Upcoming Trainings

UCF Center for Play Therapy Research and Training 

2nd Annual Play Therapy Conference
May 31- June 1, 2019


Join us for this interactive, advanced play therapy workshop! During the two-day conference, participants will gain valuable knowledge that will be additive to their play therapy toolbox. Dr. Dee Ray will go beyond the basics on play therapy. She will inform practitioners about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) roles and effects while identifying strategies to treat children, teach attendees common themes in play therapy to conceptualize progress, and actively engage participants in using skills learned to incorporate immediately into their practice.

Day One: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Trauma, and Child-Centered Play Therapy
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that occur in a child’s life prior to the age of 18, such as abuse or negative environmental conditions. ACEs may include neglect, abuse, poverty, domestic violence, and parental disruption, among other environmental traumas. Research indicates that when children experience multiple ACEs, there is a higher likelihood of mental health disorders, substance abuse, and physical ailments. Agarwal (2015) found that ACEs increased risks of emotional challenges and disruptive behaviors in children, with the number of ACEs correlated with severity of various psychiatric and physical disorders. The effects ACEs have on children increase if the experiences are reoccurring, chronic, or there are multiple experiences (Agarwal, 2015). Grasso et al. (2016) found that the earlier events occur, the more likely children are to present with post-traumatic stress symptoms.

This workshop will build on previous APT education session regarding the process of CCPT with children who experienced multiple ACEs. Using the most recent resources and latest play therapy research with ACEs, this workshop will inform play therapists about the role and effects of ACEs, the relationship between ACEs and trauma, and how play therapists can respond most effectively to children who have experienced multiple ACEs, specifically using therapeutic relationship to address attachment and resilience. The presenter has engaged in an ongoing research agenda related to the effects of ACEs on child behavioral problems and development, as well as the impact of child-centered play therapy for children who have experienced multiple ACEs.


  1. Participants will be able to define adverse childhood experiences and list 4 possible ACEs.
  2. Participants will be able to identify two ways ACEs affect brain development.
  3. Participants will be able to list 3 CCPT skills that positively impact children with ACEs.
  4. Participants will be able to identify 3 modifications to CCPT to uniquely treat children with ACEs.
  5. Participants will be able to identify two educational points to review with parents of children who have experienced multiple ACEs.
  6. CEUs: 6

Day Two: Playful Meanings: Understanding Patterns & Themes in Play Therapy
In Child-Centered Play Therapy, the healing factor is identified as the relationship between play therapist and child. Relationship is based on clear communication between therapist and child, yet the child communicates through play. This workshop will offer a process for identifying common themes in play therapy that will help the play therapist learn to communicate more effectively with the child in session and with parents and schools outside of session. The presenter will lead the participant through a systematic method of identification and use of themes to enhance the play therapy process. Additionally, the presenter will actively engage the participant in using theme skills for practice immediately upon completion of the workshop. In addition, the workshop will facilitate skills on how to use play themes to determine therapeutic progress and ascertain the need for termination. 


  1. Participants will be able to identify at least 20 possible themes in play therapy
  2. Participants will identify the three main components of identifying themes.
  3. Participants will be able to match themes with observed play.
  4. Participants will learn to communicate themes through responses in play sessions.
  5. Participants will learn to communicate themes to parents in parent consultations.
  6. CEUs: 6

About the Facilitator

Dee Ray, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S is a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Counseling Program and Director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas.  Dr. Ray has published over 100 articles, chapters, and books in the field of play therapy, specializing in research specifically examining the process and effects of Child Centered Play Therapy.  Dr. Ray is author of A Therapist’s Guide to Development: The Extraordinarily Normal Years, Advanced Play Therapy: Essential Conditions, Knowledge, and Skills for Child Practice, Child Centered Play Therapy Treatment Manual, and co-author of Group Play Therapy and Child Centered Play Therapy Research. She is a founding board member and past president of the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling, as well as current board member of the Association for Play Therapy. She is founding editor of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, American Counseling Association Fellowand recipient of the American Counseling Association Don Dinkmeyer Social Interest Award, Association for Humanistic Counseling Educator Award, Association for Play Therapy Outstanding Research Award, Top 25 Women Professors in Texas Award, and many others. Dr. Ray supervises counseling services to community clients at her university clinic and leads a school outreach program providing play therapy to hundreds of children each year.

