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Play therapy conference held at LWC, June 24-25, 2010

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By Duane Bonifer

Lindsey Wilson College Associate Professor of Human Services Jodi Crane does not mean to appear overzealous when she talks about the potential play therapy holds for some individuals.

"I hate to use the word magic, but that would be a good way to describe it," Crane said.

On June 24-25, 2010, a total of 55 mental-health professionals and students from six states had a firsthand opportunity to learn about play therapy when they attended the second conference sponsored by the LWC Appalachian Play Therapy Center.

Crane, who is director of the LWC Appalachian Play Therapy Center, has high praise for the growing form of therapy used in the United States. As the United States Association for Play Therapy points out, Aristotle and Plato reflected on the fundamental importance of play in the lives of human beings.

The June 24-25 conference held at LWC featured training by noted child and adolescent mental-health professional Felicia Caroll, who is founder-director and advanced trainer at the West Coast Institute for Gestalt Play Therapy.

Carroll led training sessions and also discussed a wide range of play therapy techniques. The training sought to build a theoretical understanding and clinical skills in working with children and adolescents from the perspective of gestalt psychotherapy - a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes personal responsibility and that focuses on an individual's experiences.

"Children learn best through play," Crane said. "Play impacts cognitive, physical, social and emotional behaviors. Hence the primary benefit from a therapy standpoint is the fact that children communicate and realize some of their conscious and unconscious desires through the therapy."

This story was posted on 2010-07-09 11:13:44
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Experiential exercise at Play Therapy Conference

2010-07-09 - Photo by Duane Bonifer. LWC photo. Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY
Enrica Macklin of Louisville, KY, enjoys an experiential play exercise during a training session held at the June 24-25, 2010 play therapy conference at Lindsey Wilson College. The event was sponsored by the college's Appalachian Play Therapy Center.

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