As I prepare for an upcoming play therapy workshop on working with paper, I realize that paper arts fit with another theme of my writing over the past week: the balance of nurture and structure.

Rather than rehash what I wrote, here is a brief description followed by links to what I wrote in various places. Nurture and structure are twin pillars of support. We nurture our being and we provide structure for our doing. When these are in balance, we move forward with more ease. We may feel as if we are in “flow.”

How is this related to a play therapy workshop about paper? 

I decided to put together the workshop because not all of us are working with children in person yet. Many of us might be missing the normal structure and supplies of a playroom. Even for those of us working with adults, we perhaps are looking for unique ways to offer connection, which requires nurture and structure.

Structure: The Folds

Paper provides structure in its form. If we are gluing for collage, the base paper provides boundaries and containment. Offering instruction, such as in origami paper art, offers structure as well.

Nurture: The Unfolding

The smell, feel, sound, colors, and images offered by and on paper can provide nurture. Mailing something to someone is nurturing. Bringing groups of people into a creative space (as I do in my seasonal self-care workshops) is nurturing. When we are nurtured, we share more of who we are …

when we feel nurtured in balance with the holding and safety of the structure, we discover and unfold the true self. 

Here’s more information about this workshop for play therapists (… as well as playful ones). I hope you will join us. This information is useful for in-person work as well. It’s also useful with adults. We will be using the paper art projects for self-exploration and nurturing during the workshop because many of us healers are in need of this for ourselves.

Portable and Potent Tools: Play Therapy Paper Techniques

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Many play therapists pivoted from in-person to online play therapy during the COVID pandemic. This shift happened quickly and demanded flexibility and creativity on the part of play therapists around the globe. As a result, play therapists have expressed an appreciation for portable, printable, mailable, and cost-effective play therapy supplies and techniques.

Expressive arts offers valuable tools for helping children, adults, and families make sense and meaning out of difficult times.

In this workshop, we will explore the power of paper-based activities in play therapy through a Gestalt play therapy lens. These will come in handy for therapists who choose to continue to work in an online format in the future.

*Includes replicable paper art kit to be mailed to participants.

Presenter: Emily Keller, PhD, RPT-S

Date:  November 19, 2021

Time: 9 AM to 12 PM, PST

Registration Fee: $90 (No discount. Supplies are to be shipped to you two weeks prior to the start of the workshop.Last day to register is November 5.)

Contact CE Hours: 3 (APT; NBCC) Due to COVID-19 health concerns, this one-time online event has been
approved by APT for 3 CONTACT CE Hours

For APT Training: Gestalt Play Therapy (1 Hour); Play Therapy Skills and Methods (1 Hour); Special Topic: Expressive Arts (1 Hour)

Audience: Mental Health Professionals, School Counselors,

Level: Beginner & Intermediate

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the importance of having access to affordable play therapy supplies
  2. List three benefits of integrating expressive arts and play therapy
  3. List five play therapy activities that involve paper and glue
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