55 min

Using Play, the Language of Children, and Filial Therapy to Help Youth and Families Therapy on the Cutting Edge

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In this episode, I speak with Karen about her past as a Child Protective Services caseworker and how she was confused by the therapists who did play therapy, not understanding it fully until she herself got her LCSW and began training in play therapy in Philadelphia. She discussed her experience working with the developers of Filial Therapy, which uses child centered play therapy developed by Virgina Axline and based on Rogerian humanistic theory. In Filial, which in this context means parent-child, parents are taught to hold nondirective, dyadic play sessions with their children, so that the parent becomes the agent of change. Karen discusses learning from numerous experts in play therapy, being trained in Gestalt, and in sand tray therapy. She also discusses how she uses these modalities to help children express their inner experiences, and to help parents learn how to create this space for children and to see the world from their child’s perspective. We discuss areas where parents and therapists get frustrated in their efforts to use play therapeutically, and how the work creates a shift not only in the children, but also in the parents. In addition, we discuss the differences between a Rogerian non-directive play therapy, and a psychodynamic play therapy; in the Rogerian approach, the clinician is reflecting what they see as the child plays, as opposed to interpreting what they see. We also discuss right brain approaches such as play, art therapy, and sand tray, and their application to adults as well as children.

Karen Pernet, LSCW, RPT-S, SEP is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor & Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Karen returned to school to obtain her MSW at Bryn Mawr College of Social Work and Social Research in mid-life after a career in child welfare. She is known for her encouraging and down to earth approach and has been described as knowledgeable, supportive, and playful. Karen’s postgraduate education includes certificates in Gestalt Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Filial Therapy. In addition, she has had intensive training in Child Centered Play Therapy, sand tray therapy, Gestalt Play Therapy, trauma treatment, interpersonal neurobiology, and Internal Family Systems. Karen is in private practice in Oakland, CA and provides professional trainings, consultation, and supervision. From 2006 to 2021 she was a certified Filial Therapy trainer with the Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center and currently a Filial Therapy supervisor with the National Institute for Relationship Enhancement (NIRE).

In this episode, I speak with Karen about her past as a Child Protective Services caseworker and how she was confused by the therapists who did play therapy, not understanding it fully until she herself got her LCSW and began training in play therapy in Philadelphia. She discussed her experience working with the developers of Filial Therapy, which uses child centered play therapy developed by Virgina Axline and based on Rogerian humanistic theory. In Filial, which in this context means parent-child, parents are taught to hold nondirective, dyadic play sessions with their children, so that the parent becomes the agent of change. Karen discusses learning from numerous experts in play therapy, being trained in Gestalt, and in sand tray therapy. She also discusses how she uses these modalities to help children express their inner experiences, and to help parents learn how to create this space for children and to see the world from their child’s perspective. We discuss areas where parents and therapists get frustrated in their efforts to use play therapeutically, and how the work creates a shift not only in the children, but also in the parents. In addition, we discuss the differences between a Rogerian non-directive play therapy, and a psychodynamic play therapy; in the Rogerian approach, the clinician is reflecting what they see as the child plays, as opposed to interpreting what they see. We also discuss right brain approaches such as play, art therapy, and sand tray, and their application to adults as well as children.

Karen Pernet, LSCW, RPT-S, SEP is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor & Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Karen returned to school to obtain her MSW at Bryn Mawr College of Social Work and Social Research in mid-life after a career in child welfare. She is known for her encouraging and down to earth approach and has been described as knowledgeable, supportive, and playful. Karen’s postgraduate education includes certificates in Gestalt Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Filial Therapy. In addition, she has had intensive training in Child Centered Play Therapy, sand tray therapy, Gestalt Play Therapy, trauma treatment, interpersonal neurobiology, and Internal Family Systems. Karen is in private practice in Oakland, CA and provides professional trainings, consultation, and supervision. From 2006 to 2021 she was a certified Filial Therapy trainer with the Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center and currently a Filial Therapy supervisor with the National Institute for Relationship Enhancement (NIRE).

55 min