Games in the Playroom: Tools of Intervention and Assessment

by Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S Some theories of thought suggest that games should be kept out of the playroom and certain therapists abide: they don’t remember Memory, they’re sour on Candyland, they check Checkers at the door. Other therapists welcome games as tools of both intervention and assessment. It’s easy to see why: games are…

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Have We Forgotten the Most Important Toy in the Playroom?

Have we forgotten the most important toy in the playroom? By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S Play therapists are dedicated individuals. We work tirelessly to support the children and families with whom we work. We also study, a lot. We choose to spend weekends away from our loved ones and our personal lives learning how to…

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Episode 12 “Lessons from the Playroom” Podcast: When a Child Says They’re Done in the Session

Click Here to Subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes! Or listen now… A child wanting to end a session early can rattle even the most seasoned therapist. So how do you handle the situation? In this podcast, Lisa Dion discusses how to recognize flooding, return a child to their window of tolerance, and why ending…

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Play Therapy and the Grieving Process: Helping Parents Know That They are Heard

by Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S It’s natural for us to pass off resistant parents as difficult, but we must remember to put ourselves in their shoes. Play therapy wasn’t part of their parenting plan, leaving it up to us to help them through their grieving process.  As play therapists, we realize early in our careers…

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The Resistant Child: When a Client Refuses to Enter the Playroom

By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S Kids react to the idea of play therapy differently. Some run into the playroom with Nerf guns a’blazing. Other kids aren’t quite as enthusiastic; they linger in the doorway, torn between their parents and the sandbox. Then there are those who want nothing to do with the process at all.…

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Episode 11 “Lessons from the Playroom” Podcast: Making Games Therapeutic in Play Therapy

Click Here to Subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes! Or listen now… From Candyland’s Gum Drop Mountain to the rungs of Chutes and Ladders, games in play therapy are more than a race to the finish line. They provide us with direct insight into the minds and nervous system states of our child clients.  Learn…

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Turning Time Apart into a Time to Connect

by Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S I travel all around the world.  Some months I travel a lot.  In order for me to follow my heart and teach, I’m required to travel; to soar, I must board a plane and fly.  And this means that I’m required to spend time away from my daughter.  This is…

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Episode 10 “Lessons from the Playroom” Podcast: Helping Parents Explain to their Child Why They are Going to Play Therapy

Be Yourself--authentic therapist in the playroom

Click Here to Subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes! Or listen now… Talking to kids about why they are going to play therapy isn’t always easy.  As play therapists, we can work with parents to help them find a clear explanation that helps soothe their child’s potential anxiety and helps minimize apprehension. Not only does…

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Episode 9 “Lessons from the Playroom” Podcast: The Importance of Gratitude in the Playroom

Click Here to Subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes! Or listen now… It’s easy to have gratitude for the good things in our lives, but what about the challenges? In this podcast, you’ll learn how appreciation can widen your window of tolerance and open your heart. You’ll also learn that clients come into our playrooms…

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The Forgotten Ones: “Perfect Children” Need Play Therapy Too

by Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S When it comes to play therapy, the acting out, aggressive, non-compliant, anxious child typically gets referred. Even the sad, depressed, withdrawn child finds a way onto an adult’s radar and gets help. But what about “The Perfect Child”? You know – the child who rarely asks for anything, follows all…

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Compassion Fatigue? Avoid it by Leaving Work in the Playroom

By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S As play therapists, it’s not always easy for us to leave our work in the playroom. Some of us carry it with us – like sand inside our shoes, we track it through the doorways and into our homes. It lingers in the back of our minds, sometimes burrowing up…

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Dear 40….

By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S Dear 40, I’ve always known I’d meet you – I even knew exactly when. I’ve been looking forward to it since I was 20, half my life ago. I don’t know why – not fully – but I’ve always wondered about you. What you’d be like. How you’d make me…

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Episode 8 “Lessons from the Playroom” Podcast: An Interview with an Eleven-Year-Old about Play Therapy

Click Here to Subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes! Or listen now… Kids say the darndest things and they also ask the best questions. Join Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S as she’s interviewed by her eleven-year-old daughter, Avery.  Listen in as they go back and forth discussing the power of play and hear Avery’s advice to all…

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What Does it Really Mean to Go Home?

By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S It’s my last night in Melbourne, Australia.  My bags are packed.  My boarding pass is in hand.  My alarm is set to make sure I get to the airport on time.  Soon, I’ll be on my way back to Colorado, exchanging the Down Under for the Mile High.  Yet, as I…

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The Long Goodbyes: Giving Children Permission to Feel During Loss

By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S Change surrounds us. The leaves fall from trees, animals go extinct, birthdays come and go, people leave and people die.  Saying goodbye is part of our daily lives and yet we don’t always allow ourselves to really acknowledge the feelings that can come with these changes. Recently, a school administrator approached…

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Episode 7 “Lessons from the Playroom” Podcast: Voicing the Toy and Observational Statements with the Brain in Mind

Click Here to Subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes! Or listen now… Voicing the toy is an important part of play therapy, but it’s the child’s voice that should prove loudest.  In this podcast, Lisa offers tips on helping the child stay engaged in their process. She explains why sticking to the facts and clarity…

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Learning Bracelets and the Importance of Movement in the Classroom

By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S “Mom, I am struggling because I can’t concentrate in class!” This is something most children have said at some point – maybe they feel that science is boring, math is too hard, or history is so last year. But, while it’s a common utterance, it’s also one that speaks volumes.…

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Five Out-of-the-Box Ways to Connect With Your Child

By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S We know our children – we raise them, we love them, we struggle with them, we grow with them. But, as the years go by, things change. From tiny fingers wiggling underneath bathroom doors to the slamming sound of bedroom doors, parenthood is nothing is not inconsistent. The connection also…

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Episode 6 “Lessons from the Playroom” Podcast: Endings and Transitions

Click Here to Subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes! Or listen now… It’s hard to say goodbye, especially for children! How do you help kids transition at the end of a play session? How do you help them transition at the conclusion of therapy altogether? How do you help them face the unknown? In this…

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“Lessons from the Playroom” Episode 5 – When & Why to Set Boundaries in the Playroom

Girls screaming

Click Here to Subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes! Or listen now… Setting boundaries in the playroom can be quite the confusing process!  When to set them? How to set them? Why to set them? Is it important to set them? These are just a few of the questions that Lisa will address in this…

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Synergetic Play Therapy Techniques- How to Apply Them Every Day to Self

By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S At breakfast time, I went downstairs to the hotel restaurant to eat and to spend 30 minutes to prepare for a six-hour seminar I planned to teach that day — working with sand in play therapy. I felt poised and inspired to spend the day teaching and engaging with a room full…

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