Enhancing and Deepening the Therapy Process: These are the Questions….that challenge child therapists

Children’s Therapy Centre – 2 Day Training Event

Enhancing and Deepening the Therapy Process:

These are the Questions… that challenge child therapists

Dr. Sue Bratton,  PhD, LPC-S, RPT-STM

Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick                                                  9th & 10th June 2024

Developmentally appropriate practice with children and adolescents require the therapist to make use of more than verbal communication. When we play in a child centred way, we facilitate communication through movement, drama, music, rhythm, and art: we invite embodiment, projection and role-play, and we respond with our true, authentic  self. Strong empirical evidence exists to support the therapeutic use of play and creativity to facilitate children’s often complex journey toward healing from a range of adverse experiences. The process may be helped or hindered by important factors that may inadvertently be taken for granted or ignored when exploring the individual child’s unique healing journey and supporting the professional development of the therapist. Assumptions are best explored and examined to see what constitutes best practice for the individual child client relative to the individual therapist’s congruent use of self. So, what are the questions we should seek to answer?

Together, we will explore the following as well as questions generated by participants from their own experience and how an understanding of dynamics related to the child, the therapist, and the therapeutic relationship informs the course of child and adolescent therapy.

For the Child:

How do we best respond to each child’s developmental level of functioning? What about duration and frequency of sessions?  How does the setting impact on the work? What about involvement of parents, carers, and/or other significant adults? When should we consider dyad, family, or group sessions instead of, or in addition to, individual sessions? Is it OK to work with siblings? How do we ensure we focus on the child and not the referral issue? How do we best respond to the child’s needs with reference to their attachment relationships, current circumstances, and prior experiences? How does our attunement to the child’s perception of their distressing experiences (known and unknown or undisclosed) conveyed through play inform our work within the child’s system? How do we facilitate the child’s felt-sense of safety and attachment needs including addressing the child’s safety and attachment needs outside of play therapy?

For the Therapist:

What about the fit between the therapist’s core beliefs regarding the therapeutic change process, their adopted theory/model of practice, and congruent use of self?  How important is consistent therapeutic structuring? How important is it for the therapist to remain authentic in the relationship so as to maintain therapeutic presence and use of self? How does the therapist’s self-awareness and personal development, including understanding of personal attachment style, personal biases, and personal traumas which may be known and unknown impact the therapeutic process?  How does the child’s unique needs, the therapist’s core beliefs about the change process, and therapist’s congruent use of self, impact the therapist’s flexibility in approach to working with individual child clients? What about the need for ongoing training and supervision/consultation?

The Relationship and the Process:

Just how important is the therapeutic relationship—is there evidence to support the healing power of relationship? Exploring the process: how do we recognise and respond to:  key moments/turning points; ruptures/loss of contact and repair; significant themes? How does the therapist’s capacity to recognise and work with transference and countertransference play out in helping/hindering the process? How do we manage external factors such as interruptions to the therapy (e.g. in school-based work); sudden endings; traumatic/significant events that occur during the child’s time in therapy?

Learning Objectives

Following the workshop, play therapists will be able to:

  1. Identify considerations in flexibly responding to the unique needs of each child client.
  2. Identify therapist factors that can help or hinder the play therapy process
  3. Identify at least one personal issue that at times have hindered a child client’s therapeutic process
  4. Articulate core beliefs about their role in the child’s growth and healing process in play therapy
  5. Discuss the importance of the therapeutic relationship in the child’s healing journey
  6. Discuss considerations in engaging parents and possibly others to maximize the child’s therapeutic process


Suitable for:

This training is suitable for professionals working therapeutically using play and creative therapy as the medium. This includes, but is not limited to, trainee and qualified play therapists, counsellors, psychotherapists, expressive arts therapists, and psychologists, working within the range of psychotherapeutic modalities holding the therapeutic relationship and attunement to interpersonal dynamics as of central importance. Those excited to explore how best practice for each individual client, relative to the therapist’s congruent use of self, evolves will be particularly drawn to this training.

Our Distinguished Trainer

Sue Bratton

Sue Bratton, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S is Professor Emerita, University of North Texas, and Director Emerita, UNT Center for Play Therapy with over 30 years of experience as a practitioner, researcher, and teacher. Sue is nationally and internationally known speaker and author with over 100 publications and over 350 professional presentations in the areas of child and family counseling, with a specific focus on Child-Centered Play Therapy and Child-Parent Relationship Therapy/Filial Therapy. Sue is co-author of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT): An Evidence-Based 10-Session Filial Therapy Model, the CPRT Treatment Manual, and CPRT in Action, a demonstration video illustrating CPRT with adoptive families, as well as two additional contemporary texts, Child-Centered Play Therapy Research and Integrative Play Therapy. Sue’s research agenda focuses on examining the effectiveness of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy, Child-Centered Play Therapy, and school-based play therapy for children and their families.  Sue is a Past President of the Association for Play Therapy (APT), recipient of the 2016 APT Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007 APT Outstanding Research Award, the 2011 Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Practitioner Supervisor Award, the 2013 ACA Best Practice Award, the 2013 AHC Humanistic Educator/ Supervisor Award, the 2014 ACA Extended Research Award, and several University teaching, research and service awards. Sue is also co-creator of the international certification program for Child-Centered Play Therapy and Child-Parent Relationship Therapy. Sue is an active social advocate for children at the local, national, and international level, particularly for underserved children who have experienced interpersonal trauma. Her career-long passion and record of service is focused on helping children receive the help and nurturing they need to reach their personal potential.



Enhancing and Deepening the Therapy Process:

These are the Questions….


Dr. Sue Bratton,  PhD, LPC-S, RPT-STM


Booking Details

Venue:                     Castletroy Park Hotel, Castletroy, Limerick

Date and Times:      9th June 2024       10am – 5pm

                                             10th June 2024      10am4pm

Fees:                     Standard Fee €350, Early Bird, Student & CTC Graduate Rates Available

  • Student Rate………………………………………………………………………..       € 305
  • CTC Graduate Rate………………………………………………………………           € 305
  • Early Bird(Booked and paid in full by 1st May 2024)…………….           € 325
  • Standard Fee ……………………………………………………..………………..        € 350

Tea/coffee and lunch provided on both days.

Bookings: All bookings require a €100 deposit payment. Please book online at www.childrenstherapycentre.iePlease include your professional details, and information on any dietary requirements, when you make your booking.


Special Conference Rates for B&B available directly from the Castletroy Park Hotel:

  • €115.00 Bed & Breakfast Single Occupancy
  • €125.00 Bed & Breakfast Double or Twin
  • €135.00 Bed & Breakfast Triple


Contact: Castletroy Park Hotel directly to book your room, 061-335566 or reservations@castletroypark.ie Early booking is advised. When booking, please let the hotel know you are attending the CTC conference to avail of the conference B&B rate. Early booking is advised.

Cancellations: In the event of any cancellation a booking fee of €100 will be retained. Full fee is non-refundable in the event of cancellations within 1 month of the event.

Further Details:  Email: ctccourseinfo@gmail.com       Website: www.childrenstherapycentre.ie

Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/CTC-facebook    Instagram: @siobhan_childrenstherapycentre

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