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Past Trainings

1st Annual Play Therapy Conference
Partners in Play: Adlerian Play Therapy

March 12, 2018 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Join us for this fun, interactive, and experiential workshop. Dr. Terry Kottman, the "inventor" of Adlerian play therapy, will introduce you to Adlerian play therapy, a method of integrating the concepts and techniques of Individual Psychology with the practice of play therapy. You will learn techniques for establishing relationships with clients, exploring clients' life-styles, helping clients gain insight into their lifestyles, and reorienting and reeducating clients. Dr. Kottman will introduce you to several of the unique ways that Adlerians conceptualize children and the significant adults in their lives: goals of misbehavior, the Crucial Cs, and personality priorities. We will explore play therapy strategies, art techniques, metaphors, and storytelling strategies for working with a wide range of clients. Dress comfortably, and be prepared to PLAY!!

*Participants registering for this workshop will receive 6 Continuing Education hours.

Intensive Seminar in Adlerian Play Therapy

March 13-16, 2018 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Join The Center for Play Therapy Research and Training with Dr. Terry Kottman for an intensive 4-day seminar in Adlerian Play Therapy. In this training, Dr. Kottman will use discussion, encouragement, video demonstrations, and role playing to help you refine your skills so that you will be able to use play therapy to (a) build relationships with children; (b) explore children's lifestyles; (c) help children gain insight into their lifestyles; and (d) help children make changes in their thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviors. You will also learn and practice strategies for developing a conceptualization of the child and consulting with parents and teachers. Built into this workshop is the opportunity to make video recordings of your practice with a child in the playroom and receive supervision from Dr. Kottman. Required reading before class: Partners in Play: An Adlerian Approach to Play Therapy (3rd ed.) (Kottman and Meany-Walen, 2016).

*Participants registering for this workshop will receive 34 Continuing Education hours.

About Terry Kottman

Terry Kottman, Ph.D., NCC, RPT-S, LMHC, founded The Encouragement Zone, a center where she provides play therapy training and supervision, life coaching, counseling, and "playshops" for women. She regularly presents workshops on play therapy, activity-based counseling, counseling children, school counseling, and life coaching. Prior to founding The Encouragement Zone, Terry held a number of different jobs - she was a day care provider, an associate in an elementary school, a graduate teaching assistant, a special education teacher, a school counselor, the director of the Child and Family Resource Clinic and professor of counselor education at the University of North Texas, and a professor of counselor education at the University of Northern Iowa.

Terry went to Grinnell College as an undergraduate, majoring in American Studies and English. She has a master's degree in Elementary Teaching from Colorado College and a master's degree in Special Education from the University of Texas at Dallas. Terry's doctorate in Counselor Education is from the University of North Texas, where she specialized in working with children and families. During her internship there, Terry developed Adlerian play therapy, an approach to counseling children that combines the ideas and techniques of Individual Psychology and play therapy.

Terry is the author of Partners in Play: An Adlerian Approach to Play Therapy and Play Therapy: Basics and Beyond; she is the co-author (with Dr. Jim Muro) of Guidance and Counseling in the Elementary and Middle Schools; co-author (with Drs. Jeff Ashby and Don DeGraaf) of Active Interventions for Kids and Teens: Adding Adventure and Fun to Counseling and Adventures in Guidance; and co-editor (with Dr. Ann Vernon) of Counseling Theories: Practical Applications with Children and Adolescents in School Settings and (with Dr. Charles Schaefer) of Play Therapy in Action: A Casebook for Practitioners . She has written many journal articles and book chapters on play therapy, metaphors, school counseling, counseling with children and families, Adlerian therapy, and perfectionism.

In 2014, Terry won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Play Therapy.

Terry is also Jacob's mother and Rick's wife -by far the most important and favorite of the many things she does.

Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy

Graduate Certificate