCPT (Warm-Up Stage, Aggressive Stage, Regressive Stage, Mastery Stage and Transitional Stages) and what can be expected when working with children who have experienced complex trauma
  2. Describe common themes, types of play and self-generated activities that are seen in CCPT sessions and that are of particular benefit to the child who has experienced complex trauma
  3. Discuss important considerations in collecting standardized and reliable external measures of progress and providing consultation, psychoeducation and wrap-around services (outside the therapy hour) for children who have experienced complex trauma

Nancy H. Cochran, MA, CAS, LMHC is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee. She has over 20 years of experience as a school psychologist and counselor. In addition to private consultation practice, she coordinates the UT REACH Project with Jeff Cochran, providing and researching child-centered play therapy for children in high poverty schools at risk of failure due to behavioral and emotional challenges. Nancy is certified in CCPT and Filial Family Therapy, as well as a CCPT-Supervisor, through the National Institute for Relationship Enhancement. Her publications include The Heart of Counseling: Counseling Skills through Therapeutic Relationships (2nd edition, Cochran & Cochran, 2015, Routledge) and Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children (Cochran, Nordling, & Cochran, 2010, Wiley.

Jeff L. Cochran, PhD is professor in Counselor Education, and department head in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee. He has over 15 years of experience supervising, teaching and guiding the development of counselors; following over 10 years of counseling practice, including school and agency settings, children, youth, and adults. His books include: The Heart of Counseling: Counseling Skills through Therapeutic Relationships (2nd edition, Cochran & Cochran, 2015, Routledge) and Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children (Cochran, Nordling, & Cochran, 2010, Wiley). With Nancy Cochran, Jeff helps run the UT REACH Project, providing and researching child-centered play therapy for at-risk children.

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Standard - Trauma Informed Assessment of the Child’s Process and Progress through the Typical Stages of Child-Centered Play Therapy - March 27, 2020 $60
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Student - Trauma-Informed Assessment of the Child’s Process and Progress through the Typical Stages of Child-Centered Play Therapy - March 27, 2020 $10
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