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Instructors: Kaethe Weingarten, PhD, and Emmy Rainwalker, LICSW
Location: Auburndale, MA
Credits: 6 CEs
One of the key ways that family members learn to resolve conflicts and see another’s point of view is through empathy. One of the key goals of individual and family therapy with children is to help parents parent more skillfully and effectively. One of the earliest pathways through which children learn empathy, which has been shown to be a key factor in wellbeing and resilience, is by imaginatively entering the lives of characters in books. However, research tells us that there are different forms of empathy, only some of which assist supportive connection to others. We will explore ways to help the parents we serve use growth promoting storytelling in family life. Research has shown that certain kinds of narrative forms support child and adolescent development better than others. Based on these insights, we will learn how to help parents and grandparents share narratives in the form most likely to foster resilience in their children and grandchildren. A variety of story-making tools will be presented, including genograms, to explore life circumstances that challenge children including political stories, stories of adversity, and end of life stories. To aid in integrating the use of this information in professional contexts, participants will have the opportunity to practice by working with and sharing family stories drawing on methods discussed in the workshop. A side effect of this workshop will be the ability to use these skills with children in our own lives. The information shared will be supported by research, clinical evidence, and videos of the presenter’s grandchildren responding to books.
- Afternoon Workshop with Emmy Rainwalker, LICSW
We will learn to use “Playlistening” from Hand in Hand Parenting to add to our tool box of helping children in distress and helping parents parent. Play is the way children learn, experiment, express themselves, explore their world and build relationships. It can also be the way that children get stuck in problematic emotions and traumatic experiences. The U.N. has declared play to be an inalienable right. We are fortunate in the mental health profession to be able to facilitate children’s therapeutic use of play and teach parents to do the same.
Playlistening is a tool that helps children recover from challenges, fears and difficulties through having fun. For many reasons, adults often have difficulty playing with their children at all or in ways that are growth promoting. Helping adults play with their children is an important goal in child and family therapy. When adults initiate play and two elements are present, laughter and the child in charge, they can help children resume their natural feelings of connection, bravery, creativity. Helping professionals need to examine their own histories with play to do this work well. Since we all played, or tried to, we will explore how our own experiences with play were successful at times and hurtful at times and release some of our own tensions around our personal history of play. This will free us to be more able to play with children therapeutically and teach parents to do the same. Children love playlistening! Adults struggling with parenting kids who they see as having significant challenges find it to be an invaluable tool for connecting when connection seems impossible.
Outline for the Workshop
10:30 - 10:45 – Break
10:45 - 11:15 – Present genogram, book and video examples
11:15 - 12:00 – Participants work with their own stories alone or in a small group
12:00 - 12:30 – Sharing and wrap-up
12:30 - 1:30 – lunch
1:30 - 3:00 – Understanding the concept of Playlistening. Why it works and how to do it. We will hear stories from the Playlistening literature from other parents and share our own.
3:00 - 3:15 – break
3:15 - 4:30 – Exercises to explore our own memories of play—good and bad. Release tensions that interfere with playing now. See example on video. Practice playlistening together.
4:30 - 4:45 – Completion of workshop evaluations
- To learn about two kinds of empathy and the consequences of each on child development.
- To recognize parameters that have an impact on the form a narrative can take in the serviced of learning how to use and help parents use a form that best children’s growth, adaptation to stress and well-being.
- To help adult clients who are parents, grandparents and other caretakers use narrative forms most likely to bolster resilience in children.
- To learn to construct an adversity genogram with parents and families.
- To understand the science and philosophy behind using “playlistening” with children and the adults who care for them.
- To help children master challenging emotions and physical tension by initiating healing play and help parents/other caretakers do this.
- To explore how helping professionals’ own early play experience influences our work with children, parents and other caretakers.
- To learn to better help parents build trust and closeness with children while they are having fun.
171 Grove St, Auburndale
Auburndale, MA 02466
Group Registration: $155 per person for groups of two or more, $135 per person early registration for groups of two or more, received by 8/24/18. Groups must register and pay together to receive the discount.
Clinicians United Members: Please contact us for a discounted fee of $130 per person.
PLEASE NOTE: Registration includes breakfast and snacks.
OR You may register by snail mail by downloading the registration form and sending it with your check.
Group registrants must register together online and/or mail multiple checks in the same envelope to get the discount.
Your space is not secured for an event until we receive payment.