Digital Seminar

2-Day Conference: Play Therapy: Engaging Powerful Techniques for the Treatment of Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Trauma

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S
12 Hours 27 Minutes
Oct 19, 2020
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Childhood Disruptive Behavior Disorders are on the rise! Tantrums, anger, defiance, threatening behaviour…

How can we as therapists more effectively decrease acting-out behaviours and help repair, rebuild and create strong parent-child relationships?

Watch me, Clair Mellenthin, expert in child and family trauma and attachment, as we dive into the impact of Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder on children, teens, and their families. You’ll learn effective, powerful, evidence-based play therapy interventions including guided imagery, mindfulness, expressive arts, and sandtray play – all of which include parent-child relationship enhancement activities.

This workshop will show you how:

  • the impact of attachment plays a role in the etiology in childhood disruptive behaviour disorders
  • to utilize attachment-centred play therapy techniques to treat these diagnoses in children
  • to strengthen parent-child relationships
  • to improve overall self-esteem and confidence – giving the child tools to control their challenging symptoms and help heal the family system.

Purchase today to explore the power of play therapy – and incorporate these strategies into your mental health practices with young clients and their families!



Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S's Profile

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S Related seminars and products

Clair Mellenthin LLC

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S, is an international speaker, author, psychologist, and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. Throughout her career, she has specialized in providing play therapy to children, teens, and their families. She is currently the Director of Child & Adolescents at Wasatch Family Therapy. Ms. Mellenthin frequently presents professional play therapy and family therapy trainings on Attachment-Centered Play Therapy, Family, and Trauma issues both nationally and internationally.

Ms. Mellenthin is a sought-after supervisor, training graduate students and interns in play therapy, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California MSW program. She is the past-president of the Utah Association for Play Therapy and remains an active member on the Board of Directors. She is the author of the books Attachment Centered Play Therapy; Play Therapy: Engaging & Powerful Techniques for the Treatment of Childhood Disorders; My Many Colors of Me Workbookand has authored several chapters and articles. In addition to being an experienced play therapist and professor, Ms. Mellenthin also appears on local and national TV and radio as an expert on children and family issues. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Clair Mellenthin has an employment relationship with Wasatch Family Therapy. She receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. Ms. Mellenthin is a published author and receives royalties. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Clair Mellenthin is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Association for Play Therapy.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Assess emotional and behavioral symptoms through play therapy techniques to better inform treatment outcomes.
  2. Determine the ethical implications and clinical limitations of using play therapy in clinical practice.
  3. Integrate attachment-based play activities into your practice to improve client engagement in treatment.
  4. Determine the neurobiological implications of using play therapy among clients with various diagnoses.
  5. Develop a plan for introducing play therapy into clinical practice for treatment resistant and challenging children and families.
  6. Defend how play therapy can reframe trauma experiences, increase self-regulation and connect to a mind-body awareness.
  7. Develop attachment patterns that impact parent-child relationships to further advance your clinical practice.
  8. Employ play therapy interventions to foster engagement with parents in family play therapy in order to repair, and enhance the parent-child relationship.
  9. Apply mindfulness skills and practice in play therapy treatment to promote self-soothing and affect regulation.
  10. Assess the psychological impact and long-term effects of emotional trauma on a client’s mental health.
  11. Develop treatment strategies to teach attachment-focused parenting techniques.
  12. Practice expressive arts, sandtray, and child-centered play therapy interventions to enhance engagement with child clients.


Why Play Therapy Works

  • Therapeutic power of play
  • Facilities communication
  • Fosters emotional wellness
  • Enhances social relationships
  • Increases personal strengths

Assessment and Diagnosis

  • Common myths of behaviour disorders
  • Systemic assessment of emotional and behavioural distress
    • School, home, and community relationships
    • Impact of inconsistent and harsh parenting/relationships practices
  • Race, gender, ethnicity, culture issues and bias
  • Trauma assessment

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

  • Recurrent behavioural and relational patterns
  • Impact on the family system
  • Shame and vulnerability (in the family) – The Kryptonite!
    • Cycle of disconnect, rejection, and attachment ruptures
  • Environmental risk factors

Play Therapy Interventions to Combat Negative Behaviours

  • Play-based regulation and co-regulation techniques
    • Calm down jars
    • Lemon squeezies
    • Blast It!
    • Guided imagery
  • Repair and enhance relationships
    • Shame shields
    • Feeling monsters

Conduct Disorder Treatment

  • Misdiagnosis and misunderstandings
    • Gender and racial bias in diagnosis
  • Trauma history of the child
  • Impact of trauma on brain development and maladaptive coping response
  • Patterns of engagement in the home, school, and community
  • Impact on family relationships

Trauma Treatment

  • Etiology of trauma in disruptive behaviour disorders
  • Impact on neurological functioning and development
  • PTSD – the most overlooked diagnosis contributing to Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD)
  • Assess for attachment ruptures and relational trauma
  • Shame-based punitive parenting
  • Repair and restore safety in the home

Play Therapy Interventions to Address Underlying Trauma

  • Increase emotional intelligence and understand trauma symptoms
    • Bound and rebound
    • Sandtray
    • Expressive arts in play
  • Repair and rebuild relationships
    • Nurturing spoons
    • Volcano inside of me

Play-Based Interventions to Promote Parent/Child Attachment

  • Building bridges of connection and communication
  • Create emotional safety
  • My safe place
  • Telling my story
  • My many colours of me

Inviting the Parent in the Playroom

  • Help the parent become a resource to their child
  • Decrease shame and vulnerability in the relationship
  • Improve healthy attachment-seeking behaviours
  • Repair attachment wounds and ruptures
  • Teach positive parenting strategies

Target Audience

  • Mental Health Clinicians
  • School Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Play Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists

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