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Digital Seminar

Creative Interventions for Engaging Resistant Children in Play Therapy: "I Don't Want to Talk About it"

Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, CPT-S
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Audio and Video
May 11, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
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The challenge of working with children can be further compounded by their fear of entering therapy, their lack of control over the decision to attend therapy, their feeling of being scapegoated for family problems, their lack of motivation for treatment, and their developmental capacity which can make it difficult for them to respond to traditional talk-therapy.

Liana Lowenstein has helped thousands of therapists around the world learn how to connect with children in person and online.  The first step in working with hard to engage clients is understanding the reasons underlying their resistance, and the second step involves engaging children in the therapeutic process.

View Liana Lowenstein, internationally recognized author and presenter, as she outlines various factors that underlie therapeutic resistance and shares interventions to engage children in therapy and maximize potential for change. Emphasis will be on innovative play therapy techniques including therapeutic games, art, and stories!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, CPT-S's Profile

Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, CPT-S Related seminars and products

Liana Lowenstein is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Play Therapist-Supervisor, and Certified TF-CBT Therapist who has been working with children and their families in Toronto for over 35 years. Her areas of specialty include treating trauma, bereavement, divorce, anxiety, and ADHD. She integrates play therapy into evidence-based models such as CBT and TF-CBT. In addition to her clinical practice, she provides supervision and consultation to mental health professionals. Liana’s 14 books are used by mental health professionals and children’s support workers all over the world, and several have been translated into Chinese, Korean, and Turkish. Her best-selling titles include Creative Interventions for Bereaved, Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce, Creative CBT Interventions for Children with Anxiety, and Cory Helps kids Cope with Sexual Abuse. Her latest book, Cory Helps Kids Cope with Grief: Playful Activities for Young Children, helps young grievers impacted by suicide, homicide, drug overdose, natural disasters, mass violence, war, military casualties, and other types of loss.
Liana is a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences and agency training events, and has provided workshops throughout North America and abroad, including China, South Africa, Israel, England, New Zealand, Australia, and Slovenia. Liana has trained mental health professionals and grief group facilitators on innovative ways of supporting bereaved children, including presentations at the ADEC conference, The International Death, Grief, and Bereavement Conference in La Crosse, and Canada’s Grief Certificate Program run through the Learning Institute at the Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health. 

Liana is winner of the Monica Herbert award for outstanding contribution to play therapy in Canada.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Liana Lowenstein maintains a private practice and receives compensation as a consultant. She receives royalties as a published author. Liana Lowenstein receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Liana Lowenstein is a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy, and the Association for Play Therapy.




  1. Determine the factors underlying therapeutic resistance.
  2. Implement creative play therapy interventions to facilitate rapport-building.
  3. Develop play therapy techniques with clients who are reluctant to verbally articulate their thoughts and feelings.


  • Underlying Causes of Therapeutic Resistance
    • Child characteristics and behaviours
    • Family characteristics and behaviours
    • Therapist characteristics and behaviours
  • Practical Strategies to Engage Resistant Children in Therapy
    • Rapport building strategies
    • Techniques for children unable or reluctant to verbalize their thoughts and feelings
    • Motivate children to manage anger
  • Appropriate Ways to Respond to Hard-to-Engage Children
    • Empathic responses
    • Normalizing responses
    • Responses that facilitate sense of control

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Mental Health Clinicians
  • Play Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • School Counselors
  • Social Workers

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