Today, Friday, October 9, 2015, I had the wonderful experience of attending one day of the Association for Play Therapy’s Annual Conference, this year, held right here in Atlanta! Though attending conferences is an expense, for a conference of an association with which I am affiliated to be held so close to home is difficult to pass up. I am glad that I was able to attend at least one day of the conference, and heard presentations by speakers sharing about topics that are important to me.
At the conference today, I heard Dr. Franc Hudspeth’s presentation on lasting, traumatic effects of bullying on children with a focus on attachment, and Dr. Garry Landreth’s talk about deep issues in play therapy. It was also my pleasure to hear today’s Keynote speech by Dr. Jeff Ashby, who also lives in this area around Atlanta – his was uplifting, engaging, and refreshing as a result of his witty sense of humor!
I really believe in the power and healing effects of play therapy, not only in child populations, but also in adults of all ages. Play therapy engages a part of the brain that allows for greater healing and recovery to occur in comparison to therapies that strictly involve talking. While I support such “talk” therapies, I also and more firmly believe in the therapeutic effects of play therapy because I have observed it to be very effective, particularly in child survivors of sexual abuse.
One aspect of the conference that I would have liked better is for there to have been some women presenters on the topics I am interested in and on the day that I was able to attend. Even in the absence of this, I had an enjoyable day, and my learning and beliefs were further reinforced for me. I hope to be able to attend other play therapy conferences in the future, although it may be some time due to the expense involved. And, I hope to connect again in the future with those of you who I met today!