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Digital Seminar

Pathways to Attachment Security in Play Therapy

David Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S™
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Audio and Video
May 11, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Secure attachment in early life is the gold standard for buffering a person against adversity throughout life. One of the appealing qualities of play is that it enhances relationship building between the child and therapist.

In this recording, watch David Crenshaw, PhD, as he shares the dos and don’ts of the therapist role, developed over the past 30 years in practice, and the tools needed to tackle them.


  • Build a secure frame for the therapeutic relationship and setting
  • Pay attention to the "little things"
  • Establish boundaries and place emphasis on safety with the child in play therapy
  • Demonstrate consistency, reliability, and commitment
  • Have the difficult conversations around boundaries and fantasies about rescuing, idealized parents, and adoption
  • Pay close attention to timing and pacing
  • And more!


  • Do not expect or demand trust
  • Don't avoid difficult conversations around boundaries and "good parents" and adoption fantasies
  • Don't seek validation for doing "good therapy"
  • Do not keep therapy moving at all times
  • Don't aggressively confront resistance in all of its forms
  • Don't keep therapy brief to please the managed care companies


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.



David Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S™'s Profile

David Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S™ Related seminars and products

David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S™, is Clinical Director of the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. He is Past-President of the New York Association for Play Therapy, a Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist; a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychology, and a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. Dr. Crenshaw has taught graduate courses in play therapy at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University. He was honored with the Excellence in Psychology Award in 2009, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 by the Hudson Valley Psychological Association. In 2018, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the NY Association for Play and in 2021 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the NY Association for Play Therapy. The author/editor/co-editor of 17 books, numerous book chapters, and journal articles on child aggression, play therapy and child trauma, his latest book co-edited with Cathy Malchiodi is What to Do When Children Clam-Up in Psychotherapy and a book co-written with Eliana Gil titled Termination Challenges in Child Psychotherapy.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: David Crenshaw is the founder and director of Rhinebeck Child and Family Center LLC and the clinical director of Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. He receives royalties as a published author. David Crenshaw receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: David Crenshaw is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Play Therapy, and the New York Association for Play Therapy, Los Angeles County Psychological Association, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.



  1. Formulate at least three indicators of growth in attachment security within play therapy as it relates to the therapeutic relationship.
  2. Determine at least two often overlooked indicators of growth in attachment security in play therapy to improve clinical outcomes.
  3. Propose at least three objectives of the “difficult conversation” with the child regarding limitations and boundaries in the therapeutic relationship with the play therapist.


  • Difficult Conversations in Play Therapy
  • Declarations of Trust in Play Therapy
  • Achievement of Ambivalence in Play Therapy
  • “Moments of Meeting” in Play Therapy
  • “Significant Events" in Play Therapy

Target Audience

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

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