2023 Apr 15: Play with the Youngest Clients: An Introduction to Play Therapy and Infant Mental Health


Registrations are closed

2023 Apr 15: Play with the Youngest Clients: An Introduction to Play Therapy and Infant Mental Health

 Registration Information

Cost: Free

Workshop Description

This is an introduction to play therapy and infant mental health.  By the end of this workshop participants should have a basic understanding of infant mental health and how play therapy supports healing, connection and engagement. Participants will also learn 2-3 play therapy interventions that can be used with young clients and their caregivers.

There is a gap in the field of Play Therapy when it comes to Infant Mental Health (IMH). Most Play Therapists only treat clients ages 5 or 6 and up and have not been trained to work with clients 0-5 and their caregivers. This impacts children in the foster system, as court appointed services are mandated for each child, but finding a therapist trained in both IMH and play therapy can be hard.  Purington, et. al (2022) found that when young adopted children and their caregivers were offered family therapy and other play therapy interventions, significant reduction in anxiety symptoms, PTSD symptoms, angry acting out, and other trauma-related symptoms were noted. This also impacts infants and preschoolers who are in need of play therapy support, especially after the isolation of the pandemic. Racine, et. al (2021) reported that there was an increase in depression and anxiety in mothers of young children, which can be associated with disruption in attachment, insecure parent-child relationship, and mental health symptoms in young children. This training builds upon current psychological practice, education, and science because it is a beginning level education into IMH and play therapy interventions geared towards the dyad.

During this workshop, the presenter will be addressing the impact of culture and diversity in parent beliefs and in integrating strategies in interventions with children and parents. Specific interventions will assess family culture and diversity to use as a port of entry into treatment. The presenter will also be specifically addressing the lived experiences of the BIPOC community as it relates to systemic racism and adverse childhood experiences in the parent-child dyad.


Megan A. Peck 

Megan A. Peck is a Clinical Psychologist, Infant Mental Health Specialist, and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. She has worked in community mental health organizations that specialize in infant mental health and currently works for an early intervention program as well as private practice. She is trained as a Level 1 Theraplay Practitioner, a Child Parent Psychotherapy Supervisor, a Circle of Security Facilitator, and is currently training to be a practitioner of the NeuroRelational Framework. From 2020-2022 Megan was one of Fresno County’s trainers on ACES, specifically, developmental trauma and pathways to resilience. She became a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor in 2018 and has been using play therapy with children and families since 2005.

Speaker Disclosures:
  • Financial: Megan Peck has a private practice in Central Valley, CA. She is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor.  She has been trained in level one of Theraplay and is a Reflective Practice facilitator. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
  • Non-financial: Megan Peck is a member of the Association for Play Therapy and former chapter leader for the California Branch of the Association for Play Therapy in Central Valley, CA. She is endorsed by the California Center for Infant Family Early Childhood Mental Health as an Infant-Family Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the assessment process to understand what is important to know about utilizing play therapy with clients 0-5.
  2. Identify at least 1 strategy for building engagement and connection between caregiver and child in play therapy.
  3. Explain the importance of caregivers in IMH and play therapy.


9:30 am Introductions, Me, My training and experience, My work

9:45 am Theory, History, Current Topics in IMH (trauma, COVID and 

​telehealth), Training and Endorsement in California

10:45 am Assessment and Interventions

11:45 am Experiential activity, Theraplay Activities, Another intervention

12:00 pm Q&A and Resources

 Continuing Education Details

Continuing Education: This workshop meets the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit per day for Psychologists, MFTs & LCSWs and LPCC’s. The California Association for Play Therapy (CALAPT) is approved by the Association for Play Therapy to offer continuing education specific to play therapy (APT Approved Provider # 00-094). NO CREDIT FOR PARTIAL ATTENDANCE. APA Credit is not offered for this workshop.

Who Should Attend: Psychologists, Social Workers, Marriage, Family & Child Therapists, School Counselors, Interns, and Students.

Instructional Level: Introductory - no pre-requisites

Instructional MethodologyMay include lecture, demonstration, audio/visual, experiential practice of techniques, case examples, large and small group discussion. A post test will be required.

Play Therapy Areas: Skills and Methods (1 hour), Special Topics (1 hour)

Other Information

Cancellations & Refunds: Requests for refunds must be made in writing by e-mail to president@calplaytherapy.org. Requests must be made at least two weeks prior to the training to receive a refund. There is a $25.00 administrative fee for refunds. There are no refunds for cancellations after the deadline, however, registration may be transferred to another individual. There are no price breaks for partial attendance.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by presenters at the CALAPT events do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CALAPT Board of Directors or its membership. CALAPT reserves the right to make changes to the conference schedule, speakers and presentation, if this becomes necessary.

Accessibility Information: CALAPT is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. Please contact president@calplaytherapy.org to request disability accommodations per ADA/504. Advance notice is necessary to arrange some accessibility needs. Please provide notification two weeks prior to the workshop date.

Health and Safety Information: CALAPT follows all guidance and recommendations set forth by the CDC and other state, local, and federal healthy and safety governance.

Questions and Concerns: Contact us at president@calplaytherapy.org with any event or registration related questions or concerns.


Registrations are closed
Date & Time
Saturday, April 15, 2023
9:30 AM 12:00 PM (America/Los_Angeles)

Add to Calendar


California Association for Play Therapy


Find out what people see and say about this event, and join the conversation.