Education : Play Therapy Training

Conference Co-Sponsored by the WCSU Departments of Social Work and Education & Educational Psychology


Friday, October 12, 2018 – 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, October 13, 2018 – 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Western Connecticut State University
Westside Campus Ballroom
43 Lake Ave Ext, Danbury, CT 06810



Esther B. Hess, Ph.D. is registered play therapist supervisor, a developmental psychologist and executive director of a multidisciplinary treatment facility in West Los Angeles, CA, Center for the Developing Mind. The Center specializes in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of developmental and regulatory disorders, like autism spectrum disorders. In addition, Dr. Hess is a national and international speaker on DIR/Floor Time: A Developmental/Relational Treatment Approach of ASD and Sensory Processing Disorder in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults. Dr. Hess can be reached through the Center’s website,

Kay Edwards received her M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire in 1984. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in NH as well as a Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor. She has had a heart for play, especially in the therapy setting, as long as she has been in practice. She is the founder and director of Birch Tree Counseling in Londonderry, NH, enjoys teaching about play therapy to others as well as supervision, and continues her work in the private practice setting.

Conference Schedule

Friday, October, 12, 2018, 8:30 to 3 P.M. (Dr. Hess)
DIR/Floor Time: A Developmental/Relational Play Therapy Intervention for the Treatment of ASD and Sensory Procession Challenges in Children and Adolescents (5 CEs)

This workshop offers an interactive opportunity to understand the okay therapist’s role in the treatment of children/adolescents with ASD through the developmental/relational therapy DIR/Floor Time. Adaptations of this model will be examined through clinical footage. Additionally, attendees will present their own cases for further understanding of this treatment model.


  • List three indicators of sensory processing and social emotional challenges in the play if children/adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Demonstrate an introductory understanding of the best practice DIR/Floor Time mode of play therapy techniques used to support specific sensory processing challenges.
  • Discuss how to facilitate emotional regulation and expression in children/adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

Friday, October 12, 2018, 3 to 4 P.M. (Ms. Edwards)
Using Sand Tray Play Therapy in Supervision (1 CE)

This workshop will focus on use of sand tray play therapy for supervision purposes. We will look at possible applications, as well as a video sample and an experiential exercise. Please bring some small toys or figures (10 or less) and your camera.


  • Identify at least two applications of sandtray play therapy to supervision
  • Explore and become aware of the supervision process using sandtray play therapy

Saturday, October 13, 2018, 8:30 to 4 P.M. (Ms. Edwards)
Introduction to Sandtray Therapy (6 CEs)

The morning focus of this workshop will be on the basics of play therapy with sandtray; its principles, physical set up and techniques along with an experiential exercise. The afternoon portion will focus on deepening the skill level; learning ways of introducing the client to sandtray play, deepening skills as the witness/observer, and ways to encourage the Builder to observe and explore the sandtray world. Additional experiential exercises will be utilized. Please bring ten figures or small toys to use as well as your camera.


  • Identify at least 3 basic sandtray play therapy principles
  • To become familiar with at least two sandtray play therapy physical set up options
  • Learn about and increase knowledge of the role of the therapist in sandtray play therapy as the Witness/Observer
  • Learn about and explore ways to encourage the client to observe their sandtray world
  • Identify at least two ways to introduce sandtray play therapy to client


Early: Fees are $60 per day or $110 for both days and include CEs and a light lunch.

After September 23: $75 per day or $150 for both days.

Registration is done only online at


Refunds will be given when requested in writing by October 5, 2018. A $10 processing fee will apply.


Individuals with disability accommodations should request them in writing at least 10 days prior to the conference. Requests can be sent to the organizer, Dr. Gabriel Lomas, at


There are a number of comfortable and reasonably-priced hotels within a 5 minute drive of the WCSU Westside Campus. The list below is a sample of several hotels in the area. Attendees will need to arrange for accommodations on their own.

Ethan Allen
21 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury, CT

Holiday Inn Express
89 Mill Plain Rd, Danbury, CT

Residence Inn
22 Segar St, Danbury, CT

Spring Hill Suites
30 Old Ridgebury Rd, Danbury, CT

Hilton Garden Inn
119 Mill Plain Rd, Danbury, CT

Crowne Plaza
18 Old Ridgebury Rd, Danbury, CT

Workshop Skills Level

All workshops are designed for mental health professionals, and mental health professionals who are in training. While beginners will benefit greatly from this training, all 2018 workshops are designed for Beginner and Intermediate practitioners who have some experience with Child Centered Play Therapy.

Conference Questions

For more information visit or Contact Dr. Gabriel Lomas at 203-837-8512 or